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Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases

News and Events Highlights

CEEZAD is a public source for the latest information on developments related to high-consequence foreign animal, emerging and zoonotic disease threats.

March 2, 2020

APPLICATION DEADLINE EXTENDED for the CEEZAD BSL-3 Training/Transboundary Animal Disease Summer Program!

Click here to apply!


February 3, 2020

Program Information

June 1 - 11, 2020

The CEEZAD BSL-3 Training/Transboundary Animal Diseases Summer Program is designed to introduce graduate, DVM and upper-level undergraduate students to high-containment training and to provide current practical and scientific information on select high consequence transboundary and zoonotic diseases. 

The program is funded through a task order with the Department of Homeland Security and is directed at highly motivated students with a demonstrated career interest in transboundary and zoonotic diseases of animals. The two-week program consists of one week of intensive, hands-on and classroom training at the Biosecurity Research Institute (BRI) at Kansas State University followed by a second week of  site visits to area industry partners and seminars and lectures from national and international subject matter experts in containment research and transboundary animal diseases.

The BRI, located adjacent to the site of the future National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, or NBAF, has a premier Education and Training Facility including a training laboratory that contains equipment to simulate BSL-3 research practices.  Both CEEZAD and the BRI are committed to training a specialized workforce to protect the nation's agriculture and public health sectors against high consequence transboundary, emerging and zoonotic diseases.

Eligibility Requirements

  • U.S. citizenship
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher on a 4.0 scale
  • Current enrollment as a full-time undergraduate (junior or senior), graduate student, or DVM student

Program Goals

  • To provide training on essential practices to safely conduct research in a BSL-3 and BSL-3 Ag environment
  • To provide current practical and scientific information on select high-consequence transboundary animal diseases including activities to be conducted at the future National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) in Manhattan, Kan.
  • To introduce students to the role of industry in infectious disease research and translation to commercial product
  • To provide networking opportunities with peers and subject matter experts in the field of high-containment research and transboundary diseases of animals 

Click here to apply!

Program Overview

Week 1: Classroom and hands-on BSL-3 training at the BRI

One week of training will address topics, techniques and essential practices to safely and successfully conduct research in a Biosafety Level-3 setting.  By the end of the training the student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of risk group classifications and biosafety levels;
  • Identify potential risks associated with executing standard laboratory practices;
  • Engage in laboratory practices that reduce the potential for aerosol exposures;
  • Identify, select, and defend high containment practices required when manipulating agents and toxins;
  • Identify areas of potential vulnerabilities in the laboratory ecosystem/network to include how technology introduction may impact laboratory operations (cybersecurity), safety, security, and overall laboratory capability;
  • Demonstrate essential biocontainment practices for use in BSL-3, ABSL-3 and BSL-3Ag settings.

Week 2: Speaker series and Industry site visits

During the second week, students will attend field visits to CEEZAD and Kansas State University partners in the Greater Kansas City Animal Health Corridor.  The final week will also include two days of seminars and lectures by academic and government experts in the fields of containment research and transboundary animal diseases. Topics covered will include:

  • Necropsy considerations in high-containment research
  • Careers in high-containment research
  • Rift Valley Fever virus
  • African Swine Fever virus
  • Classical Swine Fever virus
  • Arboviral diseases of livestock and horses
  • Research in a BSL-4 environment
  • Research at Plum Island Animal Disease Center and future projects at NBAF


All participants will be required to submit a final written report at the end of the program. 

A certificate of completion for the program will be provided to signify the student has attended the program and is familiar with basic knowledge of BSL-3 environments. 


December 10, 2019

CEEZAD director addresses OIE on fight against ASF

Two Kansas State University faculty members, including the director of the Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases (CEEZAD), recently updated researchers at the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) in Paris, France, on CEEZAD’s novel mitigation strategies against a disease impacting much of the world’s pork industry.

Dr. Juergen A. Richt briefed OIE staff members and experts on mitigation, vaccine and diagnostic strategies for African Swine Fever, which is spreading across eastern and central Europe as well as most of Asia.

The disease, which is not a health threat to humans but is almost always fatal in pigs, has depleted pork supplies in many areas, and has been cited as a major reason for recent increases in the price of food worldwide.

Since its discovery in China in August of 2018, “more than 50 percent of Chinese pigs have been culled or died with African Swine Fever,” Dr. Richt said. He noted that China once produced 50 percent of pork in the world, 700 million pigs a year. “This is not happening any more.”

The biggest problem, he said, is there is no vaccine, and no treatment for this disease. “The only way to control ASF is bio-security and culling of animals.”

The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) is the world’s oldest and leading organization of researchers into animal-related diseases.

Dr. Roman Pogranichniy, a virologist and faculty member in Kansas State University’s Department of Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology, and section head of the Virology and Serology Laboratory (http://www.ksdl.org), also lectured at OIE. He discussed recent efforts to train veterinarians and pig producers in Ukraine – where the disease is widespread – on ASF mitigation and control strategies to prevent disease from spreading and from being introduced into pig production facilities.


October 4, 2019

CEEZAD conducts lectures and research during Asia trip

Dr. Juergen Richt has returned from a two week-long visit to Asia designed to give lectures and combat the spread of animal diseases including African Swine Fever (ASF).

Dr. Juergen Richt, CEEZAD’s director, conducted lectures and field tests in China, Mongolia and South Korea.

Dr. Richt said ASF, which made its way to China in August of 2018, has caused the loss “of a significant portion of the Chinese swine population.” China has been home to the world’s largest pork industry in recent years. He spoke about progress in CEEZAD’s effort to control the spread of ASF using vaccines and point-of-need diagnostic techniques during lectures in Shanghai and Nanchang in China, Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia, and Seoul in South Korea.

Dr. Richt was told that pig prices were three times higher in China now than they had been during a previous visit about a year ago. Dr. Richt said that was due to steep declines in Chinese pork production, which also affected sales of sow feed and swine vaccines significantly.


In Mongolia, Dr. Richt was joined by another CEEZAD member – Dashzeveg Bold, a CEEZAD graduate research assistant from Mongolia – and conducted field research in the Gobi Desert. That research included collecting blood and nasal swab samples from 90 young camels, and their diagnostic examination for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD).

Dr. Richt mentioned that all the drawn samples proved negative for either disease, although some of the laboratory testing for MERS remains ongoing.

In Mongolia, the camel sampling and testing efforts were conducted in the field using mobile diagnostic PCR machines (Biomeme Franklin).  Then, at the Central Veterinary Laboratory in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, CEEZAD conducted additional research on ASF, Classical Swine Fever and FMD. There the team was able to amplify and sequence parts of the genomes of all three viruses from infected samples using the portable PCR machine and the portable next generation sequencing device (MinION Nanopore).


In Korea, Dr. Richt met with swine producers, veterinarians and veterinary diagnosticians. Dr. Richt also lectured on ASF at Konkuk University, South Korea’s major veterinary medicine research university. Since identification of the ASF virus in South Korea on Sept. 20, the country’s pig producers and veterinary authorities have been working to limit its spread.


September 19, 2019

Where in the world is CEEZAD?

It has been a busy time for CEEZAD! Here are a few travel highlights from the past few weeks:
These camels are from the Gobi Desert in Mongolia.  CEEZAD members are there collecting samples.
Dr. Richt, Dr. Bold, and team in the field collecting samples from camels.
Dr. Richt presents at Jiao Tong University in Shanghai.