Biocontainment Laboratories 

In February 2002, consultations between the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and its Blue Ribbon Panel on Bioterrorism produced several recommendations for NIAID to better protect people from the threat of bioterrorism. Fulfilling some of those recommendations required more laboratory space for working with dangerous pathogens than was previously available in the United States. In September 2003 and September 2005, NIAID announced the recipients of grants partially funding the construction of two National Biocontainment Laboratories (NBLs) and thirteen Regional Biocontainment Laboratories (RBLs), increasing Biosafety Level-4 (BSL-4) and BSL-3 lab space nationwide.

The NBLs and RBLs are operated by the grant recipients, research institutions across the country. These labs support biodefense and emerging infectious diseases research as resources that provide lab space for basic research of dangerous pathogens and development of new vaccines and treatments. The NBLs are required to have BSL-4, BSL-3, and BSL-2 labs, animal facilities, insectary facilities, clinical facilities, and research support space. The RBLs are required to have BSL-3 and BSL-2 labs, animal facilities, and research support space. While fulfilling the need of researchers occupying the facility, the NBLs and RBLs can be used by other biodefense researchers within the region, particularly those within the Regional Centers of Excellence in Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases. In addition, these labs are available to provide assistance to national, state, and local public health efforts during a biological attack.

Biocontainment Laboratories
National Biocontainment Laboratories
Galveston National Laboratory
University of Texas Medical Branch
Galveston, TX
National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory
Boston University
Boston, MA
Regional Biocontainment Laboratories
Tufts Regional Biosafety Laboratory
Tufts University
North Grafton, MA
Regional Biocontainment Laboratory at Biomedical Science Tower III
Univeristy of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA
Center for Predictive Medicine
University of Louisville
Louisville, KY
Colorado State University Regional Biocontainment Laboratory
Colorado State University
Ft. Collins, CO
George Mason University Regional Biocontainment Laboratory
George Mason University
Manassas, VA
Global Health Research Building
Duke University
Durham, NC
Howard T. Ricketts Laboratory Regional Biocontainment Laboratory
University of Chicago
Chicago, IL
Pacific Regional Biocontainment Laboratory
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Honolulu, HI
Southeast Biosafety Laboratory Alabama Birmingham
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Birmingham, AL
Tulane National Primate Research Center
Tulane University
Covington, LA
University of Missouri-Columbia Regional Biocontainment Laboratory
University of Missouri-Columbia
Columbia, MO
University of Tennessee Regional Biocontainment Laboratory
Univeristy of Tennessee Health Science Center
Memphis, TN


Regional Centers of Excellence

The Regional Centers of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases (RCEs) are consortia of universities and research institutions that pursue research with the intentions of producing therapeutics, vaccines, and diagnostics for pathogens that could be used in a bioterrorist attack or could become more widespread. Activities within the RCEs include developing and conducting research programs, training new scientists in research activities, and developing and maintaining facilities and services supportive of activities of the RCEs and other regional biodefense investigators. The RCEs also develop effective treatments and treatment strategies from basic research findings and provide first-line responders with facilities and support during a biological attack.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) created the RCE program in response to a recommendation from meetings between the NIAID and its Blue Ribbon Panel on Bioterrorism in February 2002. By June 2005, NIAID had established a total of ten RCEs in ten geographical regions across the country. Each RCE is composed of the investigators from the lead institution that submitted the application and collaborating investigators at universities and research institutions within the consortium. The consortia have access to resources such as facilities and services within the RCE and the National Biocontainment Laboratories and the Regional Biocontainment Laboratories.

Regional Centers of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases
Region I: New England Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases
Harvard University
Boston, MA
Region II: Northeast Biodefense Center
Wadsworth Center of the New York State Department of Health
Albany, NY
Region III: Middle-Atlantic Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Research
University of Maryland, Baltimore
Baltimore, MD
Region IV: Southeast Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infections
Duke University
Durham, NC
Region V: Great Lakes Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Research
University of Chicago
Chicago, IL
Region VI: Western Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases
University of Texas Medical Branch
Galveston, TX
Region VII: Midwest Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Research
Washington University in St. Louis
St. Louis, MO
Region VIII: Rocky Mountain Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Research
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO
Region IX: Pacific Southwest Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, CA
Region X: Northwest Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Research
University of Washington, Seattle
Seattle, WA