WSU Veterinary College Opens Animal Disease Biotechnology Facility

PULLMAN, Wash. — The Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine will
host the grand opening of its new $22.7 million, federally funded Animal Disease Biotechnology
Facility (ADBF) at 10 a.m. on Oct. 2. A reception will be held in the main lobby on the first floor.
Currently, more than 20 research projects producing basic knowledge on animal diseases,
vaccines, diagnostic tests and therapeutic agents are slated to be associated with the new
facility. Among the most well-known projects are those dealing with scrapie, a naturally
occurring sheep disease similar to Mad Cow Disease; the deadly E. coli 0157:H7 bacteria;
anaplasmosis, a tick-borne disease estimated to cost the cattle industry more than $300 million
annually; and leukemia in cattle.
“The grand opening of the ADBF is the capstone event of more than a decade of hard work
from a large number of people that conceptualized, lobbied, fought, designed, scrimped and
labored to see this facility to its completion,” said Terry McElwain, interim dean of the WSU
veterinary college.
The new facility’s design was integrated into existing campus buildings so that it now
connects all four floors of the Bustad Veterinary Sciences Building to the Veterinary Teaching
The Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences (VCS) will occupy most of the first and
second floors. The Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology (VMP) will occupy
parts of the third and fourth floors. The USDA-ARS-Animal Disease Research Unit will occupy
the remaining parts of the third and fourth floors. The Animal Resources Unit (ARU) will be
provided with space on the first floor.
“Since 1938, WSU veterinary faculty and federal researchers have worked together under
one roof in a unique collaboration to serve society’s animal disease research needs,” said David
Prieur, chair of the ADBF building committee and VMP. “Since 1987 when the project began,
they have added the task of getting this facility funded, erected and occupied.”
The 42,000-square-foot facility was built in phases with appropriations from eight federal
fiscal years. Groundbreaking took place in the fall of 1994. The $38 million Veterinary Teaching
Hospital, opened in 1996, was the required state match for the federal construction funding of the
Two very important activities supported by the new facility will be continued development
of reagents and kits for diagnosis of animal diseases, and the technology transfer of intellectual
property to the commercial sector. In the recent past, WSU veterinary faculty have been awarded
more than 30 patents and licenses.
There are 40 research laboratories in the facility built with connections between the
laboratories designed to facilitate interaction and collaboration. Centralized equipment
laboratories for shared use of major equipment are on the second, third and fourth floors of the
Flow cytometry and technology transfer laboratories are housed on the fourth floor. The
flow cytometry laboratory will house a state-of-the-art fluorescence activated cell sorter and
analyzer used extensively to analyze cells, immune responses and the genetics of immune
systems of animals related to infectious diseases.
There is one classroom on the first floor that seats 84 people. It is a state-of-the art
technology-enhanced classroom with a computer port at each seat.
A large conference room is located on the second floor. A built-in divider can separate the
larger room into two smaller conference rooms.
The ADBF also features 51 faculty offices and 21 shared graduate student offices.
“This much-needed facility is a testament to the century of service this college has
provided, including comprehensive veterinary care, internationally recognized disease research
and unparalleled teaching that has produced some of the finest individuals that ever entered the
profession of veterinary medicine,” said McElwain.