LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) -- The University of Wyoming soon will have a new expert on the proteins that cause chronic wasting disease.

Chronic wasting is a fatal disease that affects deer and elk. It's similar to mad cow disease, which affects cattle and humans. Both chronic wasting disease and mad cow disease are caused by proteins called prions (PRY'-ons).

Hermann Schatzl specializes in prions. He currently is professor of clinical virology at Technical University of Munich in Germany. He will become the newest endowed chair at the University of Wyoming in January.

Schatzl will work in the veterinary sciences and molecular biology departments at the UW College of Agriculture.

Copyright 2009 The AP.

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