Advancing the health and well-being of animals and people

Principal Investigator: Bruce Akey

Animal Health Diagnostic Center
Contact Information:  Email:, Phone:  607-253-3900
Sponsor:  USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)                 
Grant Number: 2012-37620-19769
Title: National Animal Health Laboratory: New York
Annual Direct Cost:  $165,455
Project Period: 08/15/2012-08/14/2013

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant):  This grant provides funding for the maintenance and enhancement of the diagnostic capabilities of the Animal Health Diagnostic Center as an original member of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN). The NAHLN was established as a collaboration of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's (APHIS) National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL), the USDA Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Services (CSREES), the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD), and State laboratory directors. The NAHLN is part of a national strategy to meld the nation's Federal and State laboratory resources into a comprehensive network that would allow authorities to respond to any type of animal health emergency including bioterrorist events, newly emerging diseases, and foreign animal disease (FAD) agents that threaten the nation's food supply and public health. Elements of the NAHLN system include the following: -standardized, rapid diagnostic techniques that can be used at the State, regional, and national level; -secure communications, alert, and reporting systems; -modern equipment and experienced personnel trained in the detection of emerging, foreign, and bioterrorist agents; -national training, proficiency testing, and quality assurance; -upgraded facilities meeting bio-containment and security requirements; -scenario testing for the network and as part of larger exercises.

OBJECTIVES: Output 1: Diagnostics - The Cornell Animal Health Diagnostic Center (AHDC) will continue to provide testing for Avian Influenza, Exotic Newcastle Disease, BSE and Classical Swine Fever. In addition, as new NAHLN-sanctioned assays are rolled out, such as FMD, the AHDC will bring those on-line according to the prescribed protocols and time lines. NAHLN testing will be provided not only for New York but other states in the northeast and the rest of the US as needed. The AHDC will also provide reserve testing capacity for other NAHLN laboratories in the event of an emergency. Output 2: Training and Education - The AHDC will continue to support Foreign Animal Disease training for pathologists and other veterinarians in the laboratory. Appropriate faculty and staff will receive training and maintain proficiency certification for all NAHLN-approved testing. The AHDC will also initiate a new Diagnostic Sciences Residency Program to train post-DVM students in diagnostic sciences, including NAHLN testing. Output 3: IT and Data Management - The AHDC will continue to support a developer/programmer position in the Veterinary Medical Information Technology department to initiate full-time electronic messaging of NAHLN test results as soon as the USDA provides the data infrastructure to receive and store the data. The AHDC will also participate in the development and implementation of the HL7 test order message as well as all other applicable NAHLN IT development. The AHDC will develop and implement ad hoc query tools and associated reports to facilitate retrieval and analysis of test data. This effort has already begun with the installation of the Oracle Hyperion Business Intelligence suite of tools and the creation of data models to support standardized data retrieval and reporting.