Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine has received a $1 million federal grant to form a center to increase national awareness of accidental or intentional introduction of disease agents that threaten public health or food production.

The Center for Food Security and Public Health will operate as a kind of public health national guard, linking animal health and zoonotic disease activities with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), says Jim Roth, center director.

Funding came from the health appropriations bill passed by Congress earlier this year.

The highest priority of the center will be to organize a public health support team to assist CDC in a public health emergency.