George Mason University dedicates new biomedical research lab

George Mason University officially dedicated its new biomedical research lab at its Prince William County campus this week.

The lab is one of 13 regional biocontainment labs that are being funded via grants from the National Institute of Allergy and Infections Diseases as part of a nationwide effort meant to enhance treatment and prevention of infectious diseases, reports.

The five-year building project began in 2005 when the university received a $27.7 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infections Diseases. The university provided $20.3 million in matching funds and the Virginia Commonwealth dedicated $2.5 million for land acquisition.

The 52,000-square-foot facility, which has 20,000 square feet of lab space, is located on a 10-acre site adjacent to the Prince William campus in Manassas. The lab will be managed by George Mason University’s National Center for Biodefense and Infections Diseases.

The new facility, which boasts biosafety level 3 labs, will allow George Mason researchers to research new vaccines, treatments and diagnostics to protect individuals against bioterrorism and infectious diseases.

Officials told that the lab's research will primarily focus on newly emerging diseases such as Rift Valley Fever and influenza viruses. Research at the lab will also focus on potential bioterror threats, including anthrax, plague and tularemia.