GRA Eminent Scholar Steve Stice working to create disease resistant livestock
Armed with a $1.6 million grant form the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, GRA Eminent Scholar Steve Stice at the University of Georgia is leading a team of researchers in developing a new technology to breed chickens resistant to Newcastle virus. The highly-contagious virus spreads disease in poultry, with potentially devastating economic impact.
The new technology — called cellular adaptive resistance — uses stem cells to create disease resistance. According to Stice, the potential of the technology extends beyond poultry to other livestock. “We want to provide a new way to create animals with natural resistance to specific diseases,” Stice said. “Disease and death in livestock are serious problems, particularly in underdeveloped countries.”
Stice will work with UGA colleagues Franklin West and Robert Beckstead as well as Claudio Alfonso, a researcher at the USDA Poultry Research Laboratory in Athens.