Infectious Diseases

Scientists at the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories (NEIDL) are at the forefront of US COVID-19 research, testing more than 20,000 small molecules on live coronavirus, participating in international efforts to develop vaccines, and pinpointing how the virus works. In December 2020, a team of scientists at NEIDL, the BU Center for Regenerative Medicine (CReM), and the BU Center for Network Systems Biology reported the first map of human lung cells’ molecular response to the virus, paving the way for new, promising therapies.

Today, NEIDL is internationally recognized for its contributions to understanding infectious diseases and the pathogens that cause them. Over the years, NEIDL has developed research strength in the study of highly contagious RNA viruses such as Ebola, yellow fever, and now SARS-CoV-2.

How? Thanks to its extraordinary biocontainment capabilities, NEIDL is one of very few scientific communities and facilities in the United States that is fully prepared to confront a pathogen as dangerous as SARS-CoV-2. In fact, it’s one of just two university laboratories nationwide with labs holding the highest-level designation: Biosafety Level 4.

One NEIDL investigation into SARS-CoV-2 pinpointed how the virus hijacks and rapidly damages lung cells. Others have sought to modify the virus and diminish its potency. The list goes on—and the work continues.

SARS-CoV-2 is only one emergent pathogen; unfortunately, we can expect more. But the good news is that NEIDL stands ready to develop both near-term interventions for active outbreaks and fundamental knowledge on emerging infectious diseases.

To learn how you can help, please contact the BUSM Development team.

Learn more about NEIDL research.