1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
To fund research projects, proposal development, travel and general program costs at the STCU in support of the ARS – Former Soviet Union Scientific Cooperation Program. Funds originate from the Department of State and Department of Defense and are used to engage scientists from priority institutes in agricultural projects.
1b. Approach (from AD-416):
The STCU will fund the Ukrainian and Georgian sides of approved ARS research projects and provide oversight and coordination of these. Individual projects will be implemented through individual project agreements signed by the STCU, FSU institute and ARS/EAD. ARS scientists from multiple locations will develop the proposals with FSU scientists and serve as collaborators throughout the life of the project.
3. Progress Report:
During FY13, ARS continued to support two on-going projects with Ukraine and one with the Republic of Georgia and funded one new project with Ukraine with funds from the Department of State. The focus of the two on-going Ukraine projects are: 1) the investigation of cellular and molecular mechanisms of mucosal immunity and new control strategies development for avian influenza virus; and 2) monitoring of avian influenza, Newcastle disease and other paramyxoviruses among waterfowl, coastal birds, migratory and settled sea birds from Azov-Black Sea region. The new project is on the development of vaccines against Newcastle disease using recombinant DNA technology and to study their protective effects in chickens. All three ARS – Ukraine projects involve the Institute of Experimental and Clinical Veterinary Medicine in Kharkhiv, Ukraine. ARS also continued to support a research project in the Republic of Georgia involving scientists from the Laboratory of the Ministry of Agriculture (LMA), Tbilisi and ARS scientists from Plum Island Animal Disease Center. The objective of the project is to develop countermeasures for the control of African Swine Fever in the Republic of Georgia and complemented the long term training of a Georgian scientist from LMA at Plum Island funded by the Department of Homeland Security, which completed in December 2010. A Ukrainian scientist was supported to participate in the 2nd International Agricultural Biosafety Symposium in Alexandria, Virginia in February 2013. The Ukrainian scientist was an invited speaker on the topic of African Swine Fever. Other Ukrainian scientists also participated in this symposium and timed visits to their ARS collaborators’ lab under the auspices of their on-going projects. ARS also continued to finalize two new proposals with Ukraine on Newcastle disease and African Swine Fever to be implemented through the STCU in FY14.