MU Set to Conduct Cutting-Edge Research
Proposals for two new facilities are on the table. Officials from MU's College of Veterinary Medicine and Veterinary Pathology introduced their plans Thursday. Those facilities would serve as research centers for scientists to study infectious diseases and pathogens that have the potential to plague the U.S.
One of the facilities is already approved and in the design stage. Construction of the Regional Biocontainment Laboratory begins this summer. The $12 million facility is being paid for by the National Institutes of Health and will be used to study ways to treat infectious diseases such as Tuberculosis, Anthrax, West Nile virus and the bird flu.
"In that facility we'll be working with organisms that need specialized containment. Organisms like West Nile virus and things like that that we've already seen in our community, but this will provide a better appropriate facility to do research on those types of organisms," said professor of veterinary pathobiology Lela Riley.
University researchers held this forum to try to convince University leaders to compete for a second facility. The national bio- and agro-defense facility would be a half a billion dollar project headed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. That facility would study ways to protect U.S. citizens from a bioterrorist attack. MU could have an advantage over other schools competing for the facility.
"One of the big things we have to offer here is we have both a veterinary school and a medical school, and an agriculture school and an engineering school. All of those together make an interdisciplinary program that will offer a lot in terms of being able to do the research needed for this facility."
University officials encourage area residents to find out more about the Regional Biocontainment Laboratory already approved for MU by visiting its web site. Organizers also want e-mails with input and ideas regarding the proposed half million dollar facility. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.