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A Unique Facility for Unique Work Protecting people from chemical and biological threats.

High Hazard & Biocontainment Toxicology

Battelle’s Biomedical Research Center (BRC) contains the largest privately owned Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3) facility in the United States and laboratories for working with chemical surety material. 

The BRC conducts research and efficacy testing of medical countermeasures (MCMs) for biological and chemical defense. This includes prophylaxis, therapeutic, and diagnostic products using all routes of exposure in both large and small models. 

The BRC conducts secure, state-of-the-art research, development, testing, and evaluation using both highly toxic chemicals and highly pathogenic biological agents for a wide range of government agencies and private sector companies. 


The BRC is certified by the U.S. Army for both chemical and biological agent work. Our primary research, development, test and evaluation areas include:

Vaccines – conduct efficacy testing of candidate and developmental vaccines for medical and chemical defense applications.  

Therapeutics – determining the performance of drugs used to treat after exposure to chemical and biological warfare agents. Conducted all non-clinical work for the first FDA approved anthrax and botulinum toxin treatments under the FDA Animal Rule.

Decontamination -- determine the effectiveness of decontaminants against biological threat contamination; and the effects that agents and decontaminants have on surfaces and equipment.

Detection – conduct performance testing of detection systems against actual chemical and biological warfare threats.

Animal Model Development – development of new animal models for representative disease progression and human response.

Bioassay – conduct analysis of clinical and other samples, develop and validate bioassay tests.
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The 200,000+ ft2 BRC complex features: 

  • Biological Defense Research Facility – 92,000 ft2; 22,000 ft2 ABSL-3 containment area with 15 animal rooms and 22 ABSL-3 laboratories; 2 ABSL-2 animal rooms and 8 ABSL-2 laboratories.

  • Aerosol Exposure Laboratory – Specialized laboratories for generating aerosol exposure challenges of ABSL-2 and -3 threat organisms and highly toxic materials. 

  • Highly Toxic Materials Laboratory – 77,000 ft2 area consisting of 29 ABSL-2 animal rooms; 15 laboratory areas with 144 linear feet of filtered chemical fume hoods for working with neat (pure) chemical warfare agents.

BRC staff are enrolled in biological/ chemical Personnel Reliability Programs. Additional certifications include CDC/ UDA Select Agent; ISO 9001-2008; American Association for Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) accreditation; Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) assurance compliance; USDA Class R Research Facility under the Animal Welfare Act; FDA for work according to Good Laboratory Practices (GLP).


Biodefense & Emerging Infectious Diseases
As infectious disease threats like Coronavirus, Zika, Ebola and Chikungunya emerge, Battelle is uniquely positioned to provide advanced expertise and capabilities to accelerate scientific discovery for infectious disease research, efficacy and safety, testing and evaluation. Learn more.


Battelle solves the toughest challenges. At the BRC, we help protect our troops and civilian populations from chemical and biological threats.