Skip to main
Genetic science research

Andalibi and Alem receive funding for facility and building system upgrades support for Mason biomedical research laboratory

Ali Andalibi, Senior Associate Dean, College of Science, and Farhang Alem, Research Scientist, Center for Infectious Disease Research (formerly NCBID), Assistant Director of Scientific Operations, received $3,330,000 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for: "Facility and Building System Upgrades Support for the Mason Biomedical Research Laboratory." 

The Biological Research Laboratory (BRL) at Mason is one of 12 Regional Biocontainment Laboratories (RBLs) in the nation, and went into operation in July of 2010. In the decade since it opened its doors, Mason investigators have used the BRL to study select agents, such as Francisella tularensis, Burkholderia pseudomallei, Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus, Eastern equine encephalitis virus and SARS-CoV-2, as well as other pathogens, including, HIV and HTLV-1.  

To continue building on the success of the BRL, Andalibi and Alem are looking to upgrade aspects of the building's infrastructure, in addition to purchasing new caging and state-of-the-art equipment that can serve the needs of the scientific community focused on infectious disease research and fighting the next pandemic.  

The specific aims of the proposal are as follows: 1) Purchase of animal caging to expand the BRL's ability to house various species across the spectrum, from rodents through USDA-regulated species; 2) Replacement of the tissue digester; 3) Purchase of imaging equipment, including the Fuji Vevo and Mediso PET­CT; 4) Installation of an automated watering system for the animal holding rooms; and 5) Replacement of the seven hot water heaters. 

Funding for this award began in September 2021 and will end in late February 2023.