Background & Planning

Following the events of September 11, 2001, the lack of available and adequate research facilities was determined to be a major impediment to the study of emerging infectious diseases. Important pathogens had received little research attention, and many had not been examined using the tools of modern science.

In February 2002, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), in consultation with a federal blue ribbon panel, developed a strategic plan for biodefense research to accomplish both short- and long-terms goals. The NIAID strategic plan emphasized both basic research and the application of that basic research to the development of products.

Read more about the need for biosafety laboratories.

In 2003, Boston University Medical Center (BUMC), a consortium of Boston University and Boston Medical Center, was awarded a grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to build one of two National Biocontainment Laboratories. Supporting NIAID’s newly developed biodefense research agenda, the NEIDL represents a major step forward in advancing public health and solidifying the New England area’s reputation as the biomedical research hub of the nation.

A copy of BUMC’s application to the NIH is available for review at the Boston, South End, Grove Hall, and Dudley branches of the Boston Public Library.

Video Sneak Peek: Inside the NEIDL