? This proposal is a request for funds to renovate animal space to accommodate projects involving infectious Biosafety Level 3 (BSL3) agents in rodents. The project site is the animal facility on the 7th floor of the Basic Sciences Building at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC).
The specific aim of the proposed project is to address a deficiency by providing institutional ability to participate in and contribute to biomedical research in an area of critical national need, namely biodefense and emerging infectious diseases. The objective is to build an Animal Biosafety Level 3 (ABSL3) facility that is integrated with a Biosafety Level 3 laboratory. The proposed facility will support the research of a core group of investigators in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology who have developed platform technology for studying bacterial programmed cell death, identifying crucial proteins in this process, identifying viral proteins as vaccine targets, and mining these data to allow targeted development of therapeutics/vaccines for the purpose of combating exposure to biowarfare agents (both bacterial and viral). The proposed facility also leverages special research strengths at MUSC including gnotobiotic (germ free) animal models, proteomics and bioinformatics, a viral vector core facility, and an existing partnership with the private sector in vaccine development. The conceptual design for the proposed facility was developed by a professional lab planning consultant in conjunction with the PI, facility users, and representatives from MUSCs higher administration. The facility will be in full compliance with CDC and NIH regulations for performing this type of research. ? ?