Wyoming dedicates new biosafety level 3 lab Nov. 19 | TSLN.com

Wyoming dedicates new biosafety level 3 lab Nov. 19

The University of Wyoming (UW) dedicated its $25 million biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) laboratory Friday, Nov. 19, 2010, at 1 p.m.

The laboratory, at 1174 Snowy Range Road in Laramie, WY, will allow research into select agents, including brucellosis.

Gov. Dave Freudenthal, President of UW Board of Trustees Jim Neiman, UW President Tom Buchanan and Frank Galey, dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, are scheduled speakers. A reception and tours follow the ceremony.

Since the Department of Homeland Security was established following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, research with live Brucella abortus bacteria can be conducted only in a BSL-3 laboratory.

“This facility will allow targeted research on animal diseases deemed of importance to Wyoming that is not currently possible with existing, less-complex facilities,” said Don Montgomery, professor and head of the Department of Veterinary Sciences.

Support for the laboratory came from numerous groups, including the Wyoming Stock Grower’s Association, the governor’s office and the Wyoming Legislature, said Galey.

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“The laboratory will allow us to work to help diagnose or identify diseases like brucellosis and plague in a safe manner for the community as well as for our faculty and staff members,” said Galey, who heads the Wyoming Brucellosis Coordination Team established by Freudenthal in 2004.

“In the existing situation, we had to turn these cases over to the federal government. Now, we can work with these cases in-house, and it makes sense to be doing this here in Wyoming. We are really the A Team when it comes to brucellosis research.”

Groundbreaking was June 23 last year. The 20,000 square-foot addition contains a 1,280 square-foot BSL-3 lab, a 2,600 square-foot BSL-2 lab plus other work rooms. The 5,860 square-foot renovation of the existing Department of Veterinary Sciences building, which houses the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory, includes modifications of the existing BSL-2 lab and conference and administrative offices.

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