Outbreak Response—Integrated Research Facility at Fort Detrick

The primary objective of the response team is to develop and foster overseas relationships through the support of research studies and clinical trials.

The team has collaborated on projects with achievements that include establishment of serologic testing as a primary endpoint for vaccine trials in Mali, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone; testing and refinement of diagnostic assays for alternative matrices to support public health measures and clinical trial endpoints; genome-wide association study of Ebola virus disease survivors; and training of first responders and laboratory staff in appropriate use of personal protective equipment and portable containment devices in south central Africa and Middle Africa.

Today, the response team at the IRF-Frederick supports research laboratories in four countries in Western and Middle Africa. These efforts assist with clinical trials and research studies, build local and national capacity through laboratory and biosafety trainings, and respond to public health crises as requested.


  • Work with overseas partners to establish research laboratories
  • Laboratory training for safe handling of high-consequence pathogens in low‑resource settings
  • Point-of-care clinical assays to support care and management of patients in low‑resource settings
  • Development and deployment of diagnostic assays
  • Support of clinical trials and research studies, including:
    • Collection, processing, storage, and transport of samples in low‑resource settings
    • Serologic testing
    • Molecular testing
    • Biosafety training
  • Training materials in a number of languages (including English, French, and Portuguese) for:
    • Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)
    • GeneXpert
    • Ebola virus diagnostics
    • Serology
    • Use of personal protective equipment
    • Basic laboratory safety
    • Bloodborne pathogens
    • Safe packaging of samples for transport
    • Portable isolators


All procedures are well-documented and adhere to standard operating procedures (SOPs), methods, or study-approved plans and agreements.

Collaboration Opportunities

  • Studies relevant to human disease
  • Use of surrogate systems to test clinical hypotheses
  • Use of biological systems to answer questions regarding disease pathogenesis and strategies for intervention including antimicrobials, vaccines, and other countermeasures
  • Developing and incorporating cutting-edge technologies to understand infectious diseases

Read more about how to work with the IRF-Frederick.


Integrated Research Facility at Fort Detrick (IRF-Frederick)

Contact Information

Jens H. Kuhn, M.D., Ph.D., Ph.D., M.S.
Principal Scientist and Director of Virology (Contractor)