MNPRO and Chronic Wasting Disease Research Program Expansion
The University of Minnesota's Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) recently announced that they will match funds to expand the Minnesota Center for Prion Research and Outreach (MNPRO) directed by VBS Assistant Professor, Peter Larsen.
"This proposal seeks to expand the MNPRO research infrastructure required for studies focused on the environmental impact and infectivity of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)-causing prions throughout Minnesota. CWD is a prion disease that is spreading throughout Minnesota’s white-tailed deer population as well as the state’s cervid farms." Recent data has proven that CWD prions have been found in plants, can contaminate water ways, and there is growing concern that CWD-Prion strain variation may pose a risk to human health.
The funding provided by the OVPR will support two Omega Series microplate readers, additional testing equipment to increase MNPRO's testing capacity, will help to establish a rodent colony, and support salary for staff to oversee MNPRO's environmental research.
In addition, MPR news recently reported that the University of Minnesota Futures program will also provide funding to the CWD research mission.