Life-Saving Research

The proposed Arnold 8 Biosafety Laboratory will enable Tufts medical researchers to find new treatments and cures for serious diseases such as tuberculosis that affect millions of people around the world. Tuberculosis (TB) will be the primary focus of the Arnold 8 Biosafety Laboratory’s research. According to the World Health Organization, tuberculosis infects as much as a third of the world's population. In Boston, TB is approximately 20 times more common among Asians than Caucasians. As a biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) facility, the new lab will provide a fully regulated, safe and secure environment in which our researchers can study microorganisms that cause TB and other serious but treatable infectious diseases that can be transmitted to people who breathe air contaminated with those organisms. Such organisms can only be studied in a BSL-3 laboratory, which has the specialized air handling systems and other protective features to enable workers to study them safely, securely and effectively.

Tufts University School of Medicine and its Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology have been at the forefront of infectious disease research for decades. More than 40 years ago, the first chair of the department discovered how penicillin kills bacteria. More recently, we uncovered why HIV generates resistance to drugs so quickly, knowledge that is essential to how we treat HIV/AIDS today. Until now, our faculty have focused their research in areas that do not require a BSL-3 laboratory.  Today, however, there is a growing and unmet need for research that requires a BSL-3 laboratory. For example, BSL-3 laboratories are needed to study a number of diseases that were previously under control but have re-emerged in more severe strains. Most other world-class microbiology departments already have BSL-3 laboratories. Without such a lab, School of Medicine researchers are increasingly limited in their ability to study serious infectious diseases. 

The Arnold 8 Biosafety Laboratory will help John Leong, MD, PhD, the chair of the microbiology department, to recruit more top researchers in infectious disease and help current faculty to expand their research.

Additional Information on TUSM Researchers:

Innovative Approaches to Curing Disease


Profile of John Leong, MD, PhD

John M Leong 博士, 醫學博士