WSU building new school to study zoonotic diseases

WSU building new school to study zoonotic diseases

May 01, 2008

SPOKANE, WASH. — With the help of a $25 million grant, Washington State University is building a School for Global Animal Health that will focus on vaccination, diagnostic and eradication research for zoonotic diseases.

The largest single private financial contribution in WSU history, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funding will help construct a $35 million facility that will provide 20,000 square feet of office, meeting and research space, including a state-of-the-art lab for studying infectious and emerging diseases. It will house up to 15 scientists, their support staff and graduate students.

"The School for Global Animal Health will strengthen existing international partnerships into a sustainable network to develop innovative solutions to major infectious diseases of animals that directly affect human health and economic development," says Dr. Guy Palmer, professor and director of the new school. It will focus on three approaches:

  • Vaccine development and deployment. The school aims to create vaccines to help control major vector-borne livestock diseases that are hindering the economic development of developing countries in Africa, Asia and Central and South America.
  • Emerging pathogen and disease detection. It will work to identify the determinants to pathogen outbreaks and common transmission methods to strengthen disease preparation and response.
  • Control of disease transmission from animals to humans. Vaccination and other preventive methods are being evaluated to reduce pathogen emergence and transmission.