Welcome to Regional Biocontainment Laboratory
Welcome to the official Web site of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s (UTHSC) regional biocontainment laboratory (RBL). In 2003, UTHSC was awarded nearly $18 million in federal funding from the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) to be used to build a laboratory on the UT-Baptist Research Park site for biomedical and biodefense research and research training. The UTHSC RBL is one of 13 NIAID funded Regional Biocontainment Laboratories in the country.
The primary purpose of the research conducted at the RBL is to develop new drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics to protect the general population from infectious diseases and bioterrorism. One of 13 NIAID funded regional biocontainment labs in the country, the UTHSC RBL will be limited to research requiring Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3) containment as defined by the Centers for Disease Control. BSL-3 facilities are designed to safely and effectively study contagious materials. Scientists at the UT RBL investigate: multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, tularemia, streptococci, cholera, and Chlamydia infections. Other pathogens will be added as the facility and faculty expand.
We are proud to have been selected as a site to develop vaccines for infectious diseases that pose a serious health threat to humanity. We invite you to learn more about the opportunities for biomedical advancement the RBL will afford UT Health Science Center researchers, as well as investigators from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center, Memphis. An additional bonus is that the RBL is a critical and unique resource for the Memphis Bioworks Foundation’s effort to attract new biomedical businesses to the Memphis area.
We hope you share our enthusiasm for the potential the RBL will have for improving prevention, intervention and therapy of infectious diseases all over the world.
Gerald I. Byrne, PhD
Director, Regional Biocontainment Laboratory
University of Tennessee Health Science Center