BSL-3 and ABSL-3 Facilities

BSL-3 and ABSL-3 laboratory services are available to Columbia researchers on a fee-for-service basis.

COVID-19 research where in vitro or in vivo propagation of SARS-CoV-2 is planned or anticipated must be performed in a BSL-3 or ABSL-3 facility. Infectious material can transit between labs. For example SARS-CoV-2 virus can be grown and titrated in the BSL-3 facility, used in an animal model in the ABSL-3 facility, and tissues can be returned to the BSL-3 lab for primary cell culture.

BSL-3 Facility

The BSL-3 core facility is located within the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center (ADARC) in the Hammer Health Sciences Center (HHSC). The facility offers services that can be performed by the core staff. Experimental systems requiring specialized expertise can be performed by small numbers of investigators who conduct their own research after being thoroughly trained and competency-assessed.

Services offered:

  • Isolation of SAR-CoV-2 virus from clinical specimens
  • Culture of primary cells from human subjects with COVID-19 disease
  • Production and titration of SARS-CoV-2 virus for use in vivo in the ABSL-3 facility
  • Access to a library of variants and procurement of new variants

Point of contact: Manoj Nair (Manager),

ABSL-3 Facility

The ABSL-3 core facility is located within the Irving Cancer Research Center (ICRC). The facility offers services that are currently only performed by the Institute for Comparative Medicine (ICM) core staff.

Services offered:

  • Animal models including ACE-2 receptor transgenics
  • Challenge by intranasal inoculation (aerosol challenge unavailable)
  • Co-infection models with other pathogens (e.g. Klebsiella, Pseudomonas)
  • Necropsy and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL)
  • Inactivation of material for further study in PI labs (e.g. formalin for histology, Trizol for RNA isolation, heat inactivation for protein studies)

Point of contact: Rivka Shoulson (Associate Director),

Apply for Use

Use of BSL-3 and ABSL-3 services requires several approvals.

View Application Instructions on the Research Intranet