UMASS MEDICAL SCHOOL BIOSAFETY LEVEL 3 LAB
The upgrades to this 3,550 sf laboratory make it the only Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3) lab at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, a significant advancement for the program. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) classifies laboratory facilities by the types of agents they work with and ranks labs on a scale of BSL-1 through BSL-4 based on the potential risks these agents pose to the community. BSL-3 labs, like this one work with highly infectious pathogens such as anthrax, West Nile Virus, SARS, or avian flu, for which there are available treatments.
The renovation, designed by Beacon Architectural Associates, included a massive HVAC overhaul, including the installation of a secure ducted ventilation system and HEPA filtered exhaust. Biosafety cabinets -- enclosed, gas-tight workspaces-- were also installed throughout the lab for work with harmful pathogens.