The Biodefense Laboratory’s primary focus is analysis of clinical and environmental samples for the presence of highly pathogenic organisms. The NYS DOH Wadsworth Center Biodefense Laboratory is:

  • One of 14 Advanced Laboratory Response Network labs in the US capable of providing capacity for rapid response to biothreat events
  • One of 12 labs in the US receiving FDA funding as a Food Defense Microbiology Laboratory
  • USDA funded Food Emergency Response Network (FERN) laboratory

The Biodefense Laboratory:

  • Has BSL2 and BSL3 high containment laboratory space
  • Utilizes an All Hazard Receipt Facility (one of two commissioned by US DHS) for screening of environmental threat samples

The Biodefense Laboratory develops, validates, and applies new technology in the field of applied diagnostics and is actively involved in training first responders and clinical laboratorians. The lab works with federal agencies such as the CDC as well as innovative technology-based companies and manufacturers to develop, test, and validate cutting edge devices for the detection of biothreat agents.

The Biodefense Laboratory isolates and detects numerous biothreat agents and develops molecular assays and immunoassays to detect these agents in clinical, food, water, and environmental samples. The Biodefense Laboratory can test for the following pathogens and toxins that cause human and animal disease:

  • Bacillus anthracis*
  • Ricinus communis toxin
  • Brucella species
  • Burkholderia mallei*
  • Burkholderia pseudomallei*
  • Yersinia pestis*
  • Francisella tularensis*
  • Coxiella burnetii
  • Rickettsia species
  • Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxins
  • Clostridium botulinum toxin*
  • Ebola virus*
  • Orthopox viruses*

*Denotes Tier 1 Agents

CLIA# 33D2005937 | PFI# 8523 | ELAP # 11794 

Program Updates

Two of Wadsworth Center’s Own Receive National Awards

At this year’s annual meeting of the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL), two Wadsworth Center scientists were honored.   Elizabeth Nazarian, MT (ASCP) received the Silver Award for her contributions including her work to establish the Northeast Antimicrobial Resistance Laboratory at Wadsworth Center, her role in developing over 50 laboratory developed tests and authoring 40 papers.

Dr. Christina Egan & Michael Perry Receive the 2019 North American Global 3Rs Award from AAALAC International and the IQ Consortium

This award recognizes those who effectively advance ethical science through significant, innovative contributions to the 3Rs of animal research - Refinement, Replacement and Reduction. Up to four such awards are presented annually – one each from North America, Europe, the Pacific Rim, and countries outside these three geographic areas.

Wadsworth Center’s Winning Team

“Yesterday’s home runs don’t win today’s games.” -Babe Ruth As any fan or parent who spends countless hours at the field can tell you, it’s baseball season. Just as the baseball stars we watch on TV have put decades of hard work into becoming the best in their field, so too have the Wadsworth Center staff who received national recognition at the annual Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) meeting this June. Their many contributions and exceptional leadership over the years make them all winners.

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul Visits Wadsworth Center's David Axelrod Institute for Public Health

On Monday June 15th the Lieutenant Governor, the Honorable Kathy Hochul, visited the David Axelrod Institute. She had specifically asked to learn more about our preparedness and biodefense activities, so the first stop was a tour of the Biodefense Laboratory. Dr. Christina Egan described the laboratory’s capabilities to detect agents-of-concern in white powders, as well as other environmental samples, and the major push in the development and evaluation of new technologies since the anthrax attacks of 2001.