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Iowa researchers granted for PRRS vaccine

A team of three Iowa State researchers pursuing a protective vaccine against porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus have received a grant of 10 research grants totalling more than $1 million.

The Iowa State economic development money was granted for developing new technology that improves the effectiveness of a vaccine for porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus.

The team was awarded a grant amount of $82,437. PRRS is estimated to cost the pork industry $600 million a year.

The research team consists of:
  • Hank Harris, a professor of animal science and veterinary diagnostic and production animal medicine;
  • Matthew Erdman, director of research and development for Sirrah LLC, a company in the Iowa State Research Park that's developing vaccines for the pork industry; and
  • Ryan Vander Veen, a graduate student in animal science.


Apparently the PRRS vaccine research contributes less to the Iowa economy since it received one of the lowest grants from the budget. Other agriculture related projects that were granted a larger share of the development money were all related to biofuel production.

  • Grant amount: $149,233. Develop a technique for converting uncooked dry-grind corn into ethanol. The technique reduces the energy required to produce ethanol while boosting fuel production.
  • Grant amount: $113,462 Find effective ways to remove oil from the co-products of corn fermentation for ethanol production, which would also improve the quality of livestock feeds made from it. The oil could then be used to produce biodiesel.

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