Gift for Communicable Disease Research

A $1.2-million gift to the Center for Equine Health at the University of California, Davis, will be used to support a basic scientific study of communicable disease. Donated by the Bernice Barbour Foundation of Hackensack, N.J., the money will fund the creation of "The Bernice Barbour Communicable Disease Laboratory" within the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

The new laboratory will consist of an umbrella organization under which the talents of veterinary researchers from varying scientific disciplines will be combined to study mechanisms by which pathogenic microbes survive and transport themselves within the environment, the methods utilized by pathogens for invasion and disease production within the mammalian body, and the means by which the targeted host successfully defends itself against such assaults.

While the lab will conduct its initial investigations using equine pathogenic agents and immunological reagents, its work will not be confined to the horse. The knowledge gained from the investigations will contribute to disease control in all species.

The four-year grant from the Barbour Foundation is worth $300,000 per year.