George Mason University's Biomedical Research Laboratory (BRL) constructed with the support and involvement of the National Institutes of Health, plays a critical role in advancing research related to infectious diseases. The BRL supports research programs in the National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases focusing on host response using proteomics and nanotechnology as they are applied to diagnostic, therapeutic, and vaccine development. The BRL is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities to house multiple animal species, from rodents to nonhuman primates. A wide array of animal model developments are ongoing at the BRL with an emphasis on aerosol exposure. The agents of study include, but are not limited to, Francisella tularensis, Yersinia pestis, Bacillus anthracis, Burkholderia, Influenza virus, Rift Valley Fever virus, Dengue virus, and encephalitic alphaviruses (Venezuelan, Eastern, and Western equine encephalitis viruses). For more information on the type of work that is being done please go to brl.gmu.edu.
The BRL is managed by the GMU’s National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases. The $50 million, 52,000-square-foot, stand-alone, high-security facility is located adjacent to the GMU’s Prince William Campus in Manassas, Virginia. The facility features more than 18,500 square feet of lab space comprising BSL-2 open-design laboratories with cell culture suites, preparation areas, and a microscopy room; ABSL-2 rooms, a surgery suite; BSL-3 laboratories; and ABSL-3 suites and a necropsy suite. The facility is fully approved and licensed for select agent work by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases has extensive experience working on a collaborative or contracted basis with other researchers in academia, industry, and government laboratories. The Center’s combination of expertise, experience, facilities, and equipment enables it to provide contracted and collaborative services in the following areas:
• Animal laboratory studies in mice through nonhuman primates
• Aerobiology studies
• A vast array of microbiology services
• Discovery of novel host-based targets for therapeutic development
• Mechanism of action studies using classical and novel proteomic technologies
• Testing and evaluating new therapeutics and vaccines in vitro for the prevention and treatment of highly infectious pathogens
• Testing and evaluating therapeutics in established and novel small animal models
• Using blood-based molecular profiling technologies to investigate novel correlates of protection or correlates of efficacy.