Campus News

NBAF goes to Kansas State University

A mid-January announcement from the Department of Homeland Security is expected to officially designate Kansas as the new home of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility. The announcement will conclude a three-year effort by Georgia to bring the $500 million animal disease research facility to a site in Athens. David Lee, UGA’s vice president for research, led Georgia’s NBAF bid.

In December, DHS released the NBAF Final Environmental Impact Statement, which recommended a Kansas State University site for the new facility to protect the nation from emerging disease pandemics and bio- and agro-terrorism. The Georgia site on South Milledge Avenue ranked third among the five finalists.

The NBAF competition shined a national spotlight on UGA’s expertise in animal and human infectious diseases research.

“Georgia’s expertise, technologies and facilities for disease surveillance, diagnosis, prevention and treatment will continue to play an important role in protecting our nation’s food supply and the public’s health from threats that involve zoonotic diseases,” Lee said.

The NBAF competition also provided Georgia’s collaborating research universities, industries and government agencies an opportunity to demonstrate how they work together to ensure Georgia is a leader in global health, especially in infectious diseases, vaccines and food safety.

Lee said that despite some local opposition to bringing the federal facility to Athens, he was grateful to Athens-Clarke County officials and community leaders for their overwhelming support throughout the selection process.