As one of two national biocontainment laboratories constructed under grants awarded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases/National Institutes of Health (NIAID/NIH), the GNL provides much-needed research space to develop therapies, vaccines and diagnostic tests for naturally occurring emerging diseases such as SARS and West Nile encephalitis, and avian influenza as well as for microbes that might be employed by terrorists.
This new facility totals 186,000 sq. feet and has more than 47,000 sq. feet of laboratory research space that includes BSL-2, BSL-3, BSL-3 Enhanced and BSL-4; and BSL-3, BSL-3 Enhanced and BSL-4 animal holding and research space. The animal research space is designed to accommodate rodents, nonhuman primates and avian species. The total construction cost was $174 million.
Construction of the GNL entailed demolition of an existing administration building, modification of existing campus site utilities, and erection of an eight-story building that included a bridge connection to the existing Dr. Robert E. Shope, M.D., BSL-4 Laboratory. In addition, a connection to the existing Keiller Building was made, which entailed renovation work within the existing building infrastructure.