A ribbon cutting ceremony for the first Biological Safety Level Three (BSL 3) Laboratory in Kazakhstan was attended this week by Kenneth A. Myers, Director of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency/U.S. Strategic Command Center for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction (DTRA/SCC-WMD) and John Ordway, U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan.
Director Myers noted that U.S. and Kazakhstani partners selected the location of the laboratory because of its existing scientific infrastructure, expertise, and proximity to other Central Asian scientific research institutes.
“This is a state-of-the-art laboratory, staffed by public health professionals, scientists, researchers and laboratory technicians from Kazakhstan. These Kazakhstani professionals will use this laboratory to conduct clinical and diagnostic research of infectious diseases that may affect both humans and animals,” stated Myers. “Working in coordination with other public health related agencies, this facility will enable Kazakhstan and the surrounding region to better anticipate and respond to human and animal diseases which have potentially significant consequences for human and animal health.”
The laboratory is the result of an ongoing partnership between Kazakhstan and the United States to improve public health safety in Kazakhstan and is the first research facility of its kind in Kazakhstan and Central Asia.
The biocontainment facility will be administered by the Republic of Kazakhstan Ministry of Education and Science and will support clinical and diagnostic research of infectious diseases that may affect both humans and animals.