Boston University National Biocontainment Laboratory

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Contact Information

Director:Ronald B. Corley, Ph.D.

Animal Capabilities

  • NHP (BSL3, BSL4)
  • Mouse (BSL3, BSL4)
  • Hamster (BSL3, BSL4)
  • Rat (BSL3, BSL4)
  • Guinea Pig (BSL3, BSL4)
  • Ferret (BSL3, BSL4)
  • Rabbit (BSL3, BSL4)

ABSL3 and ABSL4 facilities have dedicated procedure space adjacent to each holding room, as well as aerobiology and insectary in ABSL3 and ABSL4, and dedicated imaging suites, including a fixed MRI unit in the ABSL4. The NEIDL is adjacent to the Animal Sciences Center with extensive animal facilities (see

Animal Models

A=aerosol, IN=intranasal, S=subcutaneous, O=oral, IP=intraperitoneal, T=transthorasic, IC=intracerebral, ID=intradermal, IM= intramuscular, IT= intratracheal, IV=intravenous, M=mosquito, IN=intranasal, INH=intrahepatic, INR=intratracheal

  • Francisella tularensis: mouse (A, ip)
  • Yersinia pestis: mouse (A, ip)
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis: mouse (A, ip)
  • Ebola virus: NHP (IM, IN), mouse (ip, in), guinea pig (ip, in)
  • Marburg virus: guinea pig (in, ip), NHP

Appropriate animal models to be developed with delivery systems for Lassa fever virus, hantavirus (e.g. Sin Nombre, Andres), Japanese encephalitis virus; Eastern Equine Encephaliti virus, Venzuelan Equine Encephalitis virus, Japanese Encephalitis, henipaviruses (Hendra, Nipah), Omsk hemorrhagic fever virus, West Nile virus, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus, MERS.



  • Marburg virus
  • Ebola virus
  • Nipah virus
  • Hendra virus
  • South American Haemorrhagic Fever viruses (e.g. Guanarito, Junin, Machupo, Sabia)
  • Tick-borne encephalitis complex viruses (e.g.Central European Tick-borne encephalitis, Far Eastern Tick-borne encephalitis, Kyasanur Forest disease, Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever, Russian Spring and Summer encephalitis)
  • Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever virus
  • Lassa fever virus

BSL4 or 3

  • Andes hantavirus
  • highly pathogenic influenza viruses


  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis, including MDR and XDR
  • Francisella tularensis
  • Bacillus anthracis
  • Yersinia pestis
  • SARS-CoV
  • Rift Valley Fever Virus
  • Eastern and Western Equine Encephalitis viruses
  • Venezualan Equine Encephalitis Virus
  • West Nile Virus
  • Japanese encephalitis virus

Imaging Capabilities

  • Cell and tissue-at BSL3/4: Leica DIM3000 fluorescent microscope Leica TCS SP5 II AOBS 405 UV spectral confocal microscope, Ludin environmental chamber and active CO2 for super-Z series imaging , AOBS and Laser ROYB / HeNe red, HeNe orange, DPSS & Argon, Filterblocks (FITC, EGFP, TRITC, DsRed and CY5), Microscope air table Leica VT1200 vibratome, Semiautomatic vibrating blade microtome for sectioning fixed or unfixed tissues.
  • Whole Animal Imaging at BSL4: Bruker 4.7 T MRI with 40 cm bore IVIS Spectrum from Caliper/Xenogen; Neurologica CereTom 16 slice portable CT scanner, 32cm free access multimodal stereotaxic frames; Custom Image Analysis Software for co-registration across imaging modalities

Laboratory and Analytical Support

  • Immunology services: BSL3/4-BD LSRII flow cytometer, BioRad Bio-plex protein array 200 system, including Bio-plex II wash station, Miltenyi magnetic bead separators, CTL BiospotTM S5 Macro Analyzer and software, Molecular Devices absorbance plate reader for endpoint and kinetic assays.
  • Pathology services: Full anatomic pathology services for rodents and non human primates including light microscopy and immunohistochemistry, Clinical Pathology services including Drew Scientific Hemavet 950 FS multi-species automated hematology system, Abaxis Vetscan VS2 Clinical Chemistry Analyzers, Piccolo Xpress Chemistry Analyzer, Two Diagnostica Stago Coagulation Analyzers
  • Microbiology services: BSL-4: All in vivo studies as well as in vitro studies have access to classic microbiological and molecular biology assays to further understand infection and disease. Virus isolation, quantitative titration of viral load in swab, blood, tissue and cell culture models, serum neutralization using limiting dilution/plaque assays are all performed in a Specimen Processing Core.

cGLP or cGMP Capabilities

The NEIDL research/animal laboratories have been constructed to be GLP compatible and plans are in place to carry out “well documented” and GLP studies as needed.

Specialized Areas or Major Equipment Available

Additional specialized research support services, including all necessary equipment, are provided by the following Cores: Aerobiology- Utilizes modern aerobiological techniques for the delivery of aerosolized category A – C pathogens to model human respiratory infections in appropriate experimental mammalian species ranging from inbred mice to non-human primates.

  • Animal Vivaria and Services - Acts as the central support for all research projects utilizing animal models and is also responsible for assuring that all use of animals is humane and complies with all relevant policies and legal requirements.
  • Vector Transmitted Infectious Diseases - Facilitates investigations of the vector-pathogen-reservoir- intermediate host interactions that are critical to vector transmitted infectious diseases including the BSL-4 viruses that are vector transmitted and supports model systems for the study of BSL-4 virus interactions with arthropods (planned).
  • Collaborative Research - The gateway through which non-NEIDL investigators can access and utilize NEIDL BSL-4 facilities and capacities to further their research programs. Investigators from outside BU can also take advantage of the rich resources of the NEIDL and BU environments by becoming NEIDL Investigators.

Shared Resources within the Institution

Detailed descriptions of core facilities that are available on the medical campus to NEIDL investigators are provided at; core facilities on the BU campus expand our capabilities as well (see In addition, a variety of services are available through the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI;

Other specialized services available to the BU community are accessible through the Photonics Center (, the Department of Chemistry (Center for Molecular Discovery;, and the School of Engineering (systems biology and engineering, synthetic biology). For computational work, BU excels in bioinformatics (, computer science (Rafik Hariri Center Instititute for Computing and Computational Science and Engineering,, and is a founding member of the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (​), all of which enable “big data” storage and management.

Content last reviewed on November 14, 2016