Center for Infectious Disease Research

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BSL3 and ABSL3 Facilities

MCW has recently finished the construction and commissioning of a new BSL2/BSL3/ABSL3 facility that is located in the basement of the Translational and Biomedical Research Center.
This facility comprises approximately 10,000 square feet and includes dedicated BSL3 and ABSL3 suites. The BSL3 area contains 4 containment labs and 4 individual ABSL3 suites. Individual BSL3 laboratories range in size from approximately 130 square feet to 210 square feet and contain either one or two 6-ft class II-B1 cabinets. Each ABSL3 laboratory is approximately 125 square feet and contains one 6-ft class II-B1 bio-safety cabinet and two 4-ft BioZone microisolator cage rack systems.
Two rooms from each of the BSL3 and ABSL3 laboratories are “enhanced” and are sufficient for studies involving Avian Influenza. All individual BSL3 and ABSL3 laboratories are secured from the outside with a proximity card and biometric scanners and from the inside with two CCT cameras/room connected to a common digital recorder storage device. Entrance to either the BSL3 or ABSL3 suites is monitored by CCT cameras and is secured by dual iris reading authentication devices. Both BSL3 and ABSL3 suites are serviced by small and large pass-through autoclaves. Two anterooms of approximately 125 square feet each service these laboratories and are equipped with proximity card reader, shower, sink, lockers, and changing area. A state-of-the-art liquid decontamination system is also in place for disinfecting all liquid waste generated in the BSL3/ABSL3 labs or anteroom areas prior to its passage into the local sewer stream.
Use of the BSL3 or ABSL3 facilities requires specialized training, medical monitoring and submission of an application to the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC). Investigators must check the box on eBridge forms indicating BSL3/Pathogens/recombinant DNA for appropriate approvals. For assistance with these processes contact Tom Zahrt, PhD, Director of the BSL3 Facilities (414-955-7429 or or David Feller, MCW Responsible Official (414-955-8424 or


BSL3 Director

Thomas C Zahrt, PhD

Associate Professor
Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
Phone 414-955-7429
© 2014 Medical College of Wisconsin
Page Updated 11/13/2014