MANHATTAN, Kan. – Like a hub connecting the spokes of a wheel, the College of Veterinary Medicine is creating a new research center that brings together five highly focused laboratories at Kansas State University. Made possible by a $ 3.43 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, the core laboratory will increase research efficiency and collaboration among scientists in K-State and beyond.
The core facility suite is the final element of a three-stage renovation at the veterinary school. Phase 1 delivered the Boehringer Ingelheim Auditorium next to the Mosier Hall – a modern educational room with 220 seats. Phase 2 became the Hill’s Pet Health and Nutrition Center for clinical education and community service, which occupies the first floor created by the demolition of the obsolete, two-story auditorium. Phase 3, the 5,000 square meter research laboratory, will occupy the second floor of the old lecture hall.
“This new nuclear research facility strategically combines five key disciplines: animal model / pathology, molecular and cell biology, microscopic imaging, flow cytometry and cell sorting, and next-generation sequencing,” said Bonnie Rush, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine.
BIOS SECURITY CENTER
The new research facility is an important part of the university’s research infrastructure to support studies on infectious diseases. It will be the K-State’s Center on Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (CEZID), created in 2020 through a $ 11.3 million grant from the NIH’s Center of Biomedical Research Excellence, and nearby federal facilities in Manhattan, which includes the US Department, directly support the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) of Agriculture and the Research Unit on Arthropod-borne Animal Diseases.
“Kansas State University stands ready to become the pre-eminent institution for advancing the discovery and development of biosafety strategies for emerging and zoonotic infectious diseases,” said Rush. “With the upcoming establishment of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility next to our college, K-State will be the only US university with a full continuum of Biosafety Level 1 to Biosafety Level 4 facilities on campus . The new core laboratory will be an important resource for non-containment research. “
Currently, the existing laboratories are isolated from one another, spread across three buildings, and in some cases hosted by individual faculty members, adding a burden to the visiting scientist and an inefficient workflow for all parties, Rush said. The amalgamation of these individual facilities into a combined core will improve access to laboratories, optimize research processes and experimental results, and offer students coordinated training opportunities.
“This will give our university a modern biomedical research facility with advanced instrumentation and technical support to advance collaborative, transdisciplinary science within the university and beyond,” said Rush. “This is critical to fostering a robust research and education environment in which researchers can answer the most difficult and pressing biomedical questions of our time.”
Rush said the latest NIH grant will support CEZID and collaborating scientists to advance the discovery and molecular characterization of infectious pathogens and diseases affecting animals and humans. Projects within this new nuclear research facility will link areas of excellence between K-state colleges doing STEM research. In these projects, cross-cutting issues such as virulence factors and host-pathogen interactions of pathogens that are important for human health are investigated using in-vitro systems and animal models. “
The newly funded core facility suite will bring cutting-edge technologies together in a single location to facilitate the delivery of coordinated services to academic, corporate and federal researchers in the fields of imaging and molecular analysis, and offers a full range of services from whole tissue to tissue for single cell nucleic acid analyzes. CEZID currently has collaborative partnerships with the University of Missouri, Columbia; MRI Global in Kansas City, Missouri; and regional pharmaceutical companies in the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor, such as Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health in St. Joseph, Missouri, CEVA Animal Health in Lenexa, and Elanco Animal Health in Overland Park.
Rush said the proposed plan is to complete the renovation and then move into the consolidated core biomedical facilities by the fourth quarter of 2023.