National Biocontainment Training Center

BiosafetyUTMB is proud to be home to the National Biocontainment Training Program. The NBTC is dedicated to preparing infectious disease scientists to work safely in high-containment research laboratories worldwide. The NBTC enhances UTMBís existing internationally recognized Laboratory Biosafety Training Program and will serve as the hub of instruction for the nationís emerging infectious disease and biodefense researchers.

GNL employees are required to complete a thorough training program appropriate for their levels of access before they are allowed to work in the facility. For the most sensitive BSL 2, 3 and 4 areas, that regimen includes classroom and hands-on training keyed to the individualís knowledge, bench skills and techniques. No one – regardless of experience – is granted lab access until they have demonstrated proficiency at his or her required biosafety level, and been certified by the training team. As part of the process, each trainee must work for a prescribed period of time under the direction of an experienced mentor before being allowed to enter and work independently in the lab.

In carrying out its mission, the GNL will welcome scientists from around the world who have research projects that require a BSL4 facility. Similarly, partnerships with industry will also mean non-UTMB scientists seeking to conduct work at the BSL. Even if those researchers have received training elsewhere, they must undergo the comprehensive UTMB process before they may enter the lab; as an alternative, UTMB researchers can carry out the project on another organizationís behalf.

This work is an extension of the advanced lab practices and procedures training UTMB has long provided for lab personnel at other institutions and that has earned the team a national reputation for excellence. In fact, UTMBís biosafety training program is the hub of instruction for the biocontainment researchers of tomorrow. With expanded construction of biocontainment research space over the past decade in the U.S., there is an urgent need to increase the number of highly trained researchers and support staff available to safely operate these high tech facilities. To date UTMBís expert technicians, instructors and safety personnel have trained more than 1,000 individuals for work in BSL2, 3 and 4-level labs nationwide and more than 200 graduate and post-graduate students. Technical competence, comprehensive knowledge, proper protection, strict adherence to protocols, and one-on-one mentoring are the key elements of UTMBís biosafety training program. Indeed, the universityís copyrighted training manuals are so widely sought after that plans are underway to publish them.

Visit UTMB's National Biocontainment Training Program here.

Visit UTMB's Biosafety Training Program here.

Find information on the NBTCís Biocontainment Training Fellowship here.