Pacific Health Research Lab02 February 2012
Delayed for several years because of failed efforts to secure the necessary $15 million in funds required to match the $32.5 million in grant funds from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the University of Hawaii is back on track to build a $47.5-million, stand-alone ABSL-3/BSL-3 biosafety laboratory for infectious diseases research on a two-acre site at the former Barbers Point Naval Air Station in Kalaeloa. Barring unanticipated delays, construction would begin in late 2013 with commissioning in 2016. The facility, named the Pacific Health Research Lab, will be part of the Regional Biocontainment Laboratory network and will serve as a regional resource for research on new, emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases and for emergency response to naturally occurring epidemics or bioterrorism events. The Pacific Health Research Lab at Kalaeloa is envisioned to become an integral part of the COBRE Center and provide much-needed additional BSL-3/ABSL-3 capacity to foster closer collaborations with public health and military partners, as well as biotech companies and other research-intensive universities.