The Feigin Tower Biosafety Level-3 (BSL-3) Facility, supported by Texas Children’s Hospital, is focused on the research of pathogens that require specialized handling. These pathogens may cause serious, potentially lethal disease, especially as a result of inhalation exposure and include pathogens of human importance such as SARS-CoV-2, West Nile virus, and Chikungunya virus. Strict measures of containment, personal protective equipment, and training are required for working with these pathogens. Often, treatments and prevention for these infections are not available. Addressing these gaps are a major area of the research in this facility.
We can house rodents for in vivo research and have all the necessary equipment for in vitro assays, including the Attune NxT Flow Cytometer with autosampler (up to 16 colors) and the xCELLigence Real-Time Cell Analysis Single Plate System.
The recent pandemic of COVID-19 has led to devastating losses throughout the world. A BSL-3 facility is required to conduct research with the virus and to evaluate its effects on in vivo and in vitro models of infection. Our collaborative research focuses on disease pathogenesis and viral survival. We are fully equipped to assist with the design and execution of SARS-CoV-2 related studies.
Working in the BSL-3
If you are interested in conducting research in the BSL-3 facility, contact Dr. Shannon Ronca (firstname.lastname@example.org). Together, we can discuss training requirements for new users, facility usage fees, and the potential for centralized core services on a fee-for-service basis. Short-term fee for service projects start at $200/hour for BCM/TCH investigators. Additional fees will apply for external investigators.
Independent access to the facility requires theoretical and practical training. This training program encompasses important facility specific information, as well as foundational biological safety information from and standards set by the American Biological Safety Association, the Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories Manual (5th Edition), and national organizations, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health. Trainees will gain an in-depth understanding of the principles of biosafety, apply these principles to best laboratory practices, and become comfortable with the safe execution of research in a BSL-3. Trainees requesting standard BSL-3 training must have at least 6 months and 500 hours of hands-on experience working in a BSL-2. Trainees requesting animal BSL-3 training must have completed standard BSL-3 training and have previous handling experience.
BSL-3 Laboratory Preparation
Rodion Gorchakov of the Laboratory for Vector and Zoonotic Biology protocol for suiting up for working in the BSL-3 Laboratory to complete West Nile virus studies.