• Ten BSL-3 “enhanced” Laboratories 
    • Separate bacterial and viral suites
    • BD FACSAria, Bioplex, real-time PCR, and other molecular and immune analysis equipment
  • Four fully equipped ABSL-3 enhanced suites
    • Each suite can accommodate an independent pathogen with a different animal species
    • Can accommodate animal species ranging from small rodents to non-human primates
    • Biocontainment caging available
    • Veterinary support staff available
  • Dedicated necropsy suite 
  • Clinical Imaging facility with MicroPET and CT instrumentation
  • Aerobiology facility for aerosol exposure of animal models 
  • Mobile transfer cart system for containment of animals and pathogen during transport between specialty suites.


Aerobiology facilitates aerosol exposures of animal models to BSL-3 pathogens. The University of Pittsburgh RBL has a dedicated U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases(USAMRIID)-trained aerobiologist as well as a dedicated staff for conducting aerosol exposures.

The aerobiology suite has a class III biosafety cabinet (glove box) and uses a mobile transfer cart system for transportation of animals to and from the aerobiology suite. Aerosol exposures are generated using a Collison 3-jet nebulizer controlled by the AeroMP automated aerosol control system from Biaera Technologies.

Clinical Imaging

The Clinical Imaging suite features a state-of-the-art custom-designed Siemens Focus 220 microPET coupled with a NeuroLogica CereTom portable CT scanner. This system provides co-resolution of digital images and can accommodate animal species ranging from rodents to nonhuman primates. The University of Pittsburgh RBL has dedicated staff from the Department of Radiology on site for expert images and interpretation. Portable digital X-ray capabilities also are available.

Image courtesy of: JoAnne Flynn, PhD, Jonathan Carney, PhD, Brian Lopresti, Jaime Tomko, and Lonnie James Frye

Preclinical PET/CT Visualizes Small Tuberculosis Lesions in Nonhuman Primate (NHP) Model.