MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) – The National Institute of Health has awarded Kansas State University a grant to fund upcoming research geared to infectious diseases.

The grant is alotted for $11.3 million and will be used to establish a new Center on Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (CEZID). Students in the program will be provided with mentoring resources alongside new equipment and additional core facilities.

Faculty with the research center hope to expand the program over the next five years in order to successfully complete phase one. The Director and Assistant Director of the Veterinary School of Medicine hope to use the grant money to not only help the current wave of students to succeed, but also students to come.

“So they have an opportunity now, with all the support of mentorship, and infrastructure and financial and technological infrastructure to shine and be successful,” Director Jürgen Richt said.

“Fundamentally it’s a rush of excitement that we’re excited to begin the work. We’re in this field because we love science, we like to do experiments, and now we have additional resources to do so,” Assistant Director Philip Hardwidge said.

The directors also plan to expand the program by obtaining additional grants that they can use to begin coronavirus research.