Students and the GNL

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Students and the GNL

Students at the University of Texas Medical Branch have the unique opportunity to receive specialized training and experience working in one of the most sophisticated, high-containment laboratories in the world.

The Galveston National Laboratory (GNL) is one of only two Biosafety Level 4 (BSL4) research facilities located on an American university campus. As such, it provides UTMB students with the enviable opportunity to work their way up through a rigorous Biosafety Training Program that leads to mentored training working directly with faculty recognized as some of the most accomplished infectious disease scientists in the world.

Students at UTMB work with faculty who are focused on both basic and translational research on emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases like drug-resistant TB, Zika virus, chikungunya, dengue, MERS, influenza, Ebola and other hemorrhagic fevers, Plague, Tularemia, Hepatitis C, Chagas, and dozens of other public health threats.

Student efforts contribute to new discoveries and better understanding of disease pathogenesis, translational successes such as diagnostics and therapeutics, and published works that help to pave the way for scientists around the world.

Training to work at the BSL4 level is a progressive and highly personalized process. Training covers personal safety, equipment operation, protocols and procedures, and laboratory operations at all levels of biocontainment. It typically takes the equivalent of a full year to complete. That training is followed by 100 hours of direct mentorship for each student with a Principal Investigator before independent access is granted. Graduate students who elect to pursue BSL4 access commit to a demanding schedule of training and laboratory work in addition to typical graduate study.