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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 partial 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 emerging and re-emerging diseases that threaten public health, not only in our country, but around the world.

Researchers at the GNL are internationally known for their expertise working with pathogens including Ebola and Marburg and emerging infectious diseases like COVID-19 and MERS.  Scientists not only research the pathogens , they also study the vectors for disease threats.  These include mosquitos, which carry and transmit West Nile, Zika, Malaria, Chikungunya and many other diseases, and ticks, which cause diseases that are of grave concern and top priority to the National Institutes of Health.  In addition to basic research that aides understanding about transmission and pathogenesis of emerging viruses, GNL scientists are developing medical countermeasures for disease threats, including Select Agents, which are high priority for study because of their high mortality rates, limited treatments and potential to be used as weapons around the world.

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.

Hurricane Season Information

In North America, Hurricane Season runs from June 1 through November 30, and for 2024, experts are predicting an active season. For the Gulf Coast of Texas, peak hurricane season historically occurs from mid-August through September. The Galveston National Lab was built to withstand a Category 5 hurricane, but our teams rigorously prepare for all levels of hurricanes, tropical storms and disturbances. 

Prior to peak season, investigators complete product development and preclinical studies and do not initiate any new studies that might risk interruption due to approaching storms. Peak hurricane season is when special laboratory maintenance projects are completed, and only short-term research studies take place.

We monitor weather throughout the storm season and follow detailed closure plans should a storm form in the Gulf or eventually directly threaten Galveston Island. An on-site ride-out team including security, engineering, maintenance, animal care and lab directors stay within the facility during storms, but phones and internet communications within the facility or on campus may not be functioning.

For media inquiries during storm season or any time, contact UTMB Media Relations. Their 24-hour hotline is 409-772-6397.

Check out the new
Infectious Science Podcast, sponsored by UTMB One Health and the Galveston National Lab