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Kansas State University



Richard D. Oberst





Richard D. Oberst
DVM, 1983 Oklahoma State University
PhD, 1987, University of California - Davis
Professor of Diagnostic Medicine
Director, Molecular Diagnostic Lab in the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory
Phone: (785)532-4411


As the director of the Molecular Diagnostic Laboratories (MDL) in the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (KSVDL), I oversee the molecular diagnostic services that the KSVDL offers its clientele.  I directly supervise 5 staff personnel (4.5 FTE) in the MDL.  The MDL at the KSVDL offers polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing capabilities for many bacterial and viral targets using traditional PCR methods, real-time PCR methods, multiplex assays, and have recently began to offer  a species specific panel, i.e., bovine respiratory panel that targets 7 viral targets and Mycoplasma bovis.  The MDL has been a participant in the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) and involved in screening surveillance testing for selected high impact disease agents, and foreign animal diseases using real-time PCR methodologies.  Our involvement in the NAHLN has allowed the lab to be a leader in developing and validating high throughput real-time PCR procedures in collaboration with other NAHLN labs and USDA, and in developing and leading individual hands-on training programs for personnel in other NAHLN laboratories across the USA to operate and complete high throughput real-time PCR procedures. 


The goal of my research is to develop and validate automated, user-friendly, high-throughput nucleic acid-based detection systems for veterinary diagnostic, environmental and food safety applications.  I believe this process will require interdisciplinary collaboration and partnering.  Currently funded collaborations include:  National Animal Health Laboratory Network/USDA APHIS; Applied Biosystems/Life Technologies; US Army’s Natick Soldier Systems Center.


I am the course coordinator for the Veterinary Virology (DMP722) course offered in the second year of the veterinary medical curriculum at Kansas State University.  I also give a lecture every three weeks on current and future molecular diagnostics applications/trends to the fourth year students in the necropsy rotation (DMP785).


-Patent (US & worldwide) issued on September 27, 1994 and assigned Patent No. 5,350,672.  Entitled: Specific DNA primers and method to use same to detect Eperythrozoon suis.
-Patent (US & worldwide) issued on June 13, 1995 and assigned Patent No. 5,424,189.  Entitled: Bovine respiratory syncytial virus detection and primers.
-Patent (US & worldwide) issued on July 31, 2001 and assigned Patent No. 6,268,143 B1.  Entitled:  Automated High Throughput E. coli O157:H7 PCR Detection System and Uses Thereof.

Recent Peer Reviewed Publications:

JS Nickell, BJ White, RL Larson, DG Renter, J Roque, R Hesse, R Oberst, L Peddireddi, G Anderson.  2010.  Onset and duration of transient infections among antibody-diverse beef calves exposed to a bovine diarrhea virus type 1b persistently infected calf.  International Journal of Applied Research in Veterinary Medicine.  In Press for publication in December, 2010, Vol 8 Issue 4.

W Ma, R Oberst, X Li, D Clouser, R Hesse, R Rowland, JA Richt.  2010.  Rapid detection of the pandemic 2009 H1N1 virus M gene by real-time and gel-based RT-PCR assays.  Influenza and other Respiratory Viruses.  4:397-403.

Horlen, K. P., S. S. Dritz, J. C. Nietfeld, S. C. Henry, R. A. Hesse, R. Oberst, M. Hays, J. Anderson, and R. R. R. Rowland. 2008. A field evaluation of pig mortality and growth performance following commercial vaccination against Porcine Circovirus Type 2. JAVMA. 232(6):906-912.

Fox, JT, M Corrigan, JS Drouillard, X Shi, RD Oberst, TG Nagaraja. 2007. Effects of concentrate level of diet and pen configuration on prevalence of Escherichia coli O157 in finishing goats.  Small Ruminant Research 72:45–50.

Christopher-Hennings, J, M Dammen, E Nelson, R Rowland, R Oberst.  2006.  Comparison of RNA extraction methods for the detection of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus from boar semen. Journal of Virological Methods 136:248-253.