For Researchers

The Tufts New England Regional Biosafety Laboratory (RBL) is available to regional investigators—including scientists from academia, not-for-profit organizations, industry and government—studying biodefense, infectious diseases, and emerging infectious diseases requiring biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) laboratories or animal (ABSL-3) accommodations.

The laboratory is located in Grafton Science Park, adjacent to the campus of the Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, in North Grafton, MA.

The Tufts New England RBL is able to serve investigators who require:

  • a safe and secure facility to perform work on BSL-3 pathogens;
  • small animal models, including rodents, rabbits, ferrets, birds, and piglets;
  • aerobiology and insectary capabilities;
  • veterinary expertise and/or support services;
  • Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) compliant studies;
  • DOD BSAT studies.

Please visit the Capabilities page for more specifics on the RBL.

If you would like more information about including the use of RBL facilities or services in your next funding application, please visit our Funding Resources page.

Current RBL investigators at the Cummings School, members of its highly regarded Department of Infectious Disease and Global Health (IDGH), have expertise in multiple Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Disease (BEID) categories; in particular, the biology, pathogenesis, immunopathology, pathophysiology, transmission, prevention, treatment and diagnosis of a wide spectrum of NIAID priority pathogens.  Consultation with IDGH scientists is available to support the work of outside investigators.

Additional specific expertise includes:

  • Vaccine development and evaluation, including thermostable, micro-needle and needle-free delivery methods.
  • Development of animal models for the evaluation of vaccine candidates and therapeutics.
  • Development and preclinical evaluation of therapeutic and prophylactic agents.
  • Food and water security, involving development of sensitive detection methods for microorganisms.

Work at the RBL will focus on NIAID Category A, B, and C BSL-3 Priority Pathogens; researchers at the RBL and the Department of Infectious Disease and Global Health are experienced with the following diseases, pathogens and toxins, only some of which require BSL-3 containment:

  • Bacillus anthracis
  • Francisella tularensis
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB), multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR TB) and extensively drug resistant tuberculosis (XDR TB)
  • Staphylococcal enterotoxins (SE)
  • Yersinia pestis
  • Clostridium difficile and related toxins
  • Shiga-toxin producing E. coli (STEC) and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS)
  • Shigella dysenteriae type 1; S. flexneri spp.; S. sonnei
  • Clostridium botulinum toxins A-G
  • Multi-drug resistant strains of ESKAPE pathogens:
    • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
    • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
    • Klebsiella pneumoniae (including Carbapenem-Resistant (CRKP))
    • Enterobacter spp. including carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE)
    • Acinetobacter baumannii
  • Cryptosporidium spp. (C. parvum, C. hominis, C. meleagridis)
  • Microsporidium spp. (Enterocytozoon bieneusi and Encephalitozoon intestinalis)
  • Enteric viruses (astrovirus, rotavirus, norovirus)
  • Schistosoma spp.
  • Arboviruses including:
    • Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)
    • Venezuelan Equine Encephalomyelitis (VEE)
    • Western Equine Encephalitis (WEE)
    • West Nile Virus (WNV).

The New England Regional Biosafety Laboratory Information Summary includes this and other information about the mission and capabilities of the facility.

More information about Tufts New England RBL researchers and their specific areas of research interest can be found on the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine’s IDGH website. Other Cummings School contract and collaborative research capabilities can be viewed online as well.

For more information about the New England RBL and how we can assist in your research, please contact us.