Biocontainment Laboratory—George Mason University Center for Infectious Disease Research (CIDR)

The George Mason University Center for Infectious Disease Research Biomedical Research Laboratory (BRL) is one of the NIAID-supported Biocontainment Laboratories. The RBL supports research programs in the Center for Infectious Disease Research focusing on host response using proteomics and nanotechnology as they are applied to diagnostic, therapeutic, and vaccine development.

More information about this resource is available at George Mason Center for Infectious Disease Research

Main Areas of Focus

  • To perform pioneering research of infectious diseases, both emerging and potential bio threat agents.
  • To maintain capability of housing multiple species, from rodents to nonhuman primates, and has a variety of established animal models with an emphasis on aerosolized exposures.

Who Can Use This Resource

  • Investigators in academia, not-for-profit organizations, industry, and government studying biodefense and emerging infectious diseases may request the use of biocontainment laboratories.

How To Get Started

  • Please contact the BRL directly for further information.

Support Services

Laboratory and Analytical Support

  • Immunology Services
    • FACSAria II flow cytometer BSL-2 and BSL-3
    • Cirascan Imager (Auson Biosystems) for multiplexed ELISA (BSL-2 and BSL-3)
  • Pathology Services
    • Dedicated necropsy suite with a Class II, Type B2 biosafety cabinet, downdraft table, cryostat, and tissue digester
  • Microbiology Services
    • Microbial identification (Biochemical or 16S rRNA)
    • Compound library and combinatorial library screening
    • Minimal Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) assay
    • Minimal Bactericidal Concentration (MBC) assay
    • Time-kill kinetic assays
    • Microbial quantitation through q-PCR and q-RT-PCR
    • Resistance development/mutant selection
    • Virus isolation, quantitative measurements of viral load in blood, tissue and cell culture models
  • Nanoparticle Services
    • qNano, particle density and quantity measurement
    • Nanoaerosol for therapeutic delivery

Ability to Accommodate cGLP or cGMP Studies?



Animal Capabilities, Including Species and Containment Level(s)

All available at BSL2 and BSL3 levels

  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Rabbits
  • Ferrets
  • Non-human primates
  • Poultry

Animal Models, List Species, Disease and Delivery Method

Models Currently Available

Famliy Genus Species Strain Method Animal
Togaviridae Alphavirus Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus TC-83 Intranasal C3H/HeN Mice (BSL-2)
Togaviridae Alphavirus Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus TrD Intranasal and aerosol BALB/c Mice (BSL-3)
Bunyaviridae Phlebovirus Rift Valley fever virus MP12, MP12-Luc Intraperitoneal IFNAR-/- Mice (BSL-2)
Bunyaviridae Phlebovirus Rift Valley fever virus ZH501 Subcutaneous BALB/c Mice (BSL-3)
Francisellaceae Francisella novicida U112 Inhaled, IN, IP, PO Mus musculus (BSL-2)
Francisellaceae Francisella novicida U112 Injection Galleria mellonella (BSL-2)
Francisellaceae Francisella novicida LVS Injection Galleria mellonella (BSL-2)
Francisellaceae Francisella aeruginosa   Injection Galleria mellonella (BSL-2)


  • Yersinia pestis
  • Franscisella tularansis
  • Bacillus anthracis
  • Burkholderia pseudomallei
  • B. mallei
  • Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus
  • Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus
  • Rift Valley fever virus
  • Influenza A and B viruses
  • Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza viruses
  • Dengue virus
  • Chikungunya virus
  • Pichinde virus
  • Sindbis virus
  • Western Equine Encephalitis Virus
  • SARS-CoV-2

Imaging Capabilities

  • Nikon TE-2000 confocal microscope equipped with a live
  • Caliper IVIS Lumina II Bioluminescence/Fluorescence for
  • EVOS Cell Imaging System (BSL-2)

Major Equipment Available

  • Aerobiology Unit: Class III glove box, Mobile glove box unit and interlocking biosafety cabinets for animal transfer, Biaera AeroMP Automated Aerosol Generator, Whole body, Nose-only exposures and Head-only exposure chambers, and Buxco Plethysmography system with rabbit and nonhuman primate chambers
  • Telemetry Unit: Data Sciences International hardware and Ponemah software for remote telemetry monitoring of small and large animals (ABSL-3)
  • Abaxis Piccolo blood chemistry analyzer (ABSL-3)
  • Laser Capture Microdissection (BSL-2)
  • Nanoparticles for the discovery of biomarkers in body fluids (BSL-2)
  • Humanized Mouse Model Capabilities: RS 2000 Irradiator, NOD/SCID BLT, Rag2-/- gc-/-and NOG models available (BSL-2)
  • 880 DTX Universal Plate Reader (BSL2 and BSL3)
  • ABI StepOne Plus Real Time PCR Instrument
  • Cirascan Imager (Auson Biosystems) for multiplexed ELISA for host response quantification

Shared Resources


  • Reverse Phase protein MicroArray pathway analysis: The NCBID has established strong collaborative relationships with the proteomics experts at GMU to enable studies that quantitate changes in host signaling proteins. The system is a unique protein microarray platform in conjunction with over 500 validated antibodies that span multiple innate immune responses of the human host. The system is backed by a unique informatics capability that enables data integration and pathway mapping.
  • Unbiased proteomics: The NCBID is equipped to perform mass spectrometry (LC-MS-MS, MALDI-MS, LAESI-MS) based proteomics studies for obtaining quantitative and qualitative information on host responses.
  • Nanotrap, concentration for low abundance analytes
  • GC-MS
  • HPLC
  • FPLC

Contact Information