Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Dr. David Wood to Present at International Conference of Biocontainment Facilities

Dr. David Wood, professor and chair of the department of microbiology and immunology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, will give a presentation titled “Designing (and redesigning) BSL-3 labs to pass ‘Failure Scenario’ requirements” at the 2014 International Conference of Biocontainment Facilities on April 10, 2014.

Dr. Wood has been involved in the planning of USA’s new Laboratory of Infectious Diseases for four years. “I was asked by a representative of WorkingBuildings, the commissioning agent for the building, if I would be interested in relating our successes and problems associated with designing and establishing a Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3) facility,” said Dr. Wood. WorkingBuildings submitted an abstract to Tradeline -- a company that provides facility planning and management information to facility planners, managers, and executives through a series of conferences -- and it was selected for a presentation.

According to Dr. Wood, there is a tremendous expansion of new facilities and renovation of BSL-3 and BSL-4 laboratories across the country. This conference provides an opportunity for architects, engineers, construction companies and scientists to meet and discuss the issues involved in establishing and running a biosafety laboratory. Individual experiences vary but collectively can provide insights into optimum design and operation.

“The conference is important for USA because we are close to opening the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, a new state-of-the-art research facility,” said Dr. Wood. “The conference will permit interactions with others who have already addressed problems we may face as we establish an operational facility. In addition, other facilities and investigators can benefit from our experiences.”

Dr. Wood has played a critical role in the development of USA’s biocontainment facilities. He has conducted investigative research at USA’s existing BSL-3 facility, the Laboratory of Molecular Biology, for almost 30 years. In addition, he was lead investigator for the NIH grant that funded the new laboratory building.”

Dr. Wood, as chair of the microbiology and immunology department, will be acting director of the new laboratory when it opens for operation later this year.

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