COLLEGE STATION- Drs. Jerry Jaax and Nancy Jaax of "The Hot Zone" will give two presentations at Texas A&M University Tuesday (Nov. 16) about the role of veterinary medicine on emerging infectious diseases.
The first presentation will be at noon at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) in Room 5 at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. A second presentation will be at 4 p.m. at the Hawkings Auditorium in the George P. and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy.
The presentations are being presented through the Texas A&M University Biodefense Research Seminar Series, which is a part of the project "Zoonotic and Emerging Diseases: An Education Trek for Students, Researchers, and Clinicians," and is a sub-project of the Western Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Research.
"The Hot Zone" is a 1994 non-fiction book by Richard Preston about the origins of the Ebola and Marburg viruses, which are biosafety level-four agents. The Jaaxes were key players in the book because of their involvement in the Reston Ebola virus outbreak in 1989 in Reston, Va.
The purpose of the program is to inspire the next generation of science professionals to pursue careers in research on biodefense, zoonosis and emerging infectious disease issues, sponsors of the event say. The intent for the program is to fulfill its goal by providing the next generation the opportunity to listen to and meet with a group of diverse professionals, including researchers, physicians, veterinarians, journalists and policy
makers, who contribute to the broad arena encompassing issues on biodefense, zoonosis and emerging infectious diseases.
Jerry Jaax is the associate vice president for research compliance and is a university veterinarian at Kansas State University. Nancy Jaax is the special projects officer in the Office of Sponsored Research Programs at
Kansas State University. They both previously served in the United States Army Veterinary Corps for many years, and it is there where they encountered the Reston Ebola virus and where they expanded their knowledge on infectious diseases in veterinary medicine.
"We are very excited to have Drs. Jerry and Nancy Jaxx as part of the Biodefense Research Seminar Series," notes Dr. Jeffrey Musser, clinical associate professor and coordinator of the Biodefense Research Seminar Series at the CVM. "We have tried to enlist experts from different areas of the scientific spectrum so that our students can become inspired and educate themselves on the options available to them through science research. The Jaaxes are two exceptional professionals with a strong knowledge base on emerging diseases and their presentations will prove to provide an educational and exciting experience for all of those who attend."