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Forty Years of Service to be Celebrated

by 5m Editor
9 September 2009, at 12:19pm

INDIANA, US - A Purdue University laboratory that has played an important role in identifying livestock diseases will celebrate its 40th anniversary Friday (11 September).

The event is to be held at the Heeke Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, located at the Southern Indiana-Purdue Agricultural Center (SIPAC) near Dubois, Indiana.

The celebration includes a noon catered lunch, anniversary program, tours of the Heeke Lab and SIPAC, and the opening of a new multipurpose building at SIPAC.

Heeke opened in 1969 as SIPAC Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory. Its original mission was to support the poultry industry in southern Indiana. A 1977 lab addition allowed an expansion of services to other livestock and mammals. In 1999 the lab was renamed for the late Dennis H. Heeke, a state legislator who helped establish the lab and promoted southern Indiana's poultry industry.

"Over the last 40 years, in addition to daily diagnostic services that they provide to the state of Indiana, the Heeke ADDL personnel have had other notable accomplishments," said Stephen Hooser, Purdue professor of veterinary medicine and director of Purdue's Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory.

"As early as 1974, then-director Merrill Ranck reported the first occurrence of Dactylaria infection in chickens. Then, in 1994, working with the turkey industry, ADDL diagnosticians helped recognize turkey coronavirus and then developed diagnostic tests that assisted in the eradication of the disease from Indiana. In May 2005, Heeke ADDL pathologist Duane Murphy recognized and reported the occurrence of a foreign animal disease, rabbit hemorrhagic disease, in Indiana. As a result, the disease was controlled and eradicated from the state."

Friday's celebration runs from noon to 4 p.m. Media are invited to the lunch. The program takes place from 1-2 p.m. and includes presentations by Randy Woodson, Purdue executive vice president for academic affairs and provost; Willie Reed, dean of Purdue's School of Veterinary Medicine; Jay Akridge, Purdue's Glenn W. Sample Dean of Agriculture; Bret Marsh, Indiana state veterinarian; Anne Hazlett, director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture; and Ted Seger, president, Farbest Foods Inc.