|CSU Home CSU Directory CVMBS Home Site Index Students WebCT|
Rocky Mountain RBL Breaks Ground
The College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences celebrated with a groundbreaking ceremony on Nov. 30 the start of construction on the new Rocky Mountain Regional Biocontainment Laboratory (RBL) located at the Judson M. Harper Research Complex on the Colorado State University Foothills Research Campus.
Attending the ceremony was Senator Wayne Allard (DVM Class of 1968); Dr. Alicia Dombroski, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, National Institutes of Health; Dr. Larry Edward Penley, President, Colorado State University; Dr. Tony Frank, Provost and Senior Vice President at Colorado State University; Dr. Hank Gardner, Associate Vice President for Research at Colorado State University; Dr. Lance Perryman, Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences; Dr. Barry Beaty, University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology; and many others involved with bringing this facility to Colorado State University.
"Infectious disease is a critical research area for this College and this University," said Dr. Perryman. "Research conducted at the RBL and its sister facilities will help us more accurately diagnose, treat and prevent through vaccinations some of the more deadly diseases in humans and animals."
The RBL is an important step forward in the College's growing infectious diseases program. When completed in early 2007, the facility will provide much needed laboratory space for Biosecurity Levels 2 and 3 research projects.
"Without the work of so many of our faculty and staff members at the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, the RBL would never have happened," said Dr. Perryman. "I don't think we can say enough about their efforts to make this dream a reality. We also want to thank Dr. Tony Frank and President Penley for their advocacy and support in taking the RBL from a concept on paper to shovels in the ground."
Emerging infectious diseases, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), avian influenza, and West Nile virus, graphically illustrate the need for expanded research in emerging as well as established infectious diseases. According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, 17 million people die each year from infectious diseases, with about half of those being children. Infectious diseases, including tuberculosis, malaria, and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), account for one-third of all deaths globally, more than heart disease, famine and war combined.
Today, the chief research facility for infectious disease at the Foothills Research Campus is the Bioenvironmental Research Building (BRB). The new Rocky Mountain Regional Biocontainment Laboratory, primarily funded with a grant from the National Institutes of Health (total building cost is $30.3 million), will be located adjacent to the BRB. In addition, the College has $3 million in hand to build the Discovery Suite, an expansion of the BRB. A fourth construction project, the Bioenvironmental Research Building Expansion, recently received $4 million in NIH funds, with matching funds from the University and College.
The development of these projects took on a new urgency in June when Colorado State University received a four-year, $40 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to establish a Regional Center of Excellence (RCE) for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases research and training. The Rocky Mountain RCE will expand the University's world-recognized work in infectious disease and biodefense research and address a national need for increased capacity to develop new vaccines, diagnostics and medicines for infectious diseases. The RCE will put additional demands on already strained College facilities, so the groundbreaking at the RBL couldn't come soon enough for infectious disease programs looking for a place to grow.