DENVER — Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) remains a costly challenge to the global pork industry. While much progress has been made in finding solutions to addressing this disease that costs the U.S. industry an estimated $664 million annually, more research is needed.

To assist in that effort, Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. (BIVI) provides annual awards to PRRS-targeted research. At this week’s American Association of Swine Veterinarians’ meeting in Denver, BIVI announced its 2012 Advancement in PRRS Research Award Program.

For the past several years, BIVI has provided three U.S. $25,000 awards to the winning proposals for PRRS research in the North American Free-trade Agreement region. Candidates included graduate students, academic researchers, company or private researchers, and practicing veterinarians.

This year’s recipients are Michael Murtaugh, DVM, University of Minnesota; Brad Leuwerke, DVM, Swine Vet Center, St. Paul, Minn.; and Jeff Zimmerman, DVM, Iowa State University.

The objective for these recipients is to examine practical methods of controlling, managing and possibly eradicating the PRRS virus, according to BIVI. The projects are designed to be completed within a year and focus on applicable and actionable results.

An independent PRRS Research Review Board (PRRB) members review and select the winning research projects. The participants include:

Tara Donovan, DVM, Hanor USA, Spring Green, Wis.; Luc Dufresne, DVM, Seaboard Farms, Merriam, Kan.; Tim Loula, DVM, Swine Vet Center, St. Peter, Minn.; Bill Mengeling, DVM, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa; Daryl Olsen, DVM, AMVC, Audubon, Iowa; and Montse Torremorell, DVM, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn.