To accomplish its mission, IIAD leverages leading experts, researchers and resources within major universities, Minority Serving Institutions, national laboratories, federal agencies and other nationally recognized research institutions. The Institute’s multidisciplinary teams address complex problems and challenges, and are capable of rapidly addressing emerging issues and current gaps in the nation’s ability to protect our agricultural and public health sectors. The Institute collaborates closely with international, federal, state and industry stakeholders. Integrating research and education efforts to ensure they meet stakeholder requirements is critical as the Institute continues to advance its strategic framework. Projects emphasize cross-thematic linkages and multidisciplinary, multi-institutional, translational research to form the foundation for solving complex issues facing the agricultural and public health sectors. More specifically, knowledge gaps in the biology, diagnosis, prevention and response to foreign animal, new and re-emerging, or zoonotic disease threats continue to be addressed in a holistic manner.
Strong partnerships have allowed the Institute to grow since renewal in 2010. National and international partnerships with industry and federal stakeholders provide a strong base for IIAD projects. Increased communication and transparency into the center’s activities ensure that research is developed in an engaged environment. In addition, the Institute frequently serves as a trusted agent that links to confidential industry data for emergency use in the event of a disease outbreak. The Institute closely aligns with its partners to address gaps identified by DHS, USDA and the U.S. agricultural industry in disease threat detection and vulnerability. Engaging partners and end users in the early phases of project initiation facilitates the successful transition of biological countermeasures, information analysis tools and educational programs to end users. These strong partnerships allow the Institute to execute and deliver results within an integrated research portfolio with transition-focused projects such as the development of an assay to detect foot-and-mouth disease in nonstructural proteins, deployment of a novel suite of tools supporting the emergency management life cycle, and publication of a new education curriculum for youth science education.