Colorado State University Breaks Ground on $42 Million Diagnostic Medical Center

Note to Editors: An architectural drawing of the building is available at by clicking on the headline for this release.

Colorado State University broke ground today during a ceremony on its $42 million Diagnostic Medicine Center south of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital. The 90,000-square-foot building, which is scheduled for completion in December 2009, will house the university’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Clinical Pathology Laboratory, Animal Population Health Institute and the Extension veterinarian.

"This facility will help the university meet the health and safety needs of the local community, state and nation by identifying and tracking infectious diseases among animals that could infect humans as well as by providing education and outreach in an effort to protect animal and human health," said Larry Edward Penley, president of Colorado State University.

Diagnostic testing is on the rise because of new animal diseases and national security concerns over bioterrorism threats such as the use of infectious and zoonotic diseases, which are diseases that can spread from animals to humans, as a weapon or part of an attack on the nation’s health or economy. The building will provide highly specialized laboratories and space for cutting-edge equipment.

"This new facility is desperately needed to meet the increasing needs for veterinary diagnostic services for private residents, and state and national agencies as well as to keep up with advances in diagnostic technologies," said Lance Perryman, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. "This state-of-the-art building will enable the university to increase productivity and to provide expert diagnostic testing that could not be conducted outside of specialized laboratory space."

"Colorado State is the one of the premier research universities in the nation with nearly $300 million in annual research expenditures," said Bill Farland, vice president for research at Colorado State. "The new facility will provide additional resources for our faculty, who consistently rank high for their productivity and cutting-edge research that is saving lives around the globe."

The university’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and Clinical Pathology Laboratory provide services to pet owners, livestock owners and government agencies such as the Colorado Division of Wildlife. The laboratories diagnose and recommend treatments for ill animals in addition to monitoring the health of animals across the state. The diagnostic laboratory, for example, houses the testing services for avian flu in poultry and wild birds for the entire state. The clinical pathology laboratory provides services such as blood, fluid and urine analysis to identify diseases and illnesses in animals.

The veterinary diagnostic laboratory is one of seven labs in the nation selected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to test for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease.

The Animal Population Health Institute encourages collaboration and information and expertise exchange in veterinary epidemiology among scientists at Colorado State, collaborating institutions and government agencies throughout the world. The institute focuses on collaborative, multidisciplinary research to improve the health of animal populations, to prevent and control infectious and other important diseases of animals, and to contribute to national and international animal disease policymaking processes by providing a better understanding of disease epidemiology and pathogenesis.

The university’s Extension veterinarian provides services and education to the state’s animal owners in an effort to protect the health of animals and the economic viability of the state’s animal-driven economy.

The center is part of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.