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University of Tennessee Health Science Center Regional Biocontainment Laboratory

The Regional Biocontainment Laboratory (RBL) at The University of Tennessee is one of 13 regional laboratories funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to support the US bio-defense capacity. It features a BSL3E vivarium with imaging and aerobiology suites for vaccine and therapeutics research, BSL2 and BSL3 laboratories, and high throughput screening.

 

This 25,000 GSF, $19 million facility is used to develop new drugs, vaccines and diagnostics to protect people against infectious diseases and bioterrorism. It acts as a regional resource used to facilitate research between the University of Tennessee, the Memphis BioWorks Foundation and private sector partners and compliments the work completed by national research sites. The RBL has been designed and constructed according to strict standards for the construction of BSL3 facilities required by the NIH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which both require stringent review of design, construction, commissioning and certification. Special engineering and design features include air handling units, decontamination systems, ante-rooms and shower out capabilities, security and access control and earthquake resistance. The RBL is situated at the University’s Health Science Center and requires special considerations to meet the physical security requirements including highly restricted access, card access, x-ray screening of all packages and bags and CCTV.