Focusing on using genetic methods, the Immunology Laboratory researches disease resistance in animals, emphasizing ways to improve production of lamb and goat meat. By experimenting with goat diets that are supplemented with flaxseed and canola seed, both of which are high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, ARS researchers are working to raise the levels of omega-3 and -6 fatty acids in goat meat as they aim to produce a meat that is truly heart-healthy.

Scientists have also studied meat goats and hair sheep to identify genetic markers that are associated with resistance to the intestinal parasite haemonchus contortus. The Immunology Lab is equipped with an MJ Mini-Opticon Real Time PCR thermocycler for gene expression and genotyping studies, a bench darkroom and Gel documentation system for DNA image analysis, a microplate reader for protein studies, and other sample preparation equipment.