Media Advisory: Media Invited to Colorado State University Ribbon Cutting for Regional Biocontainment Laboratory, Infectious Disease Symposium

WHAT:     Colorado State University will unveil its new 38,000-square-foot Regional Biocontainment Laboratory during a ribbon cutting ceremony, followed by a symposium featuring cutting-edge research on infectious disease from national experts. The $30 million laboratory is devoted to the university’s efforts in infectious disease research, and the ribbon cutting will be the media’s only opportunity for a tour and photos before the building is closed to the public and research begins. Media tours begin immediately after the ceremony.

     The inaugural university Infectious Disease Supercluster Symposium will follow the ceremony, featuring presentations by several of the nation’s top infectious disease researchers.

     This 33,850-square-foot Regional Biocontainment Laboratory is among the most secure in the world, featuring level-three biocontainment security. Its advanced safety and security measures will allow university experts – who are among the best in the world in researching infectious disease – to diligently find ways to prevent, diagnose and cure infectious illnesses.


WHERE:      Ribbon cutting at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2 at Colorado State University’s Foothills Campus. Symposium at 1 p.m., at the Fort Collins Hilton. RSVP is required for security reasons and more information is below.

DETAILS:     The ribbon cutting ceremony features comments by Colorado State President Larry Edward Penley; Bill Farland, vice president for research; Tony Frank, provost; Mike Kurilla, NIAID associate director for Biodefense Product Development and director of the Office of Biodefense Research Activities within NIAID’s Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases; and Barry Beaty, Colorado State’s Infectious Disease Supercluster director. Additional remarks by state legislators are tentatively scheduled.

Funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease and matching funds from the university, the grant to build the laboratory was announced in 2003. The biosecurity level 3 laboratory will be home to internationally recognized research into infectious diseases already underway at Colorado State, a leading international site for infectious disease research including West Nile virus, drug resistant tuberculosis, yellow fever, dengue, hantavirus and others.

The new lab will complement similar research already underway at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s infectious disease program as well as the university’s existing Bioenvironmental Hazards Research Building and its Arthropod-borne and Infectious Diseases Laboratory.

The symposium will feature the following presentations:

–     Peter Palese, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, "Influenza virus pandemic: past and future."

–     Roy Curtiss, III, Arizona State University, "Progress toward developing a live recombinant attenuated Salmonella vaccine to induce cross-protective immunity to enteric bacterial pathogens"

–     Ian Lipkin, Columbia University, "Pathogen surveillance and discovery in acute and chronic disease."


REQUIRED:      RSVP is required to attend due to security. To RSVP, contact Dell Rae Moellenberg, Office of Public Relations, 970-491-6009 or at by 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28.