The Biosecurity Research Institute (BRI) at Pat Roberts Hall on the Kansas State University Manhattan campus is a unique biocontainment research and education facility.
The BRI supports comprehensive multidisciplinary research, education and training programs that address threats to plant, animal, and human health, including food-borne pathogens. Home to 113,000 square feet of laboratory, education, and administrative space, this BSL-3, ABSL-3 and BSL3-Ag facility offers a diverse range of research and education opportunities.
The concept for a facility dedicated to the protection of crops, livestock, food, and people from biological threats evolved from two key documents written in 1999. In March 1999, K-State proposed a “Homeland Defense Food Safety, Security and Emergency Preparedness Program”(pdf), and in October 1999 K-State President Jon Wefald presented testimony to the U.S. Senate’s Emerging Threats Subcommittee, describing the “Agricultural Biological Weapons Threat: Food Safety, Security and Emergency Preparedness”(pdf). These documents appear to be as relevant today as they were in 1999 and are an excellent resource for those interested in protecting America's agricultural infrastructure and economy.
More recent publications, “A National Blueprint for Biodefense: Leadership and Major Reform Needed to Optimize Efforts” and “Biodefense Indicators” prepared by the bipartisan Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense (BRSPB), have emphasized the growing need for work at the BRI which aims to ensure a safe food supply, protect public health, and help prevent major economic losses to U.S. agriculture. Tom Daschle, BRSPB member and former Senate Majority Leader, stated, “K-State has really become the Silicon Valley for biodefense” and “Its Biosecurity Research Institute, links to the Kansas Intelligence Fusion Center and the National Bio and Agro-defense Facility are all illustrative of the extraordinary effort that is now underway in Manhattan. It's an amazing demonstration of innovation, of collaboration and of engagement.” Read the complete article in K-State News.