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Salmon-decorated cake

Salmon Disease Lab celebrated 25th anniversary

By Debbie Farris

John L. Fryer Salmon Disease Lab 25th anniversary

The John L. Fryer Salmon Disease Lab at Oregon State University celebrated its 25th anniversary October 2. The lab is named for John Fryer, who started the fish disease research program at Oregon State.

A relaxing fall evening and a crowd of more than 150 gathered for the festivities and special announcement of the lab's new name: The John L. Fryer Aquatic Animal Health Facility. The crowd traveled from across the country and nearby to celebrate and reminisce about Dr. Fryer and his work as well as new developments while enjoying grilled salmon, BBQ, libations and live music from Wild Hog in the Woods.

“This facility is one of only several if its kind in the country and provides OSU researchers a unique opportunity to study the factors affecting the health of salmon and other aquatic animals,” said Jerri Bartholomew, Director of the Center and Head of the Department of Microbiology.

Over the past 25 years, research scientists at the lab have made many important strides forward for managing fish diseases in the region and worldwide. These include research on vaccines and treatments for serious bacterial and viral pathogens, developing a screening system to help eliminate bacterial kidney disease in hatcheries and cracking the life cycles of two major parasite infections that plague northwest fisheries.

Recent upgrades have expanded the lab's capabilities, making it more relevant to studying disease interactions under a range of environmental conditions.

People eagerly toured the new facility upgrade, which is now three times more energy efficient and sustainable. The lab has the capacity to supply heated water—between 3.0 and 30°C— to all experimental tanks. These changes expand the research capacity to allow studies on warmwater aquatic species as well as on ecological and climate change questions.

This off-campus laboratory is supported by the Department of Microbiology, in the Colleges of Science and Agricultural Sciences. The facility is used to study infectious diseases of salmonids and other fresh water aquatic species. Researchers across campus conduct research at the facility on a wide variety of aquatic species.

Below are scenes from the 25th anniversary celebration. Visit the website for more information.