Yanbin Li, a professor at the University of Arkansas (UA) has been named the Tyson Endowed Chair in Biosensing Engineering, UA announced this week. Li, a leading researcher of biosensing technology for food safety and quality applications, has developed a prototype portable biosensor system that can detect the H5N1 avian influenza virus, or "bird flu," in poultry samples in less than an hour, at an estimated cost of less than $10 per sample. A $1.5 million endowment for the new chair was provided by the Tyson Foods Foundation from a gift announced in May 2005, with matching funds from through the university. Investment earnings from the endowment will help support Li's research in the department of biological and agricultural engineering and the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science, which is a unit of the University of Arkansas System's Division of Agriculture. Li is also the principal investigator on a recent grant of $375,000 from the US Department of Agriculture's National Research Initiative to refine and test the H5N1 biosensor system. He has also been the lead scientist in developing systems using nanoparticles and biosensors for rapid detection of pathogenic bacteria in food products and has developed risk-assessment models for pathogens in food processing and methods of killing bacteria during poultry processing. He joined the university faculty in 1994 and is also an adjunct professor at Zhejiang University and China Agricultural University.