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Dedication of the University of Wyoming's $25 million biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) laboratory is set for 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19.
The laboratory, at 1174 Snowy Range Road in Laramie, will allow research into select agents, including brucellosis.
Gov. Dave Freudenthal; UW President Tom Buchanan; Jim Neiman, UW Board of Trustees chairman and Frank Galey, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources dean, are scheduled speakers. A reception and tours follow the ceremony.
Since the Department of Homeland Security was established following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, research with live Brucella abortus bacteria can be conducted only in BSL-3 laboratories.
"This facility will allow targeted research on animal diseases deemed of importance to Wyoming that is not currently possible with existing, less-complex facilities," says Don Montgomery, professor and head of the UW Department of Veterinary Sciences.
Support for the laboratory came from numerous groups, including the Wyoming Stock Grower's Association, Gov. Freudenthal and the Wyoming State Legislature, Galey says.
"The laboratory will allow us to work to help diagnose or identify diseases such as brucellosis and plague in a safe manner for the community as well as for our faculty and staff members," says Galey, who heads the Wyoming Brucellosis Coordination Team established by Freudenthal in 2004.
"In the existing situation, we had to turn these cases over to the federal government. Now, we can work with these cases in-house, and it makes sense to be doing this here in Wyoming. We are really the A-Team when it comes to brucellosis research."
Groundbreaking for the facility was last June. The 20,000 square-foot addition contains a 1,280 square-foot BSL-3 lab, a 2,600 square-foot BSL-2 lab plus other work rooms. The 5,860 square-foot renovation of the existing Department of Veterinary Sciences building, which houses the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory, includes modifications of the existing BSL-2 lab and conference and administrative offices.