Biocontainment Laboratory: University of Tennessee

The University of Tennessee Regional Biocontainment Laboratory (RBL) is one of the NIAID-supported Biocontainment Laboratories. The RBL provides a secure lab for conducting research on Category A and B infectious pathogens using state-of-the-art molecular pathogenesis and immunologic approaches. The RBL continues to enhance University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s ability to compete for additional research projects in virology, bacterial pathogenesis and immunology.

Main Areas of Focus

  • To develop new drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics to protect the general population from infectious diseases and bioterrorism.

How To Get Started

  • Please contact the RBL directly for further information.

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.

Support Services

Laboratory and Analytical Support

  • Immunology services: Flow cytometry, cell sorting, multiplex bead array system (luminex).
  • Pathology services: Sample collection, necropsy, tissue harvest and processing.
  • Microbiology services: Spiral plater, colony counter, NAAT systems BANG aerosol generator.

Ability To Accommodate cGLP or cGMP Studies?

Currently cGLP capable and operational in 1 ABSL-3 suite.


Animal Capabilities, Including Species and Containment Level(s)

All containment at ABSL3

  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Guinea pigs
  • Hamsters
  • Ferrets

Animal Models, Including Species, Disease, and Delivery Method

All models are with mice:

  • Francesialla tularensis (aerosol, intranasal, intradermal)
  • Burkholderia pseudomallei (aerosol, intranasal, intradermal)
  • Chlamydia psittaci (intranasal, ip)
  • C. trachomatis [muridarum] (intravaginal)
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis (aerosol and intranasal)
  • Influenza BSL-2 stains (aerosol and intranasal)


Currently approved for work with:

  • F. tularensis
  • B. pseudomallei
  • SARS-CoV

Imaging Capabilities

  • Xenogen IVIS spectrum in BSL3
  • Deltavision
  • Deconvoluting live cell microscopy with environmental chamber in BSL3

Major Equipment Available

  • FACSAria flow cytometer/cell sorter
  • CH Technologies nose-only bioaerosol generator (BANG, mice only)
  • Luminex multiplex system
  • IVIS Spetrum
  • Delta Vision deconvolution microscope
  • RT-PCR
  • Perkin Elmer high throughput Janus Robots (one in BSL2, one in BSL3)
  • Envision plate readers

Shared Resources

  • Proteomic MS facility
  • Solid deep sequencing systems (two)
  • Affymetrix-based global transcriptomic facility
  • Confocal microscopy systems (5)
  • Transmission and scanning EM facility
Content last reviewed on November 17, 2017