The College of Veterinary Medicine of Washington State University (WSU) has broken ground on a new facility for the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (WADDL) to create a new wing of the Paul G Allen Center for Global Animal Health.
The new facility will allow WADDL, which serves as a first alert system for animal and human health, to continue to serve as a critical resource for the state, region and nation, ensuring that WSU remains a leader in disease surveillance, diagnostics, innovative research, and education.
The WADDL facility, when complete in 2021, will provide better sample security and workflow, bio-safety, and bio-security for increased testing capacity, discovery and regulatory compliance.
WADDL executive director and head of global disease surveillance Tim Baszler said: “Since 1974, WADDL has served the state’s animal agriculture industry as Washington’s only accredited lab combating foreign animal diseases, zoonotic diseases, and food-borne illnesses.
“We are grateful for the continued support and trust of the state legislature, national partners such as USDA, FDA, CDC, and others, as well as our food industry customers.”
The new facility project for WADDL received $23m in the 2018 legislative session to begin construction of the building.
An additional $36.4m request will be made to the 2019 legislature to complete the building. WSU funded pre-design and design of $1.9m, taking the total cost for the new WADDL addition to the Allen Center to $61.9m.
WADDL conducts more than 210,000 tests every year. It provides comprehensive animal, food, and environmental surveillance for diseases such as influenza, tuberculosis, West Nile encephalitis, Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), and foot-and-mouth disease.
WADDL also serves as the first alert system by maintaining one of 15 USDA National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) Level 1 laboratories; FDA Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network; and the CDC Laboratory Response Network for Bioterrorism.
The new facility is expected to optimise Paul G Allen School for Global Animal Health research to develop 21st century animal and human diagnostics tests, implement infection disease surveillance tools, and training the next generation of scientists and diagnosticians to advance global health security.
Image: An illustration of the new facility at Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory. Photo: Courtesy of Washington State University.