U.S. funds biological research facility in Georgia

A United States funded $100 million biological research facility is designed to promote animal and public health through epidemiological surveillance and disease detection has opened in Tbilisi, the largest city and capital of Georgia.

Multiple government officials were present at the opening of the Central Public Health Reference Laboratory, including Andrew Weber, the U.S. assistant secretary of defense for nuclear, chemical and biological defense programs, Prime Minister of Georgia Nika Gilauri, and John Bass, the U.S. ambassador to Georgia, according to LaboratoryEquipment.com.

“Many did not believe that this project would have been accomplished," Gilauri said, LaboratoryEquipment.com reports. "There have been lots of debates, including at government sessions, but eventually we have this amazing laboratory. This is more than just $100 million investment; this is a genuine expression of strategic partnership [between Georgia and the U.S.]. The United States selected Georgia for construction of such strategic laboratory.”

The CPHRL is located on an 8,000-square-meter space and is staffed with Georgian and U.S. personnel. The lab will complement existing health research facilities in Nairobi, Kenya, Bangkok and Thailand, which all work to improve public health in their respective region.

“What we are trying to do is to fill in some of the gaps around the world to give us a better global picture of the trends and ways in which diseases crop up and threaten,” Bass said, according to LaboratoryEquipment.com.