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Biodefense Laboratory

Laboratory Overview

The Biodefense Laboratory’s primary focus is analysis of clinical and environmental samples for the presence of highly pathogenic organisms such as anthrax, plague, and smallpox. When anthrax was used as a bioterrorist agent in 2001, the Laboratory rapidly analyzed over 1,000 suspicious materials and clinical specimens for the presence of Bacillus anthracis, the bacterium that causes anthrax. The Biodefense Laboratory isolates and detects numerous biothreat agents and develops molecular assays, as well as immunoassays, to detect these agents in clinical matrices, food, water, and environmental samples.  The Biodefense Lab develops, validates and applies new technology in the field of applied diagnostics and is actively involved in training first responders and clinical laboratorians. The Biodefense Laboratory's mission encompasses five critical focus areas: SERVE.