Latest gift brings Abaxis support of Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne Diseases to $750,000
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
MANHATTAN — The third time is a charm for a veterinary research center at Kansas State University. The Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne Diseases has received a $250,000 gift from Abaxis, a cutting-edge medical and veterinary technology company, matching support it gave in 2015 and 2016.
That brings total support to the center from Abaxis to $750,000.
An interdisciplinary research center, the Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne Diseases has a mission to combat vector-borne diseases with a focus on pathogenesis, surveillance and disease prevention.
"I think that the importance of the center's work on vector-borne diseases isn't fully recognized yet," said Ken Aron, chief technology officer at Abaxis. "With climate change, increased affluence in Asia bringing animal protein sources into urban areas, and with urban areas increasingly encroaching on animal habitats, vector-borne diseases will be a coming public health crisis. The Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne Diseases is in the forefront of this work."
"These funds continue to help in the building of novel projects, such as initiating vaccine projects on important tick-borne diseases of companion and agricultural animals, training of scientists and in enhancing the growth of the center," said Roman Ganta, professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology and director of the center.
"In particular, this year's funding will be utilized in initiating new vaccine studies to combat canine ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis, and also to continue the center's efforts toward vaccine development against Rocky Mountain spotted fever, human ehrlichiosis and heartwater disease in ruminants," Ganta said.
So far, the gifts from Abaxis have helped provide funding to establish the Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne Diseases in 2015. Last year, the funding supported several new projects, including a collaborative research project on Rocky Mountain spotted fever, bovine anaplasmosis focused on evaluating epidemiology, pathogenesis, immunity and vaccine development.
Abaxis foundation funds to the center have helped provide financial aid for three graduate students: two master's students and one doctoral student. The center also added a research associate position with partial support from the foundation funds.