MANHATTAN, KAN. -- David R. Franz, director of Kansas State University's National Agricultural Biosecurity Center, gave a presentation on some of the vulnerabilities and threats to the nation's livestock industry at a symposium on agricultural biosecurity, a part of the annual meeting of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science, Feb. 15-19, in San Francisco.
Franz made his presentation, "Biosecurity: Protecting Our Livestock Industry," Feb. 18.
Because animal populations are now more concentrated than ever before and are transported more widely, even internationally, few technical barriers exist to prevent the intentional introduction of highly infectious and contagious biological agents that could cause significant economic damage to the livestock industry, according to Franz.
"Protecting our herds and flocks from intentional disease is at once more difficult and it requires a different set of tools than we have used in our ongoing struggle with natural disease," he said.
Franz, who also is the chief biological scientist at the Midwest Research Institute, has served as director of K-State's National Agricultural Biosecurity Center since fall 2003. The center, which coordinates K-State's interdisciplinary efforts in agricultural safety and security, is dedicated to protecting the nation's agricultural infrastructure through planning and training for threats, whether natural or intentional.
Franz also has served as commander of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, and has been deputy commander of the Army's Medical Research and Materiel Command.
He served as the chief inspector on three United Nations special commission biological warfare inspection missions to Iraq, and as a technical adviser on long-term monitoring. He also served as a member of the first two United States/United Kingdom teams that visited Russia in support of the Trilateral Joint Statement on Biological Weapons, and as a member of the Trilateral Experts' Committee for biological weapons negotiations. In addition, he was technical editor for the Textbook of Military Medicine on Chemical and Biological Defense released in 1997.
Some of his current national-level committee appointments include the Defense Intelligence Agency Red Team Bio-Chem 2020, Defense Threat Reduction Agency's Threat Reduction Advisory Committee, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity and the National Academy of Sciences' Committee for Research with Russian Biological Institutes, which he chairs. Franz also serves on the Kansas Bioscience Authority Board, the Dean's Advisory Council of the College of Veterinary Medicine at K-State and is an adjunct professor in the college's department of diagnostic medicine pathobiology.
Franz earned a DVM from K-State and a Ph.D. in physiology from the Baylor College of Medicine.