Georgia State plans to add an additional research facility that will be a part of the Institute for Biomedical Sciences for researching and exploring the fundamentals of deadly viruses and pathogens, such as Ebola and Zika.
The 6-story building will house labs for biomedical research, in the university campus and will be the first of its kind in the Southeast, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
“This new building will house two new centers in the institute, one is the Center for Molecular and Translational Medicine and the other is for Translational Immunology,” Georgia State University President Mark Becker said in a university video, Conversation with the President.
The new infectious disease center will be equipped to handle sundry forms of viruses and pathogens, as researchers come from various parts of the world to assist in researching at Georgia State.
“The building will house over 160 employees; faculty, staff and student researchers that will generate more than $16 million a year in research funding,” Becker said in the video.
“Research funding has grown by nearly $40 million at Georgia State in the past two years,” said Vice President for Research and Economic Development James Weyhenmeyer, according to the Georgia State Magazine.
Dr. Chris Basler, founding director for the Center for Microbial Pathogenesis within the Institute for Biomedical Sciences, will lead the research in the new facility. Dr. Basler is a world-renowned research leader in the study of emerging viruses, and is new to Georgia State, according to Georgia State News Hub.
“I anticipate that the new facility will include standard laboratories as well as laboratories specially designed for work with pathogens that can cause serious diseases. I would expect that all the members of my lab would work in the standard laboratory and that a few members would also be trained to do the more specialized work,” Basler said.
It is not known if Georgia State students will have access to the new facility, however, Dr. Basler expects that any individual working in the new facility will have to undergo a security clearance prior to being permitted to work in the facility.
“While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention focuses on public health and controlling outbreaks, the main focus of the new facility will be basic research,” Basler said. “ We will try to understand the properties of the new virus and pathogens and use this information to understand why it causes disease and to devise treatments or vaccines for the new virus.”