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Research Project: Establish, Develop and Coordinate a Network of University and Federal BSL-3/4 Large Animal and Laboratory Agricultural Research Facilities

Location: Research Programs

Project Number: 3022-32000-018-020-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 15, 2020
End Date: Sep 30, 2022

The objective of this project between the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), and Texas A&M University, through its Global Health Research Complex (TAMU GHRC), is to establish, develop and coordinate a network of University and Federal U.S. BSL3Ag/BSL-3/BSL-4 Large Animal and Laboratory Agricultural Research Facilities through collaborations and knowledge sharing with network members.

The inaugural network members themselves will collectively develop a final working list of membership criteria and strategic program focus areas of the network to consider when inviting future members to become part of the network. Proposed interim eligibility criteria for being considered for membership in the network include: 1) Lab and Animal Research Holding facilities capable of handling large animals (livestock and wildlife species) at BSL-3 or BSL-4 and BSL-3Ag/ABSL-3 or ABSL-4 biosafety levels, respectively, combined with programmatic capability to address zoonotic disease and one health research problems; and, 2) Program interest and mission emphasis on solving agricultural research problems in the U.S. and globally. Initial membership will be determined following discussions with USDA leadership but may include: USDA National Bio and Agro Defense Facility (NBAF)/Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC); USDA National Centers for Animal Health (USDA NCAH); USDA Southeastern Poultry Research Laboratory (SERPL); USGS National Wildlife Health Center; TAMU GHRC; and Kansas State University Biosecurity Research Institute (K-State BRI); Colorado State University (CSU); University of Georgia (UGA); University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB); and Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML). Provisions to expand membership will be determined and agreed between the inaugural network members depending upon evolving issues or needs as they arise.