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.

Tropical Storm & Hurricane Preparedness
For Storm Questions, Contact UTMB Media Relations at (409) 772-6397.

Tropical storms and hurricanes are a part of life on the Gulf Coast. That reality was a guiding force in every aspect of the GNL’s design and construction. The Galveston National Laboratory was built to withstand a direct hit from a hurricane, and the building's stability was proven in 2008 when Hurricane Ike came ashore at Galveston.

Emergency plans are updated annually, and all staff and students receive training to ensure their awareness of storm policies and staged shut-down procedures.

Peak hurricane season for Galveston Island tends to be the months of August and September, but staff are on alert throughout the season and weather conditions are constantly monitored and communicated throughout the organization. Whenever a storm threatens to form within the Gulf of Mexico, staff initiates storm preparations, which are designed to secure research, ensure the safety of laboratory animals and to prepare for operations with a smaller "stay team," in the event of a major storm event.

Unlike tornadoes, which can arrive with little to no warning, hurricane forecasting is relatively accurate and there is time to prepare.

During a major tropical storm or hurricane, it may be impossible for general phone lines to be answered at the GNL. However, the UTMB media relations team is always available to answer inquiries about the status of campus and the GNL. Their 24 hour hotline is (409) 772-6397.