1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
The objective of this effort is to support the engagement of USDA collaborative research with ILRI and National research institutions engaged in research that addresses the development of new generation vaccines, diagnostic tests, management strategies and drugs for diseases of critical importance including Rift Valley fever (RVF), MCF, foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), and other diseases of strategic importance.
1b. Approach (from AD-416)
ILRI will participate in and help support activities that underpin the establishment and implementation of collaborative research and supporting activities, such as establishing sub agreements with relevant NARS, developing publications, co-organizing and supporting attendance at meetings and facilitating working groups that support research cooperation that would help to meet the objective. These activities will be identified in consultation with, and under the agreement of, the ADODR and ARS cooperators.
3. Progress Report
Progress was obtained through meetings and regular email communication between key ILRI and ARS staff and through visits by the ADODR to ILRI and by the ILRI PI to ARS. The last year has seen a continuation of active dialog and engagement between ILRI and USDA-ARS to consolidate and develop new research activities in alignment with the restructuring of the CGIAR system and ILRI’s development of the Consortium Research Programs (CRPs), CRP3.7 and 4 entitled “More Meat, Milk and Fish By and For the Poor” and “Agriculture for Improved Nutrition and Health”, respectively. Eileen Herrera (OIRP) and Lindsay Allen (ARS, Western Human Nutrition Research Center) participated in stakeholder consultations on CRP4 held in Addis Ababa, July 28-30, 2010. On Nov 18, 2010 there was a meeting with Ken Linthicum (CMAVE, Gainesville) at ILRI to discuss progress on Rift Valley Fever research (RVF). Provided slides on ILRI RVF research activities to Bill Wilson (ABADRL, Manhattan) to present on ILRI’s behalf at the RVF Working Group Meeting held on Dec 8-9, 2010, Manhattan, KS. An USDA-ARS delegation visited ILRI on Dec 13-16, 2010, to discuss SCAs and CRPs, the Feed the Future (FTF) initiative, updates on the CGIAR re-structure process and opportunities and alignment of USDA-ARS and ILRI research collaboration. The group was comprised of Steve Kappes, Eileen Herrera, Eileen Thacker, Bill Golde, Cynthia Baldwin (USAID). They visited sheep (Isinya and Oltorto) and dairy cattle (Kiambu) smallholder farms, as well as the ILRI Kapiti Ranch. Research collaboration in livestock health, genetics/genomics and feed were explored with ILRI scientists. Vish Nene (ILRI) visited Don Knowles (ADRU, Pullman) Jan 25-27, 2011, to discuss alignment of the renewed SCA with ADRU and Eileen Thacker to support East Coast fever research between ADRU and ILRI. Vish Nene presented a seminar and draft work plans for funding under the FtF program were discussed. Bill Wilson visited ILRI April 6, 2011 and presented an update on Rift Valley fever research to the ILRI Biotechnology Theme. Two concept notes, one for funding East Coast fever subunit vaccine development and the other for livestock genomics to support goat research were developed with USDA/ARS and presented to USAID for funding under the FtF program. Eileen Herrera initiated discussions with ILRI to form a consortium in response to a request from DTRA to engage USDA-ARS in a regional program in eastern Africa on bio-containment, bio-surveillance and bio-security. Vish Nene and Jimmy Smith (ILRI Director General, designate) visited Beltsville on July 7, 2011 to meet with senior USDA-ARS staff to discuss the DTRA initiative as well as the positive response to the concept notes submitted to the FtF program. Vish Nene met with Don Knowles in Seattle to discuss work plans for the funding to be granted under the FtF program to support East Coast fever subunit vaccine research.