Research_header

Research

Resources and ResearchThe GNL at UTMB is committed to advancing much-needed research in a safe, secure and state-of-the-science laboratory. Use of cutting-edge technologies and equipment, environmental controls, and state-of-the-art security systems provide experts in emerging and reemerging infectious diseases with the tools they need to advance medical research.

Scientists working in the GNL carry out multidisciplinary research into the causes, modes of transmission, and mechanisms of infectious diseases. This work includes studies aimed at developing a more holistic understanding of the biology and ecology of these diseases, their causes, interactions, influences, potential and nature - allowing for the translation of this knowledge into practical measures that can improve human health.

The main focus of the research at the Galveston National Laboratory is infectious disease research. This includes research on emerging infectious diseases that are impacting the health of people all over the world. The specialized biocontainment facilities make it possible for scientists to work safely on infectious pathogens for which there is no prevention or cure, with a goal of developing rapid diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines.

Sample research underway includes:

  • More than 100 different COVID-19 projects including basic research and translational projects
  • Development of vaccine platforms for coronaviruses (COVID-19, MERS)
  • Pre-clinical vaccine development for COVID-19
  • Testing of antiviral drug candidates for numerous pathogens, including COVID-19 and Bacillus anthracis
  • Tick-borne virus transmission studies 
  • Filovirus (Ebola, Marburg, Crimean Congo HF) immunology studies
  • Multivalent vaccine development and testing
  • Vaccine development for tick-borne flaviviruses
  • Pathogenicity testing on Henipa and Henipa-like viruses
  • Therapy development and other studies of mosquito borne viruses, including Zika, West Nile and Chikungunya
  • COVID-19 Research 
  • rVSV Vectored Vaccine to protect against Ebola and Marburg Viruses
  • Aerosol exposure testing
  • Defining a protective Ebola vaccine 
  • Vaccines against Argentine Hemorrhagic Fever
  • Zika virus vaccine testing
  • Rapid diagnostic development for arboviruses
  • And many more

Animal Research

For more information on animal research at UTMB, click here.

The investigators at the Galveston National Laboratory (GNL) are known around the world for both their basic research and their translational discoveries related to existing and emerging infectious diseases.

Operational support for the GNL is provided, in part, by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), an agency of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Additional support for operations of the lab is provided by the State of Texas. Individual research projects are funded by grants, contracts, and collaborative relationships with other universities, biomedical companies and agencies around the world.

Fast Facts:

The University of Texas Medical Branch opened the first BSL4 laboratory on a U.S. College campus -- the Shope Lab, prior to winning the bid to build the national lab.

 Construction of the national lab cost $173.6 million, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the State of Texas and private donors.

 More than 165 research projects take place each year at the highest level of containment, and there are more researchers working at high containment at the GNL than in any laboratory in the world.

Researchers focus on developing diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics, as well as learning about the pathology of emerging infectious diseases.

 The GNL is home to the World Reference Center for Emerging Viruses and Arboviruses, a collection of more than 7,000 different strains of more than 600 different viruses. This reference center provides research samples to laboratories around the world.

 UTMB serves as an international resource for training laboratory personnel to work safely in high containment. To date, the International Biosafety Training Center at UTMB has trained scientists, lab technicians, biosafety professionals, regulatory agency employees, animal care staff, and other personnel from more than 30 countries and 70 universities, federal laboratories and regulatory agencies around the world.