LUBBOCK, Texas (press release) – The following is a press release from Texas Tech University:
More than a decade ago, national officials recognized the need for an improved research laboratory capable of tackling biological threats involving zoonoses and exotic animal diseases. New York State’s aging facility was inadequate to deal with emerging threats.
So, in 2009, the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF), a Level 4 biosafety research lab, was approved for construction in Manhattan, Kansas. As the $ 1.25 billion facility draws to a close, highly trained researchers are needed to conduct studies in the highly secure containment system to ensure both safety and competence in the work being performed. .
Texas Tech University and the College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources (CASNR) are meeting this challenge, thanks to a significant grant from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). Christy Bratcher, Associate Dean for Research at CASNR, is leading the effort for the $ 500,000 grant, which will be used to train students interested in working at ANBAN with the specific technical skills required to develop and implement USDA science programs in the facility. .
âThis is a unique opportunity to partner with a multitude of student workforce development training agencies to provide them with a skill set beyond what they are receive in their traditional curriculum, âsaid Bratcher. âI am delighted to begin the selection process and to start working with highly motivated students. “
The NBAF Laboratory Training Program (NLTP) hosted at Texas Tech is currently recruiting students to apply for the first of two cohorts (2022 and 2023). The program has been funded for two years and will train 10 students per year.
Students in the program will learn the basics of high containment facilities, laboratory procedures, animal handling, and the promotion of safe working practices, including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) in an environment with high containment.
The one-year training program will run over three semesters. In the spring, students will register for an online course module through Texas Tech focused on understanding the high containment environment, animal care and use, and basic diagnostic procedures. Then, in the summer, there will be an eight-week in-person training course at the laboratories and animal facilities of the Texas Tech University System and the USDA Agricultural Research Services (ARS) facilities in Lubbock. The program will conclude in the fall with a series of webinars focused on the analysis and interpretation of scientific data.
The program will be open to undergraduates in their junior or senior year at the time of application.
âThe Livestock Problems Research Unit (LIRU) at ARS is thrilled with this opportunity to collaborate with the Texas Tech College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources to prepare students for potential careers in disease. animals, âsaid Jeff Carroll, head of research. with USDA-ARS. âThere is a great need for talented and well-trained people to work in this field, and LIRU has the capacity to help in the training and future success of these people. “
For more information, visit the AFNB Laboratory Training Program website.
(Texas Tech University press release)