BSL-2 Research to Start at BU Biolab

in Featured, Lab Updates
April 3rd, 2012

Released: April 4, 2012
Contact: Ellen Berlin, 617-520-7115 or Tom Testa, 617-959-3887

(Boston) — Boston University researchers are moving into the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories (NEIDL) at Boston University this week and will begin conducting BSL-2 research.  They will conduct tuberculosis (TB) research that has been approved for the BSL-2 laboratories.

The funding for these BSL-2 research grants totals more than $4.5 million and 15 researchers have been hired to work on these tuberculosis research projects.

James Galagan, PhD, Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering & Microbiology and Associate Director, Systems Biology, National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories, leads the team studying a non-pathogenic close relative of the organism that causes TB, called Mycobacterium smegmatis.  By studying the non-pathogenic M. smegmatis, the lab researchers hope to gain insight into how key gene control mechanisms work.

Igor Kramnik, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine and Director of the Aerobiology Core leads the team studying the mechanisms of host resistance to bacteria by using non-pathogenic vaccine strain BCG to better understand how it stimulates immunity and how to improve vaccine potency and safety.

“We are pleased that BSL-2 research is starting in the NEIDL. It is noteworthy that these researchers will be conducting important public health research on a disease that affects nearly one-third of the world’s population,” said John Murphy, PhD, NEIDL Interim Director.