University of Chicago Regional Biocontainment Laboratory

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Contact Information

Director: Olaf Schneewind, Ph.D.

Animal Capabilities, including species and containment level(s)

  • Mouse (ABSL3)
  • Rat (ABSL3)
  • Guinea pig (ABSL3)

Animal Models, including species, disease, and delivery method

  • Mouse, rat, and guinea pig model for bubonic plague (subcutaneous or intra-dermal delivery)
  • Mouse, rat, and guinea pig model for pneumonic plague (intranasal instillation or aerosol exposure)
  • Mouse and guinea pig model for systemic anthrax (subcutaneous or intraperitoneal delivery)
  • Mouse and guinea pig model for gastrointestinal anthrax (oral delivery)
  • Mouse and guinea pig model for pulmonary anthrax (intranasal instillation or aerosol delivery)
  • Mouse model for multi-resistance Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection: Kidney abscess model (intravenous injection), Pneumonia (intranasal instillation)
  • Guinea pig model for MRSA (intravenous injection)
  • Guinea pig infection models of Streptococcus pyogenes (group A streptococci) (sub-Q and intranasal)
  • Mouse models of Yersiniosis (intra-peritonal and intra-gastric routes of delivery)
  • Mouse model of brucellosis
  • Mouse model of influenza virus (intranasal Instillation)


Select Agents with existing or anticipated CDC clearance: Yersinia pestis, Bacillus anthracis, Botulism neurotoxin A/G, Brucella abortus, Coxiella burnetii (anticipated), highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses

Other agents currently worked on: Yersinia enterocolitica, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA

Imaging Capabilities

Spectrofluorimeter, light microscope, epifluorescence microscope

Laboratory and Analytical Support

  • Immunology services: Mid-point ELISA (titers, isotype, epitope mapping), ELIspot, Luminex (multiplex cytokine detection), FACS. Rabbit polyclonal sera production, Mouse monoclonal antibody production.
  • Pathology services: Tissue harvesting, embedding and staining
  • Microbiology services: Growth curve, therapeutic MIC, cloning, gene KO. Phenotypic determination (western blot, immunofluorescence, etc.)

Ability To Accommodate cGLP or cGMP Studies?


Specialized Areas or Major Equipment Available

Tissue processing room (Necropsy). Aerobiology: nose-only exposure system for mice, rats or guinea pigs in Class III BSC in dedicated aerobiology room + self contained transport system for animals (not currently certified for BSL3). BD FACSAria sorter housed inside a biosafety cabinet

Shared Resources That Amplify and Expand Research Capabilities

The Howard Taylor Ricketts Laboratory is located at the Argonne National Lab where there are facilities for NexGen DNA sequencing, computation, and protein structure determination. Access to the ANL campus is restricted and thus provides a highly secure environment. The University of Chicago in Hyde Park has world-class facilities for mAb development and small molecule screening (not in containment).

Content last reviewed on November 14, 2016