Homeland Security names program manager for new NBAF facility in Kansas

Marty Vanier

The Department of Homeland Security has named Marty Vanier of Kansas State University as the senior program manager for strategic partnership and development for the new National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) expected to be completed by 2020.

Vanier, who begins her new post this month, will "engage internal and external stakeholders, including government entities, the livestock community, animal health industry and educational institutions," the university said in a press release.

"Dr. Vanier's background will help to catalyze innovation and future planning in support of NBAF by establishing and furthering partnerships with industry, end users and key stakeholders," James Johnson, NBAF director, said in a statement.

The $1.25 billion lab, which will study swine flu, foot and mouth disease and other livestock ailments, is being moved from Plum Island off of Long Island, NY, to just off the Kansas State University campus in Manhattan, KS. It was selected as the site of the new facility, replacing the aging Plum Island lab, following a 3-year process that included assessments of the environmental and security risks involved.

The new NBAF lab is expected to attract animal health companies to locate operations in the region. Midwest Veterinary Services built a $5 million animal health biosafety level 2 facility on the outskirts of Manhattan, KS, to be near the NBAF when it's up and operating.

- see the release