RBL Facilities


Tufts New England Regional Biosafety Laboratory (RBL) is a regional resource that will allow researchers to improve human health through better detection, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases.

The RBL, as part of Tufts University and Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, offers access to experienced investigators with expertise in:

  • In vitro assays and animal model development
  • Study design and protocol development
  • High containment work and regulatory management

The RBL has laboratories for biosafety level 2 and 3 agents’ research work. In addition to BSL-2 and BSL-3 laboratory suites, the facility also features an ABSL-3 vivarium, aerobiology suite.

Biosafety Level 2

The Biosafety Level 2 laboratory area features a separate tissue culture room that can be used under either positive or negative pressure, depending on the type of work being done. Each lab is fully equipped for 100% functionality and includes microscopes, refrigerators, freezers, high-speed centrifuges, cell culture incubators, thermocyclers including a qPCR machine, vortexers, pipettors, microplate readers (with both chromogenic and fluorescent capabilities) and plate washers. The suite also features:

  • Ultra-centrifuge
  • Class-II, Type A2 Biosafety Cabinet and Chemical fume hood
  • Immunospot (ELISPOT) reader

Biosafety Level 3

The Biosafety Level-3 area of the RBL contains three laboratory suites; two with a shared autoclave, one with a dedicated autoclave. Each lab is fully equipped for 100% functionality and include microscopes, refrigerators, freezers, high speed centrifuges, cell culture incubators, PCR thermocyclers, vortexers, pipettors, microplate readers (with both chromogenic and fluorescent capabilities).  Equipment featured in this area includes:

  • Class II type A2 and B1 Biosafety Cabinets 
  • gowning and shower vestibules
  • In addition to the BSL3 laboratories is a microscopy suite featuring fluorescent microscopes and a Zeiss LSM700 confocal microscope with live cell imaging capability


Designed for ABSL-3 work, the vivarium includes animal-holding areas as well as an aerobiology suite. Each of the holding suites features room for 4 cage racks, with in-room procedure areas fitted with a class II type B1 biosafety cabinet.

  • Features within the vivarium include:
  • ventilated cage racks for housing rodents, rabbits and ferrets
  • gnotobiotic piglet isolator housing
  • a tissue digester
  • mechanical cage and rack washers
  • feed and bedding storage
  • two bulk autoclaves

Aerobiology Suite

The aerobiology suite is designed for the study of airborne transmission of pathogens, aerosol delivery of therapeutics and aerosol challenge studies. Key to this area is a Class II, Type A2 Biosafety Cabinet connected to a Class III Glove box. In addition to the Class III Glove box is a stand-alone Glas-Col aerosolization machine and additional Class II, Type A2 Biosafety Cabinet.

Other core facility services available on the Grafton Campus:

Comparative Pathology and Genomics
Research and Discovery Services
Animal Resources