Mid-MO Gets a New Health Lab

9 years 2 months 2 weeks ago September 20, 2007 Sep 20, 2007 Thursday, September 20 2007 Thursday, September 20, 2007 8:57:16 PM CDT in News

Missouri's Public Health Department dedicated a state-of-the art laboratory this morning.  The facility, designated as a biosafety level 3 lab, meets the highest national safety and test standards.

"We're just out there sort of silently protecting the public's health at all hours of the day and night," says Jane Drummond, director of State Health Services.

The testing areas provide greater safety for scientists and more room for research in advanced technologies. That will likely mean improved public health care in Missouri.

"We're here to serve the public and I think we can serve the public better because now we have a building that really will enable us to take full use of the new technology and new sciences coming our way... for now and the foreseeable future," says Dr. Eric Blank, director of the laboratory.

One of the new changes in the lab is an enhanced security system.  In most of the labs and rooms, visitors need an ID card to swipe and get into one of the rooms.  The level 3 lab replaces a level 2 lab Missouri scientists had been using.

"The biggest difference really is the space; we actually have the space now to adequately function and we were able to set up this new lab in a much more efficient way," says Drummond.

The new facility cost more than $32 million. The new lab employs more than 100 scientists and researchers

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