The University of Missouri (MU) has started construction on a facility that will serve as the world’s only clearinghouse for genetic material and swine for researchers studying health issues around the globe.

The National Swine Research and Resource Center will serve as both a repository and a distribution center for swine research models and to conduct life-saving research.

“The center will be a highly visible program intimately tied to the University’s efforts in the life sciences,” notes Lela Riley, MU professor of veterinary pathobiology. “We will recruit and disseminate swine models worldwide that will help researchers studying a wide array of diseases with human health implications. This will be the first center of its kind anywhere.”

The 15,000-sq.-ft. center is being funded by a $10 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

MU scientists will contribute to numerous research projects. Three areas they plan to study are development of new transgenic pigs, improving cryopreservation, or freezing cells at very low temperatures for future research, and detecting agents that cause disease.