Bioagents in the backyard

Putting secure labs in cities: universities seek to avoid PR problem now facing NIH.

Peg Brickley(pegbrickley@hotmail.com)
Jan 27, 2003

Boston University School of Medicine has joined the list of schools seeking to build new bioterrorism research laboratories, and the University of Maryland School of Medicine is weighing its chances in the contest for federal lab funds.

Like universities in California, Illinois and Texas, the Boston school is waging a public relations campaign in advance of filing its bid for a grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). The Baltimore-based medical school has kept its deliberations quiet, so far. But spokesman Larry Roberts confirmed that University of Maryland is considering entering the competition for a share of $275 million in federal grants to build one or two Biosafety Level 4 (BSL-4) laboratories.

The ability to enlist public opinion in support of research on the most dangerous microbes in major population centers is one of the criteria NIAID will use to evaluate applicants for BSL-4 lab grants....

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