NERCE Core A: Microbiology and Animal Resources Core Laboratory, Andrew Onderdonk, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School. The overall goal of the Core A laboratories is to provide the infrastructure, administrative support, scientific equipment and personnel for a BSL-2/ABSL-2 laboratory and animal facility for training and research with category A, B and C agents. This facility includes access to exempt and select agent strains, laboratory space for visiting investigators, and bio-safety and laboratory equipment for training prior to experimental work in the Core A BSL-3/ABSL-3 Select Agent laboratory and animal facility.
Specific aims for the Core are to train NERCE scientists and technical personnel in the proper use of BSL-3/ABSL-3 facilities and to provide trained scientific staff to support investigators with research using Category A, B and C priority pathogens. An essential specific aim for the Core A laboratory is to prepare and fully characterize master and seed lot stocks of select agents and exempt strains for all NERCE investigators and to increase collaborative research activities with NERCE sponsored scientists and across NERCE core laboratories. As part of our overall mission, the Core A laboratory participates in translational research with Category A, B, and C organisms directed at development of products and clinical interventions for emerging infectious disease threats. Within the greater community, Core A also provides support through the LRN program to the Massachusetts State Laboratory Institute and others, as requested by the SLI, involved as first responders for possible BT events. The Core A laboratory promotes the use of facilities through an outreach program to other institutions and scientists throughout the New England region.
The Core A Laboratory provides both a training laboratory and program support for investigators funded through the NERCE. Core A has focused on being able to train individual scientists interested in working with category A, B and C agents, or alternatively, to provide the necessary technical support for short term projects using a dedicated fulltime staff. This approach has provided the flexibility necessary to accommodate the many different types of projects conducted by New England investigators
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