T H E   N I H    C A T A L Y S T     M A Y  –  J U N E   2006

Building 33 Dedicated May 2



On Deck: (left to right) Rep. C.W. Bill Young (R.-Fla.), for whom the new building is named, is joined by NIH Director Elias Zerhouni and NIAID Director Anthony Fauci alongside the Building 33 commemorative plaque, which reads:
"By Act of Congress This Building is Dedicated as the
C.W. Bill Young Center

The C.W. Bill Young Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases is the first NIH facility to focus exclusively on the challenge of biodefense and research on new or re-emerging infectious diseases that pose significant public health risks. Representative Young's service in the U.S. Congress for more than 35 years includes six years as Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, two separate terms as chairman of the Subcommittee on Defense, eight years as Chairman of the Health Appropriations Subcommittee, and 14 years on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Founder of the national registry of bone marrow donors, Representative Young has been tenacious in his support of patients and scientists, the biomedical research enterprise, and all those who defend the Nation.
Dedicated May 2006"


The vision of the building dedicated on the NIH campus in May 2006
started taking shape in the fall of 2001—it rose from incinerated buildings and powdery envelopes in the New York and Washington, D.C., areas.

Accelerating research to defend against bioterrorism was a driving force behind the concept of Building 33.

But its development—like that of the NIAID biodefense research agenda and strategic plan, issued in early 2002—was firmly grounded in the context of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases.

The science does not turn on whether the involved pathogens "are naturally occurring or deliberately perpetrated,"NIAID Director Anthony Fauci observed in a speech during the ceremony to dedicate the brick, glass, and steel structure  where that research will now be concentrated.

The new facility, Fauci noted, will enable the "gathering under one roof of a critical mass of researchers currently scattered in many buildings around this campus," whose work with a variety of respiratory viruses and bacteria will benefit from the "creative synergies" fostered by the new infrastructure.

The building houses animal care-areas, conference rooms, offices, and biosafety level 2 and 3 laboratories—adding another 14,300 square foot of BSL-3 lab space to NIAID's current 4,700 square feet. Researchers working in the BSL-3 labs will wear special protective equipment and receive specialized training in state-of-the-art techniques for handling BSL-3 pathogens.

The new center will consolidate and expand NIAID's existing research programs on

Respiratory viruses (such as influenza and avian flu)

Respiratory bacteria, such as multidrug-resistant TB and anthrax)

Insect-borne viruses (such as West Nile and dengue)

Immunology of infectious diseases

Development of vaccines for infectious diseases

A new program focusing on innate immunity will also be established in Building 33. Fauci noted that pathogens requiring BSL-4 facilities will not be studied in the new center. 

Fran Pollner  



Building 33, NIH Director Elias Zerhouni noted with pride, emerged "on time, on budget," but had obstacles to overcome, not the least of which was the concern of the surrounding Bethesda community about potential environmental risks. Detailed explanations of the building's design, security, and safeguards were not quite convincing enough, Zerhouni recalled."But then I told them that I guarantee that Tony Fauci will have his office right in the middle of that building—and that won the day!"
Flanked by NIAID Director Anthony Fauci and NIH Director Elias Zerhouni, Rep. C.W. Bill Young receives gifts of gratitude for his "unwavering support for biomedical research"—an artist's rendering of Building 33 and a certificate commemorating the day's event


The latest addition to the NIH research complex, Building 33 will house about 250 laboratory, administrative, and support staff within its four stories and 12 intramural research laboratories. Construction was begun in November 2003 and completed in December 2005; move-in is anticipated throughout the summer of 2006.


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