Tulane University Completes Biodefense Lab

Tulane University in Louisiana on Friday marked the completion of a $27.5 million biological defense facility housed at its National Primate Research Center, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported (see GSN, June 6).

Following the Regional Biosafety Laboratory's scheduled opening next summer, scientists are expected to use nonhuman primates as test subjects in the pursuit of vaccines for potential biological-weapon agents such as brucellosis, plague, SARS, tuberculosis, epidemic typhus and West Nile Virus.

"The focus is how you prevent exposure for a new emergent disease that is moving this way, or for a bioterrorism event," said primate center chief Andrew Lackner.

The facility, one of 13 Biosafety Level 3 laboratories funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, features decontamination mechanisms, doors equipped with retina scanners, respiratory protections and ventilation safeguards to help prevent lethal pathogens from escaping to the outside environment, the Times-Picayune reported (Benjamin Alexander-Bloch, New Orleans Times-Picayune, Dec. 6).

December 8, 2008
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Tulane University in Louisiana on Friday marked the completion of a $27.5 million biological defense facility housed at its National Primate Research Center, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported (see GSN, June 6).