Biosafety Level 4 Laboratory
Developing vaccines and therapies to successfully treat some of the world’s deadliest diseases for which there are no known treatments or vaccines requires the safest laboratory in the world in which to study them. Texas Biomedical Research Institute is home to one of only six such labs in North America and the only operational BSL-4 lab owned by a private institution.
Designed for maximum containment, BSL-4 labs offer a safe setting for scientists and the surrounding environment. This unique resource has allowed scientists in Texas Biomed’s Department of Virology and Immunology to become world leaders in the fight against emerging diseases and bioterror agents, such as SARS, Anthrax, Ebola virus and more.
Southwest National Primate Research Center
Because of Texas Biomed’s extraordinary primate resources and its distinguished history in the humane and appropriate use of animals in research, the National Institutes of Health awarded funding in 1999 for it to establish the Southwest National Primate Research Center, one of only seven National Institutes of Health National Primate Research Centers.
Because of their close similarity to humans in genetics and physiology, nonhuman primates fulfill a unique and critical role in efforts to understand human health and disease. By studying these animals in a controlled environment, scientists can develop a better understanding of the biological processes that underlie and contribute to disease. They then can use this information to develop new, more effective ways to prevent and treat disease for the benefit of both humans and animals. We encourage you to learn more at the SNPRC website www.SNPRC.org.
Genomics Research Center
The advancement of statistical methods for genetic epidemiological research, and in particular for genetic linkage analysis, has been a long-term and highly successful focus of research in Texas Biomed’s Department of Genetics. Texas Biomed is home to one of the world’s largest computer clusters for human genetic and genomic research. Complicated analyses that once took months can now be completed within minutes.
We now have a manual to our genetic code, and we can read it. What remains to be learned is how small genetic changes make a difference in the expression of those genes and whether or not those changes also make a difference in the development of specific diseases.
Our challenge is to investigate the molecular and cellular steps leading up to the final outcome. Texas Biomed is home to the combined expertise of protein science, metabolic science, genetics and complex data integration and analysis with state-of-the-art high throughput instrumentation, such as a mass spectrometer.
These tools, not typically available to a genetics group under one roof, place scientists at Texas Biomed in a unique position to understand the entire genetic picture and help gain a better understanding of the heritability and risk of disease.