Impact of the Lab
The RBL provides a secure lab for conducting research on Category A and B infectious pathogens using state-of-the-art molecular pathogenesis and immunologic approaches. The RBL continues to enhance UTHSC’s ability to compete for additional research projects in virology, bacterial pathogenesis and immunology.
The federal government, through the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, provided approximately $17.7 million of the $25 million needed to partially fund the RBL. UTHSC provided the remaining approximate $7 million as a matching fund.
The RBL is the first building constructed in Memphis’s developing biotech center known as the UT-Baptist Research Park. The UT-Baptist Research Park is a state-of-the-art campus designed for the highly specialized needs of Memphis' growing bioscience community. Laboratory and office space is available for immediate leasing. When fully built-out, the park will feature 1.2 million square feet of laboratory, research, education, and business development space located on a 10-acre campus in the heart of the Memphis Medical Center. The campus is strategically located and positioned to integrate research, teaching, and biomedical development needs, as well as to serve the support business for the bioscience community.
Public Health Impact
The RBL complements and supports the mid-south region’s growing research needs as
part of the Southeast Regional Center of Excellence for Emerging Infections and Biodefense. Research conducted in the RBL is anticipated to result in new technologies for detection
of biothreat agents, new therapeutics for use in prophylaxis and treatment of biothreat
agents, and ultimately in the development of vaccines to protect the public against
emerging biothreats. The public health impact of such discoveries cannot be underestimated
as early detection, treatment, and prevention are keys to an effective public health
response to a devastating infectious disease epidemic.
Gerald I. Byrne, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Microbiology, Immunology & Biochemistry (MIB)
Director, Regional Biocontainment Laboratory
University of Tennessee Health Science Center