George Mason University’s Biomedical Research Laboratory
George Mason University’s BRL is one of thirteen Regional Biocontainment Laboratories constructed with funding support from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases/National Institutes of Health (NIAID/NIH). The BRL is a state-of-the-art laboratory where scientists are performing pioneering research of infectious diseases, both emerging and potential bio threat agents. The BRL supports research programs of the National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases (NCBID) focusing on host-pathogen interactions using proteomics and nanotechnology as they are applied to diagnostic, therapeutic, and vaccine development. Additionally, the BRL is capable of housing multiple species, from rodents to nonhuman primates, and has a variety of established animal models with an emphasis on aerosolized exposures.
Agents of study include, but are not limited to:
- Encephalitic alphaviruses (Venezuelan, eastern, and western equine encephalitis viruses)
- Rift Valley Fever virus
- Influenza virus
- Zika virus
- Bacillus anthracis
- Yersinia pestis
- Francisella tularensis
The BRL is managed by the GMU’s National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases (NCBID). The $50 million, 52,000-square foot, stand-alone, high-security facility is located adjacent to the GMU Science and Technology Campus in Manassas, Virginia. The facility features more than 18,500 square feet of lab space comprising BSL-2 open-design laboratories with cell culture suites, preparation areas, and a microscopy room. The facility is also equipped with ABSL-2 spaces, a surgery suite, BSL-3 laboratories, ABSL-3 suites and a necropsy suite. The facility is fully approved and licensed for work by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The BRL is also fully accredited by AAALAC (Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care).
The NCBID has extensive experience working on a collaborative or contracted basis with other researchers in academia, industry, and government laboratories. With the combination of expertise, experience, facilities, and equipment the NCBID is capable of performing:
- Animal studies in multiple species
- Aerobiology studies
- A vast array of microbiology services
- Discovery of novel host-based targets for therapeutic development
- Mechanism of action studies using classical and novel proteomic technologies
- Testing and evaluating new therapeutics and vaccines in vitro and in vivo
- Using blood-based molecular profiling technologies to investigate novel correlates of protection or correlates of efficacy.