Welcome to the Galveston National Lab

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The Galveston National Laboratory (GNL) is a sophisticated high containment research facility that serves as a critically important resource in the global fight against infectious diseases. The GNL is located on the campus of the University of Texas Medical Branch and operates under the umbrella of UTMB’s Institute for Human Infections and Immunity.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) provides funding for the BSL4 laboratories and operations at the GNL, and the lab’s top priority is research to develop diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines to combat the most dangerous diseases in the world.

Researchers at the GNL are internationally known for their expertise working with pathogens including Ebola and Marburg, emerging infectious diseases like MERS, and mosquito borne viruses like Zika and Chikungunya. Research also focuses on understanding transmission and pathogenesis of emerging viruses and developing medical countermeasures for dangerous pathogens that can be weaponized.

The Galveston National Laboratory is home to research that is funded by NIAID, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and other federal agencies, as well as academic partners, private foundations, and the Biopharmaceutical industry.

Novel Coronavirus 2019/2020

The Galveston National Laboratory is uniquely positioned to assist with research on the new Coronavirus that appears to have originated in Wuhan, China.

Principle Investigators at UTMB have a history of research on other human Coronaviruses, including SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome). Research conducted in the Biosafety Level 3 containment labs at the GNL has resulted in a clear understanding of the pathology of these diseases and has led to the development and testing of different vaccine candidates that have proven to protect against the diseases in animal models.

Currently, the GNL, like other research labs around the world, is working with the US Centers for Disease Control to acquire an actual isolate of the virus, possibly from one of the recently-identified U.S.-based patients.  Once our scientists have a sample of the virus, they can begin testing existing therapies against it and can also work to develop a new vaccine platform, respiratory therapies and diagnostic tools.

Representatives from the GNL have been busy providing local and national media representatives with general information about this category of viruses. Journalists in need of expert commentary can contact UTMB Media Relations 24 hours a day at 409 772 6397.