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Volume 9, Number 2Space holderJanuary 14, 2005

UW Applies for Grant to Fund Regional Biocontainment Laboratory

The UW has applied for a $25 million federal grant to fund construction of a Regional Biocontainment Laboratory (RBL) for research in emerging infectious diseases. The lab would consolidate much of the UW's ongoing research in infectious disease.

The proposal is in the conceptual stage, and no final decision has been made to construct the facility or where it would be located. If the UW continues to pursue construction of the facility, such a proposal would be presented to campus and neighborhood groups and would require approval by the Board of Regents. A preferred site has been recommended, but no decision has been made.

The proposal for the grant includes possible lab spaces at Biological Safety Level 2 (BSL-2), as well as BSL-3. BSL-3 labs are used for researching pathogens which may cause serious or potentially lethal disease. The UW has labs at these levels with a history of operational excellence. Research in emerging infectious diseases at the proposed lab would maintain the UW's role as a leader in the field.

The university was selected in 2003 by the federal Department of Health and Human Services as one of eight Regional Centers of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Research. That grant provided $50 million in funding for UW-led research.

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