SOURCE: Kansas State University

January 15, 2008 15:57 ET

Kansas Bioscience Authority Announces $2.5 Million Initiative to Bring Researchers From Across the Nation to K-State

MANHATTAN, KS--(Marketwire - January 15, 2008) - The Kansas Bioscience Authority announced today a $2.5 million initiative that will add more horsepower to Kansas State University's research capabilities in addressing threats to the nation's food supply.

The Collaborative Biosecurity Research Initiative will bring K-State's unique biosecurity research capabilities to investigators across the nation. The program will offer researchers from academia, the federal government and nonprofit groups a chance to conduct research at K-State's Biosecurity Research Institute and develop solutions to today's biosecurity problems. Under this program, the Kansas Bioscience Authority will fund research awards of up to $500,000 to investigators for projects conducted in partnership with Kansas researchers, and that take place at the Biosecurity Research Institute.

"This initiative will allow us to take the Biosecurity Research Institute to the broader scientific community," said Ron Trewyn, K-State's vice president for research. "Researchers will have a unique opportunity to conduct research they might not be able to accomplish anywhere else."

K-State's Biosecurity Research Institute is a state-of-the-art facility where investigators will be able to address threats requiring BSL-3 and BSL-3Ag level biocontainment. The institute is designed to accommodate research in a variety of areas including infectious diseases of livestock and poultry, food safety and processing, plant science and the development of plant-based vaccines, insect vector, and basic molecular biology. The building is 113,000 square feet and houses high-level lab space, as well as a unique educational suite and lecture hall.

"This initiative will kick-start research at the Biosecurity Research Institute while bolstering K-State's existing pool of scientific expertise in animal health and agriculture," Trewyn said. "The role that K-State will play in fending off high-consequence disease threats to our nation is crucial. This partnership will not only enhance the role of K-State, it also illustrates Kansas' commitment to high-level research like that slated for the National Bio and Agro-defense Facility."

K-State and Manhattan are one of six potential sites for the $451 million National Bio and Agro-defense Facility. That facility's focus will be on research to address high-consequence threats to the nation's food supply.

The Collaborative Biosecurity Research Initiative is open to faculty members of U.S. academic research universities, federal agency researchers, and nonprofit research institutions conducting biosecurity research. Full details are available at http://www.kansasbioauthority.org.

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