The University of California (UC) is asking the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to be ready to consider alternate sites for a biosafety lab the school had hoped to build on the UC Davis campus. NIH has $275 million in federal funding to spend on two new Biosafety Level-4 facilities, which the agency wants to build in the next five years and would like at least one of them to be located on the West Coast. Davis was a strong contender, but community opposition has forced UC officials to seek alternate sites.

"UC Davis still considers the campus site to be a strength of our proposal," wrote UC associate vice chancellor for research administration, Lynne Chronister, in a recent letter to NIH. "We also understand that NIH reviewers will consider only the site proposed. However, assuming that our proposal receives high scientific merit, and if it is determined that...

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