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South Dakota State University’s Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Department and the South Dakota Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory Welcomes Ben Hause as Virologist

"Dr. Ben Hause"

Dr. Ben Hause recently joined South Dakota State University as an assistant professor in the Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Department and section head of virology at the South Dakota Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory. 

“We are grateful that Dr. Ben Hause has joined us within the SDSU Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Department and the South Dakota Animal Disease Research & Diagnostic Laboratory,” said Jane Christopher-Hennings, Head of the Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Department. “His expertise in methods to discover emerging viruses and development of vaccines have been of great benefit in the past and will be useful for infectious disease diagnosis and control methods going forward.”

Hause’s research interests lie in emerging viruses associated with swine and cattle diseases in addition to the development of vaccines and diagnostic assays for the detection of the viruses to minimize the impact of infection. 

“I’m especially interested in emerging and neglected swine and cattle viruses which have an impact on animal production,” said Hause. “I enjoy working with veterinarians and their clients to investigate disease outbreaks and use these results as a starting point for development of diagnostic tests and vaccine countermeasures.”

Additionally, Hause will serve as an investigator at SDSU in the Governor’s Office of Economic Development Center for Biologics Research and Commercialization where his research will focus on the development of vaccines to combat infectious diseases of livestock. His projects will involve engineering of novel vaccines, demonstrating efficacy in host animals and engaging with industry partners to bring vaccines to market. 

“I’ve spent most of my career in the vaccine industry so I’m very focused on developing new technology and moving it from the lab to the field,” said Hause.

Upon completing his Ph.D. in biological sciences at SDSU in 2013, Hause joined the university as an adjunct professor in 2014. Prior to his recent arrival, he was an assistant professor at Kansas State University and served as the Vice President of Research, Development and Diagnostics at Cambridge Technologies in Worthington, Minnesota.

A notable accomplishment of Hause’s includes his discovery of influenza D virus (IDV) in 2011 while he was pursuing his Ph.D. under the guidance of Dr. Feng Li, professor in the SDSU Department of Biology and Microbiology. Originally isolated from a diseased pig, further research found that cattle serve as the primary reservoir for the virus. 

“Research suggests that IDV exists in a bovine reservoir, however it occasionally may spillover to swine, small ruminants and possibly humans,” said Hause.

Hause explained that subsequent work on influenza D conducted by several research groups have found that the virus circulates widely in the United States’ cattle population and many other countries throughout the world. Additionally, direct inoculation experiments have shown that influenza D causes mild respiratory disease in cattle and has been clinically associated with bovine respiratory disease.

“The SDSU Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Department and ADRDL have a top-notch team and facilities focused on serving the needs of the livestock industries,” said Hause. “I share their commitment to client service and drive to develop solutions which improve the health of livestock and the industry. I’m excited to be a part of the team at SDSU and look forward to working with the livestock producers of South Dakota.”

A full list of Hause’s work experience, grants, patents, creative activities and research efforts can be viewed at https://www.sdstate.edu/directory/benjamin-hause.

About the South Dakota State University Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Department

The South Dakota State University Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Department provides veterinarians, animal owners, biologics companies (industry), public health departments, wildlife officials and researchers answers to questions about animal and public health, as well as supporting undergraduate and graduate student learning. Undergraduate students benefit by receiving an educational foundation through hands-on learning that makes them competitive applicants to colleges of veterinary medicine and other biomedical career opportunities. Graduate students sharpen professional development with the help of a wealth of scientists willing to partner with them in research. The South Dakota Animal Disease and Research Diagnostic Laboratory, within the Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Department on the SDSU campus, serves the state, region and nation as a go-to source of diagnostic information on everything from livestock to pets to food safety and zoonotic issues. Researchers work hard to solve essential problems that hinder animal and human health and well-being. The teachers and pre-veterinary advisors inspire and prepare students for careers in veterinary medicine and biomedical sciences. Outreach functions connect veterinarians and animal owners with the indispensable, non-biased information they need to ensure the health and productivity of food and companion animals.