The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) is an Institution of Emerging Excellence in a small
state with a large rural, underserved population that suffers disproportionately from infectious diseases. UAMS
has committed to expanding infectious disease basic research through faculty recruitments but has outgrown
current space for high-security biocontainment and animal facilities. This C06 proposal will support the first of 2
phases of renovation of the animal and biosafety level-3 (BSL-3) facilities in Biomedical Research Building I at
UAMS and establish the Center for Animal Models of Infection and Disease (CAMID). The CAMID will allow
safe and efficient research on highly infectious pathogens, ensure rapid response to new disease outbreaks,
and provide new research opportunities by accomplishing the following goals:
Goal 1) Expanding capacity for highly infectious disease research. UAMS currently supports 4 research
programs that study tuberculosis, plague, COVID-19, and Q fever in a small BSL-3 facility. These renovations
will permit needed expansion of these programs and establishment of new pathogen studies by adding 552 sq.
ft. of wet laboratory space and doubling animal housing capacity.
Goal 2) Establishing a facility for rapid responses to outbreaks and population studies. BSL-2 and -3
space (330 sq. ft. total) termed the Pandemic Response and Public Health Laboratory (PRPHL) will be
established to respond to outbreaks needing increased safety precautions and allow new population-based
studies. This facility will be optimized for tissue culture and handling human specimens.
Goal 3) Expanding the animal facility to study the host response to disease. The UAMS animal facility
must be expanded to accommodate researchers' needs. The space proposed for BSL-3 expansion currently
houses animals, requiring renovation of new space to recapture this square footage. Proposed renovations will
increase animal room and procedural space, expand cage wash capacity, and increase the animal facility by
8,450 sq. ft.
Impact of renovations. The proposed increase in animal room space will support current NIH-funded projects
and animal model studies by future faculty, and these renovations will enhance UAMS's impact on Arkansans'
health by fostering new collaborations with public health researchers. In addition, UAMS has a robust graduate
student program that trains students in infectious disease laboratories to become future researchers. The
proposed renovations will increase opportunities to train students in animal models of disease.