Expanded Kansas diagnostic lab opens

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Kansas State University’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory opened its second site, on the K-State Olathe Campus, Nov. 15, 2013. The new Microbial Surveillance Lab was funded partly by Merck Animal Health, though officials declined to give an amount.

The Olathe lab is accredited by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians and has been established to provide microbiology diagnostic support to animal health pharmaceutical and biological companies.

Initially, the lab will provide diagnostic support services to meet the needs of Merck, and is anticipated that other animal health industry partners in the Animal Health Corridor will follow.

Dr. Brian Lubbers, director of the Microbial Surveillance Lab, said, “The location at the K-State Olathe campus was chosen because of connectivity to animal health companies in the Kansas City area, and the campus had available space that met the needs of the diagnostic laboratory and its unique clientele.

K-State Olathe Campus
(Courtesy of Kansas State University)

“Due to space constraints in the existing facilities at K-State in Manhattan and the new campus’ position in the corridor, growth into the Olathe lab was a logical partnership.”

The lab will also create student educational and training programs, using a specialized caseload. Current laboratory capabilities include microbiologic culture, identification, and antimicrobial susceptibility testing, according to a university press release.

Merck’s involvement will extend beyond purchasing equipment to start up the lab. The company supports a cohort of students in the veterinary biomedical sciences graduate program at the K-State Olathe campus who will benefit from involvement in other research and training opportunities on the campus in general, not specifically the Microbial Surveillance Lab, Dr. Lubbers said.

“Thanks to Merck, this offers a new platform for us to more easily provide diagnostic services and professional expertise to the Kansas City region, Animal Health Corridor, and beyond,” said Dr. Ralph C. Richardson, dean of KSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine, in the release.

“With the additional benefit of enhancing professional and graduate-level educational opportunities through our K-State Olathe campus, this is a win-win-win situation for all involved.”

Olathe Microbial Surveillance Lab services are provided by contract only. Routine diagnostic submissions will continue to be directed to the K-State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory on the Manhattan campus.

For more information about the Microbial Surveillance Lab or to learn more about K-State Olathe, go here.

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K-State’s strategic plan guides progress (Aug. 1, 2012)