The Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases (CEEZAD) at Kansas State University was established in 2010 to help protect the nation’s agricultural and public health sectors against high-consequence foreign animal, emerging and zoonotic disease threats. CEEZAD has four principal missions:
- Development of novel, safe, efficacious and DIVA-compatible vaccines for prevention and control of high-impact emerging and zoonotic diseases that can be manufactured in the U.S.
- Development and expansion of technologies and platforms for laboratory and point-of-need pathogen detection.
- Development of models to predict high-consequence disease behavior in the U.S. to aid prevention or outbreak control.
- Development of education and training programs for students, veterinarians, first responders and researchers in high-impact animal diseases and animal emergencies.
May 9, 2017
Workshop looks at Level 4 priorities and needs in anticipation of NBAF’s opening
When the National Bio and Agro-defense Facility (NBAF) opens in Manhattan, it will present a host of opportunities to advance scientific research into emerging and zoonotic threats to the nation’s animal food system, and to protect public health.
But those opportunities will also present significant challenges as experts face the daunting task of prioritizing which of innumerable challenges to take on.
An international panel of experts on the subject addressed those opportunities and challenges at a Level 4 BSL workshop hosted by the Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases (CEEZAD) May 6-7 at Kansas State University.
Tim Barr, NBAF program manager, told attendees that construction of lab space at the NBAF, which began in 2015, will be completed by 2020, with the facility expected to go “on line” in May of 2021. He said the NBAF will enable the US to conduct comprehensive research, develop vaccines and anti-virals, and provide enhanced diagnostic capabilities to protect the nation from numerous foreign animal, emerging and zoonotic diseases.
That’s important because the ag and food industries contribute $1.5 trillion annually to the nation’s economy.
The NBAF will be the only BSL Level 4 facility in the nation targeted specifically at high-consequence threats to animals and humans. It is designed to replace the Plum Island Animal Disease Center, an outdated Level 3 facility.
Research on pathogens now undertaken at Plum Island – including Foot and Mouth Disease, African Swine Fever and Classical Swine Fever – will be moved to the NBAF. Research into other, more serious potential threats – including Nipah Virus, Hendra Virus and Ebola, is expected to be begun. That research is not now conducted in the United States.
Martin Groschup, of the Friedrich-Loeffler Institute in Germany, said the most important pathogens to be worked on are those which are most threatening to the US agriculture industry and to the American people, those with a public scare factor, those with a risk of accidental pathogen incursion, those posing mortality threats, those with epidemic potential, those with an impact on the animal industry, and those with no vaccine availability.
Among diseases he specifically mentioned were influenza viruses, Henipaviruses, Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever, Filo viruses, and Zika.
Although little known in the United States, Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever – abbreviated as CCHF -- is a widespread tick-borne viral disease that is endemic in Africa as well as parts of Europe and Asia. In humans, its mortality rate can be as high as 40 percent. It is one of several virus diseases identified by the World Health Organization as a likely cause of a future epidemic.
“We have about one thousand cases in Turkey every year,” Groschup said. “We have it in Albania, in Kosovo, in Bulgaria, Romania.”
The first problem, researchers agreed, is prioritization since neither human, space nor financial resources permit studying everything. In response to that, Heinz Feldmann, chief of the virology lab at Rocky Mountain Laboratories, said the NBAF should aim for all level 4 pathogens of concern.
A second problem they agreed on was sustainability. However successful research is initially, it will not be useful if it cannot be taken into the field and implemented long-term.
Feldmann also identified gaps in emergency response capabilities that need to be considered. Those gaps include: obtaining pathogen strains and control samples; development of laboratory tests; fast-tracking pathways to animal modeling; a shortage of trained personnel; and support for clinical and basic research.
Workforce development is also a concern. Michael McIntosh, of the Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at Plum Island, said a 2015 survey of personnel at that facility indicated that a significant number do not intend to relocate to Manhattan when Plum Island is closed and its work is transferred to the NBAF. Beyond that, he said the anticipation is that numerous new positions will be created, the combined impact being significant workforce gaps. He said there will certainly be a need for increased expertise in zoonotics and epidemiology.
April 27, 2017
April 20, 2017
BSL3 Safety Program for Engineering, Non-Medical Students
Enrollment is now open for a new CEEZAD-sponsored summer program designed to acquaint students in engineering and other non-medical fields with support careers at high containment facilities such as at the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, or NBAF, currently under construction in Manhattan, Kan.
The one-week program includes hands-on and classroom training, as well as invited guest speakers addressing topics including Risk Assessment, Facility Planning and Design, Structural and Containment Equipment, Information Systems, and Physical Security. An end-of-program group project will synthesize material learned during the week.
The application deadline is 5 p.m. CST April 24. Class size is limited to 6 students, and applicants must be current enrollees as a full-time undergraduate (junior or senior) or graduate student at a Kansas college or university.
Applicants must be U.S. citizens and must have a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher on a 4.0 scale. Use the link below to apply.
March 14, 2017
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March 9, 2017
Application deadline for the CEEZAD BSL-3 Training/Transboundary Animal Disease Summer Program has been extended to Monday, March 13, 2017.
March 3, 2017
Biosecurity Research Institute accepting applications for Transboundary Animal Disease Workforce Development Program
The Biosecurity Research Institute (BRI) is accepting applications for five research fellowship positions in the Transboundary Animal Disease Workforce Development program. The fellowship is designed to foster the development of research scientists to safely plan and execute research on transboundary animal diseases (TAD) in BSL-3, BSL-3Ag, and BSL-4 environments. This opportunity will leverage the expertise and resources of the BRI and the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory (NEIDL) to train next generation PhD, DVM, and post-doctoral researchers to work in high and maximum-containment environments on TADs.
To see the complete application requirements and details, please visit: www.bri.k-state.edu/education/TADFellowship.html
Complete application materials must be received by 11:59 p.m. central, March 31, 2017.
February 16, 2017
Gonzalez named CEEZAD's Deputy Director
Dr. Jean-Paul J. Gonzalez has been named Deputy Director of the Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases (CEEZAD).
Announcement of Dr. Gonzalez’ appointment, which is effective immediately, was made by Dr. Juergen Richt, the Regents Distinguished Professor at Kansas State University and Director of CEEZAD. Based at Kansas State University, CEEZAD is a Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence specializing in prevention of emerging, zoonotic and transboundary threats to U. S. agricultural systems. Read more
January 31, 2017
CEEZAD in collaboration with Orion Integrated Biosciences announces Biodefense Internship Program
Orion Integrated Biosciences Inc. is a Biodefense Company advancing new analytical and visualization tools for the detection, characterization and mitigation of infectious diseases and the interpretation and contextualization of Big Data for Biodefense.
Part of the mission of Orion Integrated Biosciences Inc. is the establishment of a Biodefense Internship Program for junior computer scientists and software engineers in order to strengthen the next generation workforce in the areas of bioscience and national security. Read more
January 18, 2017
CEEZAD Grants Approach $5 million During 2016
The Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases (CEEZAD) (www.ceezad.org) received nearly $5 million in extramural funding during calendar year 2016. That represented a 34 percent increase from 2015, when the Center received about $3.65 million in research grants. Read more