Kansas State researchers get $1.1M NIH grant to study swine flu

Researchers at Kansas State University were recently given a $1.1 million grant from the U.S. National Institutes of Health to study swine flu.

The study, which is being conducted in collaboration with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, TN, is dubbed "Swine Influenza Syndromic Surveillance and Research" and is led by Juergen Richt and Wenjun Ma, who collect and study samples from diseased pig populations.

"Sequence analysis of these samples can provide knowledge of the genetic evolution of influenza A viruses in pigs," Richt said in a statement. "If the genetics are different from what was known before, then we can characterize viruses in more detail and help in the development of novel vaccines and diagnostic tests if necessary."

Kansas State is located in Manhattan, KS, which is where a new $1.25 billion National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility is under construction. The 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, and is expected to be completed by 2018.

- see the release