Speakers(Updating) » Dr. Juergen Richt

Regents Distinguished Professor, University Distinguished Professor, Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology; College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS. Dr. Richt came to Kansas State University in 2008 as The Regents Distinguished Professor and Kansas Bioscience Eminent Scholar. In 2010, he became Director of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases and in 2020 Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Center on Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (CEZID).  He received his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from the University of Munich and a PhD in Virology/ Immunology from the University of Giessen, both in Germany. After coming to the United States in 1989, he completed three years of postdoctoral/residency studies at The Johns Hopkins University and later served for eight years as a Veterinary Medical Officer at the National Animal Disease Center (USDA-ARS) in Ames, Iowa. He has edited several books, obtained several patents, published more than 290 peer-reviewed manuscripts and raised more than $65 million in grants for veterinary research. Dr. Richt is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Richt is a pioneer in veterinary science, most notably in the “One Health” field.  His work on high consequence pathogens with zoonotic and transboundary potential led to strategies to identify, control and/or eradicate such agents. His basic and applied research includes studies on animal influenza viruses (swine, bat and avian), animal prion diseases including bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), Rift Valley Fever virus (RVFV), African Swine fever virus (ASFV), Borna Disease virus (BDV), and SARS-CoV-2. Dr. Richt established the first reverse genetics system for swine influenza virus (SIV), made seminal contributions to the development of a modified live SIV vaccine and to understanding the virulence of the reconstructed 1918 Spanish Flu virus in livestock. He identified an atypical BSE case with a causative mutation (“genetic BSE”), used gene-editing approaches to develop the first prion protein knock-out cattle which are resistant to prion infection, and provided valuable information on the host range of animal prion agents which is essential for risk analysis. Dr. Richt’s RVFV work led to the development of novel domestic and wild ruminant models for RVF and a safe, efficacious, and DIVA compatible subunit vaccine which is presently undergoing USDA licensure. For ASFV, he is developing subunit and modified live virus vaccine candidates as well as Point-of-Need diagnostics (PenCheckTM) to protect swine from this devastating disease. His recent work focuses on the establishment of preclinical animal models for SARS-CoV-2 to determine the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics. For his research achievements, Dr. Richt received the 2021 AVMC Excellence in Research Award and the 2021 Dolph C. Simons Award of the University of Kansas. As founding Director of the CEEZAD and the CEZID Centers, he is supporting NIH, DHS and USDA in protecting public health and U.S. agricultural systems from devastating animal and zoonotic diseases.  

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