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CentralStar Research and Development

Research and development is at the core of CentralStar’s vision. We strive to continually expand our product and service portfolio through collaboration with industry allies. We promote innovation and discovery to equip producers with the tools needed to drive the dairy industry forward. 

Our Research

We are actively engaged in a range of research projects including modern molecular biology, next-generation technologies and data analytics. 

CentralStar Research team: Casey Droscha PhD, Associate Director of Research & Development; Chaelynne Lohr, Research Assistant; Kelly Sporer PhD, Research Scientist;  Katy Kesler, Graduate Research Technician; Jessie Zenchak, 2019 Summer FSF Intern; and Kelsey Brigham, Laboratory Specialist


  • Diagnostics – Pathogen detection, novel quantitative assays, herd-specific diagnostic programs.
  • Reproduction – Pregnancy detection, embryo viability, calf sexing, improving reproduction rates.
  • Genomics – Whole Genome sequencing, custom SNP detection, identification of genetic mutations.
  • Automation – Development of automated workflows for various sample types and diagnostic assays.
  • Data analytics – Tailored herd-wide diagnostic and information analysis.

Delivering informative, accurate, timely and cost-effective test results is paramount for effective management of today’s dairy operations. At CentralStar, we are continually developing and validating assays so that producers are receiving the best information for their buck. We diligently strive to place our work at the intersection of novel biological discoveries and next generation technologies in order to deliver cutting edge tools to producers without prohibitive cost.

Custom Mastitis Testing

We continually expand our library of validated assays targeting both common and less common pathogens that are known to cause mastitis. We often work directly with herds to identify and contain a problematic pathogen.

Bovine Leukemia Virus

We have developed the BLV SS1 qPCR Assay which compares viral DNA to host DNA in blood, sorting all cows within a herd by infectiousness. Animals which have the highest amount of BLV should be removed to reduce new infection rates over time. We are currently enrolled in a seven-herd, 3,000 cow field trial which has resulted in herds reducing their BLV prevalence by 60 percent in two and a half years.

Custom single-plex SNP Assays

Is there a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) that you are interested in within your herd? We have a test for that.

Johne’s Detection and quantification

We have developed an assay capable of determining relative amounts of the causative microorganism of Johne’s Disease (Mycobacterium avium paratrabucluous) from fecal samples.This assay helps producers screen and remove shedding cattle before it’s too late. 

Reproductive efficiency is one of the most important aspects of operating a successful dairy operation. In addition to offering superior semen quality through Select Sires, CentralStar is actively investigating genetic and physiological factors that impact reproductive success on both the male and female side.

  • In collaboration with IDEXX, we offer a blood and milk-based Pregnancy-Associated Glycan (PAG) detection ELISA for accurate and timely results.
  • Biomarker discovery for detection of pregnancy loss within the first trimester. 

With the genomic arms race in full swing, it is increasingly important to continually improve accuracy at genomic prediction as well as discover new traits, improving selection of young stock.

  • Development of low-density SNP arrays for progeny selection.
  • Whole Genomic sequencing projects to discover economically-important genomic traits.

The use of automation and machine learning are clearly affixed to the future of successful enterprises. At CentralStar, we invest in the future by engineering automated solutions for preparing milk vials for testing. We are upgrading our diagnostic laboratories with automated equipment so that our technicians are able to spend more time performing data analysis of your herd. Future endeavors include the design and engineering of liquid handling devices for real-time sampling of DHI vials for supplemental testing.  


CentralStar collaborates with strategic partners within the academic, dairy, livestock animal diagnostic, and life sciences sectors. This collaboration fosters effective innovation and implementation of novel discoveries into tangible products and services to facilitate advancement of the dairy and beef industries. 

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