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Local USDA Scientist Wins Research Award / February 7, 2001 / News from the USDA Agricultural Research Service

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Local USDA Scientist Wins Research Award

By Kathryn Barry Stelljes
February 1, 2001

PULLMAN, Wash., Feb. 1—Hong Li, a microbiologist here with the Agricultural Research Service, has been named a 2000 "Early Career Research Scientist" by ARS, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific agency.

Li will be honored next week for developing tools to diagnose a frequently fatal viral disease of cattle, bison and other ruminants that is known as malignant catarrhal fever, or MCF. “Dr. Li’s research has shed new light on how sheep transmit this virus,” said Floyd P. Horn, ARS administrator. Sheep carry the virus and can transmit it to other animals, but do not typically become ill themselves.

“Li and colleagues at Washington State University developed and applied the most accurate set of diagnostic tests available. These tests are now part of a set of tools that will allow livestock producers to raise animals free of this virus,” Horn said.

Li, with the ARS Animal Disease Research Unit in Pullman, will be honored at an awards ceremony Feb. 7 at the agency's Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center in Maryland. He and other award winners will receive a plaque, a cash award and additional research funding.

The "early career" award is given to ARS scientists who have made outstanding scientific contributions while having been with the agency 7 years or less and completed their highest academic degree within the past 10 years. Li is the “early career” winner for the agency's Pacific West Area. The area includes research locations in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. He was also designated as a special expert by the United Nations for establishing diagnostic assays in West Africa.

Li joined ARS in 1994 after completing his Ph.D. in 1994 and M.S. in 1990, both in microbiology, from Washington State University in Pullman. He received his doctor of veterinary medicine at Sichuan Agricultural University in China in 1982.

Scientific contact: Hong Li, USDA-ARS Animal Disease Research Unit, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6630; phone (509) 335-6002, fax (509) 335-8328, email

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