Our Mission: Improved Health Through Technology and Education. Under safe and secure conditions, scientists will study areas that affect animal and human populations. Research into animal and human diseases has become increasingly vital to both animal and human health. With the addition of the Animal Health Research Center to the University of Georgia, investigators will have a new opportunity to contribute to this important area of research.
The Animal Health Research Center (AHRC) at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine is a 74,500 gross square feet (GSF) free?standing building designed for the study of emerging and zoonotic infectious diseases of humans and other animals. The AHRC is the centerpiece of the university’s infectious disease research program, serving as a keystone resource for interdisciplinary and intercollegiate work in high containment infectious disease research on the UGA campus. The specialized BSL?3?Ag capabilities will also allow for previously unrealized collaborations between university researchers and colleagues in academia, government, and industry who are involved in infectious disease research and vaccine development. Additionally, the facility’s resources are well suited to support research on plant pathogens that requires high level biocontainment.
The AHRC core animal facility encompasses 16,000 GSF that consists of 14 animal rooms (2 large and 12 small) capable of housing multiple species of animals including rodents, poultry, and livestock in either biosafety level 3 (ABSL?3) and/or biosafety level 3 agriculture (BSL3?Ag) environments. Support space includes cage and rack washing and bulk sterilization, an integrated pathology suite designed for post mortem evaluation of large and small animals, a 400 lb/hr capacity waste incinerator, and a 4,500 lb capacity alkaline hydrolysis tissue digester. All waste effluent is sterilized on site. Key design elements incorporated to assure seamless and effective pathogen containment include: High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filtered supply air and double HEPA filtered exhaust air; differential pressures within containment zones; shower out capabilities for each animal room; decontamination equipment; and sterilization systems for both solid and liquid waste. The animal facility also houses an enhanced BSL?3laboratory suite (~2,000 GSF), consisting of five laboratories. In addition, there are seven BSL?3
laboratories on the second floor totaling 10,000 GSF and 5 BSL?2 laboratories occupying 3,750 GSF that are used in infectious disease studies and a 765 GSF pilot biofermentation laboratory supporting vaccine development.