STILLWATER, Okla.—Dr. Lawrence Barrett, Class of 1981, Oklahoma State University (OSU) Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, presented the Class of 1963 Distinguished Lecture at the 2008 OSU Fall Veterinary Conference held recently at the Wes Watkins Center on the Stillwater campus. Barrett is the director of the Department of Homeland Security Plum Island Animal Disease Center. The keynote speaker is sponsored by an endowment established by the Class of 1963.
Barrett and his team are responsible for training more than 3,000 veterinarians in diagnosis of foreign animal diseases, maintaining the North American Foot and Mouth Disease Vaccine Bank, researching foreign animal diseases, developing vaccines for foreign animal diseases and laboratory identification of foreign animal diseases.
According to Barrett, foot and mouth disease is the most contagious disease known to mankind. There is nothing equivalent to it in human medicine. Veterinarians are the country’s first defense against foreign animal diseases, such as foot and mouth. Barrett’s group is busy researching and developing vaccines to protect animals against this disease. Plans include vaccinating animals in the United States for the first time in 2009 and developing a vaccine that will register resistance to the disease within 24 hours of vaccination.
Hosted by the OSU Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, the OSU Fall Veterinary Conference is an annual event that provides continuing education credits for veterinarians in Oklahoma and surrounding states.