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University of Iowa News Release


April 6, 2007

Prion Virus Expert To Speak April 12

Juergen A. Richt, D.V.M., Ph.D., lead scientist and veterinary medical officer at the National Animal Disease Center (NADC) in Ames, Iowa, and professor at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State University, will present "Prion Disease Research at the National Animal Disease Center" from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, April 12, in room 2117 of the Medical Education and Research Facility (MERF) on the University of Iowa campus.

Both humans and animals are susceptible to fatal neurological conditions called prion diseases or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). These diseases include scrapie of sheep and goats; chronic wasting disease of elk, deer and moose; transmissible mink encephalopathy; and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, commonly known as mad cow disease). Since 1990, scientists at the National Animal Disease Center (NADC) have studied cross-species transmission of these diseases in livestock and wildlife in an effort to identify the potential host range of TSEs and their clinical features in novel animal species.

Richt, an expert in the area of emerging animal diseases, will address the various TSE cross-species transmission studies underway at the NADC and the molecular characterization of BSE cases in the United States.

This program is part of the spring 2007 Grand Rounds series sponsored by the Upper Midwest Center for Public Health Preparedness. Advanced registration is requested and may be completed online at Links to the live Web broadcast, as well as archives of past presentations, are available on the center's site.

In addition, UI Television (UITV) also will be showing the archived presentation. More information about the UITV service area and program schedule can be found on the UITV Web site,

The presentation is sponsored by the Upper Midwest Center for Public Health Preparedness, Institute for Public Health Practice, UI College of Public Health, Iowa Association of Local Public Health Agencies, Iowa Department of Public Health, Iowa Hospital Association and Iowa Medical Society. UMCPHP is funded by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For more information on the Grand Rounds series, contact Angela Harding, program assistant in the Upper Midwest Center for Public Health Preparedness, at 319-335-8451 or by e-mail at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa College of Public Health Office of Communications, 4257 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242.

MEDIA CONTACT: Debra Venzke, 319-335-9647, Writer: Brandy Huseman.