SHREVEPORT, La (KTAL/KMSS) – The new Biological Safety Level three laboratory is currently being built at LSU Health in Shreveport. It will allow the school to do more research on infectious diseases.

According to Chris Kevil, the Vice Chancellor for Research at LSU Health, the idea of this lab came during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We recognize very quickly that there’s a lot of questions. We had many patients that were in the hospital. Many people in the community that were getting infected, and we didn’t have enough answers. In fact, the nation didn’t have enough answers,“ Kevil said.

So, they realized they needed to put the infrastructure in place to answer these questions while preparing for biological threats in the future. 

“So, this will allow us to do research in a collaborative fashion with people across the whole state including the Louisiana Department of Health, but also allow us to engage in collaborative research within the nation as well as the planet,“ Kevil said.

The state-of-the-art laboratory with have specialized scientific equipment to research viruses and diseases.  

“Things such as negative pressure that makes sure that any particles or infectious agents can escape. There’s very detailed and highly complex purifying systems for wastewater as well as air that goes through the facility,“ Kevil said.

The lab will be a great addition not only for the staff and students at LSU health, but for the entire state of Louisiana.

“We won’t have or there isn’t rather I should say another laboratory like this in the state currently,“ Kevil said.

The lab will also be beneficial to those students studying at LSU Health. 

“We’ll be able to train students here in Shreveport, as well as across the state and even others that come to us from other parents of the south in doing essentially high containment research,“ Kevil said.

The laboratory is expected to be completed by Fall 2023.