Animal Disease Research Tops List of Postdoc
By Sean Adams
November 21, 1997
Improved tests to diagnose sheep and mule deer diseases top the list of 50
proposals selected by the Agricultural
Research Service for its 1998 Postdoctoral Research Associate Program. ARS,
the U.S. Department of Agricultures
chief scientific agency, has allocated $2.5 million to fund projects selected
from more than 300 proposals by researchers.
Its another way for us to get the most out of limited research
funds, said ARS associate administrator Edward B. Knipling. We were
impressed, as we are each year, with the high quality of the proposals.
Each scientist whose proposal was accepted will receive $50,000 to hire a
postdoc for one year for high-priority, high risk research. As part of the
agencys outreach program to attract minority scientists, ARS will supply
a second year of funding for postdocs who are African American, Hispanic or
Native American citizens.
This years top-ranked proposal is for improved tests for early
diagnosis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), diseases that
infect the brains of sheep, deer, mink and elk. One form of TSE--bovine
spongiform encephalopathy (BSE)--has afflicted cows in Great Britain, causing
serious economic consequences in that country.
ORourke at the agencys
Animal Disease Research
Unit in Pullman, Wash., will lead the TSE project. For submitting the top
proposal, ORourke will receive the agencys T.W. Edminister Award.
It provides full funding for a second year of postdoc research. These are among
the other proposals selected for funding:
Orville Levander at the agencys
Beltsville Human Nutrition
Research Center in Beltsville, Md., will test a theory that nutritional
deficiencies in selenium or vitamin E could make people more susceptible to
certain viral infections.
M. Peterson at the Cereal Crops Research
Unit in Madison, Wis., will measure levels and antioxidant activities of
key cancer-fighting compounds in cereal grains. The researchers will focus on
flavonoids and other antioxidant chemicals in oats and barley.
Arthur Miller at the Eastern
Regional Research Center in Wyndmoor, Pa., will focus on a new type of
Salmonella bacteria that emerged in 1996. The new strain, S.
typhimurium, Definitive Type 104, has been linked to contaminated chicken,
pork sausages, milk and beef. The scientists will study the organisms
survival potential and its resistance to antibiotics.
Scientific contact: Edward B. Knipling, associate administrator,
Agricultural Research Service, USDA, Washington, D.C., phone (202) 720-3656