George Mason University's (GMU) 52,000 square-foot biomedical research laboratory (BRL) was established in 2010 as one of 12 NIAID-funded regional biocontainment facilities to support infectious disease research and foster collaborations with other national and global laboratories. The BRL is fully approved and licensed for work by the CDC and USDA and is accredited by AAALAC. It is located on Mason's SciTech campus (Manassas, VA), situated 40 miles from Washington D.C. The focus of the BRL is to:
- Generate advanced knowledge of pathogen biology and host interaction mechanisms;
- Evaluate diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines to counter the threat of bio-terrorism and newly emerging or re-emerging infectious diseases;
- Serve a resource available and prepared to assist national, state, and local public health efforts in the event of a bioterrorism or infectious disease emergency; and
- Train the future workforce to safely and appropriately handle infectious agents and conduct innovative research in BSL-3 environments
A Resource for Mason Faculty, Students, and the External Community
Interdisciplinary Mason faculty led teams conduct cutting-edge exploratory research that leads to new knowledge and products to better prepare for future pandemics and create an arsenal of new innovations to combat existing diseases. They collectively bring expertise in virology, bacteriology, proteomics, genomics, informatics, metabolomics, nanotechnology, drug discovery, vaccine development, epidemiology, public health, and policy. Research is being translated for the development of new diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines. Undergraduate and graduate students as well as post-doctoral fellows gain unique experience operating in a BSL-3 environment. They learn firsthand how to answer complex problems and develop solutions to combat diseases of national and global concern. Innovative research conducted by faculty and students at Mason and their collaborators has led to the development of three biotech companies, which develop countermeasures for infectious diseases including Ceres Nanosciences, Virongy, and AexeRNA.
The external community, including academia, not-for-profit organizations, industry, and government studying biodefense and emerging infectious diseases, may request research support services provided by the BRL staff who are dedicated to supporting contractual work on infectious diseases. This includes in vitro and animal studies. Contact us to discuss work that we can assist you with by leveraging the unique capabilities inside and beyond the BRL.
Additional Infectious Disease Research Capabilities
A combination of additional resources at Mason beyond the walls of the BRL are available to advance infectious disease research and development of new diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines. Learn more about the available cores and capabilities.