Applying world-class technology to real-world problems
In response to the rapid spread of COVID-19, Iowa State University’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory helped expand testing capacity to expedite test results at the State Hygienic Laboratory at the University of Iowa. The collaboration between the two labs significantly increased the hygienic lab’s ability to run more tests simultaneously.
Responding to and preparing for increasingly complex threats to human and animal health — such as COVID-19 and the avian flu that devastated the country’s poultry industry in 2015 — have made the VDL an even more vital national resource.
Fortunately, construction has begun on a new Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory to accommodate current and future specialty areas needed for today’s multi-billion animal agriculture industry as well as companion animals and wildlife – providing essential infrastructure for sample receiving and processing, pathology, bacteriology, necropsy, histopathology and an incinerator. The new construction will improve efficiency and effectiveness of the process flow while addressing critical issues of space quantity and quality and provide the necessary biosafety and biocontainment.
The $75 million project has been funded by a $63.5 million appropriation from the State of Iowa with additional funding from the VDL, College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University and private donors – support through the Forever True, For Iowa State campaign that will greatly enhance the competitiveness of Iowa’s animal agricultural industries for current and future generations of Iowans.
Lead gift commitments to the new VDL have been provided by the Iowa Pork Producers Association and the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation.
“The Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory is a crown jewel for Iowa State University and for the entire state of Iowa,” said Iowa State University President Wendy Wintersteen. “A long-time national leader in advancing animal health and food safety, the VDL has also leveraged its expertise to play a key role in the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This new facility is critical for the VDL to continue providing innovative solutions and support to the complex and growing needs of animal and public health. We are deeply grateful to the state, our industry partners and donors for their investments to make it possible.”