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The Eva J. Pell Laboratory for Advanced Biological Research

Eva J. Pell ABSL3 Laboratory for Advanced Biological Research

Penn State's ABSL3 laboratory is available for research with biological agents requiring a bio-containment facility.

Eva J. Pell Laboratory

Penn State recognizes the urgent need to improve our nation's defenses against emerging public health threats and the importance of cutting-edge research in an effort to develop diagnostic tests, treatments and vaccines to combat infectious diseases. The Eva J. Pell Laboratory at Penn State functions as part of a critical national network of secure bio-containment facilities that will not only help solve society's most pressing health issues, but is also capable of supporting a national response in the event of a bio-defense emergency.

Research Capabilities

Researchers at the Pell ABSL-3 Laboratory work with biological agents that have the potential to cause serious human, animal and/or plant disease and result in significant economic consequences. Examples include West Nile virus, Chikungunya virus, avian influenza and tularemia. The Pell Lab has been inspected and approved by the NIH and Centers for Disease Control for the use of biological select agents and toxins, including those designated as Tier 1. The lab has maintained its registration status since 2014 and is available for use by external agencies as well as Penn State investigators, who welcome contract and collaborative research opportunities.

Pell Laboratory Facilities

The Pell building is a self-contained, stand alone facility - which means that all materials, including waste products, are managed on site for increased safety. This specially designed structure has its own steam plant, two sources of water and power, a backup generator, autoclaves and an effluent decontamination system. There are also redundant systems for both supply and exhaust air with inward directional airflow.

The lab is designed to criteria mandated by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The building contains 22,000 square feet with approximately 6000 square feet of bio-containment laboratory space. The remaining is dedicated to mechanical, electrical and ventilation systems to ensure the safety and security of the building.

A BSL3 laboratory within the Pell LabLaboratory facilities include multiple two and three room suites, each with a dedicated procedure room and animal holding room(s) and an insectary suite entirely within biocontainment that contains a separate procedure room, animal holding room, and insect housing room with its own environmental growth chamber. Two BSL-3 laboratories for in vitro work are available, in addition to a freezer room, autoclave processing area, decontamination air lock, storage space and shower (out) facilities. 

Contact Information and Laboratory oversight

The Pell Laboratory is managed by the PSU Animal Resource Program (ARP). In addition to oversight by a Laboratory Director, the laboratory has a facility manager, scientific director, an advisory board, and a building users group that provide guidance and direction for the lab. Investigators who would like to conduct research in the Pell Laboratory must comply with all laboratory specific training, medical surveillance and security risk assessment procedures. Please contact the laboratory operations staff at 814-867-4528 for information and current laboratory entry/usage fees.