Galveston National Laboratory
the Galveston National Lab?
Hopefully you were able to join us on Nov. 4 at the San Luis Conference Center.
UTMB held an informal information session with scientists, UTMB staff
members and contractors to answer questions about the Galveston National
Lab, followed by the NIH Draft Environmental Impact Statement public meeting
about the construction and operation of the facility. The NIH requires the development of an Environmental
Impact Statement prior to the construction of any NIH-funded Biosafety Level-4 facility. Federal guidelines also require that all questions and comments
submitted during the public scoping meeting last March be recorded and
addressed in a DEIS. Copies of the DEIS document were available at the
meeting and have also been deposited at the Rosenberg Library and Moody
For more information about these meetings or to inquire
about a copy of the DEIS, please contact:
UTMB Public Affairs at (409) 772-2618; by email at
For more information about the process, or to submit your
questions or comments for the public record, please send queries by Dec. 17
Valerie Nottingham, Chief, Environmental Protection Office of Research
Facilities, National Institutes of Health, 9000 Rockville Pike, B13/2W64
Bethesda, MD 20892. Email:
Sept. 4, '04:
make discoveries on West Nile virus, monkeypox, and yellow fever
Researchers from the
University of Texas
Medical Branch at Galveston present significant new
discoveries on West Nile virus, monkey pox, and yellow fever in four
papers in the September issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases,
published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The articles
are summarized below, and can be found on the EID website at
individually at “Year-Round West Nile
Virus Activity, Gulf Coast Region, Texas and Louisiana” (http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/EID/vol10no9/04-0203.htm),
“Experimental Infection of Ground
Squirrels (Spermophilus tridecemlineatus) with Monkeypox Virus”
“Yellow Fever Virus Infectivity for
Bolivian Aedes aegypti Mosquitoes” (http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/EID/vol10no9/03-1124.htm),
and “Genetic Divergence and Dispersal
of Yellow Fever Virus, Brazil” (http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/EID/vol10no9/04-0197.htm)
March 31, '04: Two community GNL meetings held at local conference
UTMB and the National
Institutes of Health (NIH) hosted two meetings concerning
the proposed Galveston National Laboratory for Biodefense and Emerging
Infectious Diseases at UTMB on March 31, 2004, at the San Luis
Conference Center Mainsail Room, in
Galveston. Beginning at 5:15 p.m., UTMB held an informal information
session where scientists, UTMB staff members and contractors answered
questions about the Galveston National Lab, including its purpose,
construction, operation, safety and security. At 6 p.m., an NIH National
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) public scoping meeting about the
development of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) related to the
construction and operation of the Galveston National Lab began. The NIH requires the development of an Environmental Impact Statement prior to
the construction of any NIH-funded Biosafety Level 4 facility.
See an ad for the past event and get more info
on the EIS process...
Feb. 10, '04:
New York Times story examines debate between
secrecy and safety in research
the nation embarks on a program to build new containment facilities to
study and protect against new and dangerous emerging diseases,
discussion continues about what and how much information should or can
be kept from public scrutiny. UTMB, which currently operates a BSL4
lab and has been selected as a site for one of two national labs, is
featured in the story. You can
read the entire story online (registration may be required).
NBL designation noted in media accounts around the
UTMB's successful bid for a National Biocontainment Laboratory has
been noted in media outlets around the country. Reporters attended a
UTMB press conference on Tuesday, Sept. 30, featuring university
officials and scientists including President John D. Stobo, Dr. C.J.
Peters, Lee Thompson, Dr. Scott Weaver, Mike Shriner and SOM Dean
Stanley Lemon, who appeared via satellite from Washington, D.C.
See a listed
of selected media stories. A webcast from the Sept. 30 news conference is
Sept. 30, 2003
A Special Message from the UTMB President
like to share some exciting news with you. The National Institute of
Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) announced today that UTMB has
been selected as the site of a $150 million National Biocontainment
Laboratory (NBL), one of two large-scale national research facilities
focusing on new and emerging disease threats. Receipt of this
highly competitive award is a credit to the caliber of our scientists,
to the depth of our expertise, and to a tremendous amount of work and
planning on the part of many people...
Read rest of message.
Sept. 4, 2003
Message from the President: Good news on RCE
writing to share some very good news with you. The National Institute of
Allergy and Infectious Diseases (a branch of the National Institutes of
Health) announced this morning that UTMB is one of eight institutions
nationwide receiving grants to establish a Regional Center of Excellence
for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Research (RCE). I couldn't
be prouder. We have an exceptionally distinguished team of scientists in
emerging infectious diseases and biodefense. What's more, this award
represents an extraordinary coming together of scientists from 15
different entities---many of them traditional competitors---cooperating to
do important work for the health and safety of the nation and the world.
rest of this message...
In February 2002, the National Institute of Allergy and
Infectious Diseases and a Blue Ribbon Panel developed a strategic plan for
biodefense research. The goal is to protect the United States and the
world against attacks using biological agents. The plan calls for the
establishment of regional centers of excellence (RCEs), and national
biocontainment laboratories (NBLs) to conduct research on Category A,
B and C priority pathogens—biological agents that are considered to be
of significant research importance.
in blue, a computer rendering of UTMB's proposed National
Biocontainment Laboratory, at the center of the UTMB campus in
Galveston. Behind the proposed facility sits the Keiller Building,
home to the Center for Tropical and Emerging Infectious Diseases
and the first BSL4 facility on a university campus.
The government’s plan provides for
basic research, and emphasizes the application of that research to
diagnose illnesses caused by these agents, and to develop vaccines
and diagnostics against them.
For more than a century, UTMB has
addressed the special needs of the citizens of Texas and the nation.
Over the past two decades, researchers and clinicians at this
institution have amassed expertise in emerging infectious diseases and built a program around these agents
that is recognized as among the world's finest. Consistent with its societal mission and in
light of UTMB's expertise and facilities, the university has offered the nation its service in response to
the threat of bioterrorism and emerging infections, and the federal government's request for
proposals to counter these threats.
This web site contains information about the UTMB proposal
about the facility and related programs, facts and a way to contact UTMB.
We hope you find it informative and useful.
Thank you for your interest.