Kansas City , Mo. – The latest feather in the cap for the so-called "animal health corridor" is the Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases, or CEEZAD.
The center is a $12 million dollar investment by the Department of Homeland Security at K-State. It will compliment the work of the National Bio and Agro Defense Facility. The so-called NBAF is the high-security lab Manhattan recently won in a competitive bidding process that will be researching foreign and domestic animal diseases and vaccines.
Dr. Juergen Richt will direct the CEEZAD center.
An expert in the area of emerging diseases, Richt says the nation is ill-prepared to respond to the intentional or unintentional introduction of one of many global diseases easily transmitted between animals and humans.
One such disease is Rift Vally Fever. Richt says it occurs in some parts of Africa and Arabia: "This is a disease transmitted by mosquitos and it can come to our shores by mosquitos. We have to be prepared, because it can happen any day."
The Kansas Bioscience Authority named Richt one of it's "eminent scholars." The goal of the KBA is to bring high-caliber researchers and venture capital to the area to foster economic development in animal health and science.