The mission of the
between infectious agents and domestic livestock that result in disease and loss
of production. Reducing the impact of infectious diseases, thus improving
animal and public health, is the primary goal of our research programs.
ANIMAL HEALTH RESEARCH PROGRAM
Animal Health Research Unit programs are directed at understanding how populations of infectious agent vary at the genetic level, and how that variation affects transmission and disease expression in livestock hosts. Genetic variation in livestock influences disease expression thus characterizing and understanding host genetic variation is also a major research component in the unit. Major research areas within the unit include enterohemorrhagic E. coli in beef cattle, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus in swine, failure of passive transfer of immunoglobulin in neonatal calves and influence of host genetic variation on viral disease progression.
The AHRU staff currently consists of six permanent scientists with diverse backgrounds and expertise. This is a young, energetic group of scientists averaging slightly more than 4 years experience as independent investigators. While all AHRU scientists have training in some aspect of infectious disease, their experience ranges from Lyme disease and plant bacteria to bovine T lymphocyte function and the structure of viral particles. The broad range of knowledge and understanding that these scientists bring to AHRU is one of the strengths of this group. Underpinning all research efforts is our excellent support staff, several with advanced degrees, who average over 11 years research experience.
FACILITIES AND RESOURCES
Relevant equipment within the building include an ABI Prism 3730xl DNA analyzer with capacity for 0.5 million bases of nucleotide sequence/day, a BioMek 2000 Laboratory Automation system, MultiMek 96 liquid handling robot, MJ Research thermal cyclers with capacity for 3840 concurrent reactions, MJ real time PCR unit, FACScan flow cytometer, Brandel 96 cell harvester and Molecular Dynamics Storm 860 phosphoimager. A Sequenom MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry genotyping system, based on a Bruker mass spectrometer, with the capability of up to 30,000 genotypes/day is also available.
USMARC is situated on 35,000 acres of grazing and farm land in central