BLACKSBURG, Va., Nov. 29, 2006 – About $1 million in improvements designed to increase capacity and enhance animal housing facilities have been made in the Center for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Diseases (CMMID).
An existing BioSafety Level 2 facility was upgraded to BL-3 standards, which means that the extended college and university community now has access to two full-scale BL-3 labs, which are necessary to support research associated with highly infectious pathogens.
CMMID has become an integral resource for the university research community. About a dozen researchers at the Virginia Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, as well as faculty in other colleges at Virginia Tech, the Virginia Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute, and Wake Forest University are associated with research underway at CMMID. Total funding of that research is about $22,300,000.
Funding for the improvements came from a combination of university and college sources.
"We're pleased to make these investments in our facilities," said Virginia Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine Dean Gerhardt Schurig. "This is critical infrastructure for the future development of the college's infectious disease and immunology programs."
In addition to doubling the center's BL-3 capacity, an extensive new security system with biometric scanners was installed, environmental monitoring equipment was added, some additional autoclaves were introduced and other physical plant improvements were made.
The Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine (VMRCVM) is a two-state, three-campus professional school operated by the land-grant universities of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg and the University of Maryland at College Park. Its flagship facilities, based at Virginia Tech, include the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, which treats more than 40,000 animals annually. Other campuses include the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, Va., and the Avrum Gudelsky Veterinary Center at College Park, home of the Center for Government and Corporate Veterinary Medicine. The VMRCVM annually enrolls approximately 500 Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and graduate students, is a leading biomedical and clinical research center, and provides professional continuing education services for veterinarians practicing throughout the two states. Virginia Tech, the most comprehensive university in Virginia, is dedicated to quality, innovation, and results to the commonwealth, the nation, and the world.