Colorado State University is among the world’s leaders in researching West Nile Virus, drug-resistant Tuberculosis, Yellow Fever, Dengue, Hantavirus, Plague, Tularemia and other diseases. In 2007, Colorado State University opened a $30 million Rocky Mountain Regional Biocontainment Laboratory (RMRBL) at the Judson M. Harper Research Complex on CSU’s Foothills Campus. The Rocky Mountain Regional Biocontainment Laboratory complemented similar infectious disease research activities at the CDC and USDA laboratories on the Foothills Campus and at the university’s existing Bioenvironmental Research Building (BRB) and its Arthropod-borne and Infectious Diseases Laboratory (AIDL).
Upon the opening of the RMRBL, the Vice President for Research named the Infectious Disease Research Center (IDRC) to include the RMRBL, Discovery Suites, Media Prep, BRB, BRB Expansion and the Research Innovation Center. The Infectious Disease Research Center provides the University with state-of-the-art facilities and equipment for researching emerging infectious diseases and ways to protect the United States from potential bio-agents. The IDRC researchers investigate and develop new treatments and vaccines to protect against these agents.
Also part of the Center is the Rocky Mountain Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases, which is a multi-disciplinary intellectual collaboration of researchers from Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming. The Regional Center of Excellence focuses on emerging transmissible animal diseases (zoonotic) to humans.
- The initial $7.7 million Bioenvironmental Research Building was completed in 2000. Most of the funds for this project were university funds, and an additional $1 million was provided by a grant from National Institutes of Health.
- The Bioenvironmental Research Building that underwent an $8 million expansion in 2008, was funded through a $4 million award from the National Center for Research Resources, a division of the National Institutes of Health, with an additional $4 million from the university.
- The construction of a Media Preparation area in the Bioenvironmental Research Building was completed in 2006 with $500,000 of university funds.
- The Bioenvironmental Research Building Discovery Suite, connecting the BRB and the Rocky Mountain Regional Biocontainment Laboratory, was built with $3 million from the Health Resources and Services Administration, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- The construction of the $30 million Rocky Mountain Regional Biocontainment Laboratory, completed in 2007, was funded with $26 million from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease and the remainder from the university. The Rocky Mountain Regional Biocontainment Laboratory granted select agent status from the Centers for Disease Control in 2008, was the first of the thirteen Regional Biocontainment Laboratories in the country to have this designation.
- The Research Innovation Center adds an additional 60,000 square feet of BSL-2 space to the IDRC funded by Colorado State bonds. The Research Innovation Center supports facultyand researchers and serves as a biotechnology incubator, fostering startup and established companies to conduct life science R&D and associated business operations.