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October 6, 2004 Denise Fitzpatrick
(502) 852-6171
denise.fitzpatrick@louisville.edu

U OF L SEEKING COMMUNITY INPUT ON PLAN FOR BIOSAFETY LAB

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The University of Louisville is preparing an application for federal funds to build a new lab where researchers would work to develop “smart” vaccines to fight bioterrorism and emerging infectious diseases.

Researchers at the facility would focus on predictive medicine, a new area of study geared toward protecting people from difficult-to-control diseases such as influenza, Legionnaire’s disease and antibiotic-resistant tuberculosis. U of L already is conducting important research on the role of immunity in fighting many infectious diseases.

The lab, tentatively being called the Center for Predictive Medicine, would join a growing number of Level 3 Regional Biosafety Labs being built throughout the United States. Among the nine universities now building such labs are the University of Chicago, the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University of Tennessee at Memphis.

U of L’s proposed lab, which would be partly funded by the National Institutes of Health, would serve the Ohio Valley region, an area covering Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, western Virginia and southern Indiana, Ohio and Illinois.

The university is now considering the feasibility of different sites for the lab. One possible location is Shelby Campus, which has enough space for the facility. However, U of L is seeking community input before choosing that campus as the preferred location.

U of L officials will be working with leaders of the communities around Shelby Campus to get their feedback on the proposed lab, which is part of a larger, long-term initiative to develop the campus.

The deadline for U of L to apply to build the facility is Dec. 29.

For more information, see www.louisville.edu/community/biosafetylab or call 502-852-1113.

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