The National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC) facility will be located within the National Interagency Biodefense Campus at Fort Detrick, Maryland.
The NBACC facility will provide the nation with a much needed biocontainment laboratory space for biological threat characterization and bioforensic research.
The programs conducted at NBACC will provide knowledge of infectious properties of biological agents, effectiveness of countermeasures, decontamination procedures, and forensic analyses to support policy makers and responders’ development of policies, programs, and technologies.
NBACC is part of a nationwide group of institutions that collectively are referred to as the Homeland Security Biodefense Complex. The Complex includes the Plum Island Animal Disease Control Center, the Biodefense Knowledge Center, the national laboratories, and the university-based Homeland Security Centers of Excellence.
Composition of NBACC
NBACC will be comprised of:
The National Bioforensic Analysis Center (NBFAC) is designated in the Presidential Directive “Biodefense for the 21st Century” to be the lead federal facility to conduct and facilitate the technical forensic analysis and interpretation of materials recovered following a biological attack in support of the appropriate lead federal agency. NBFAC conducts bioforensic analysis of evidence from a bio-crime or terrorist attack to attain a “biological fingerprint” to identify perpetrators and determine the origin and method of attack.
The Biological Threat Characterization Center (BTCC) will conduct studies and laboratory experiments to fill in information gaps to better understand current and future biological threats, assess vulnerabilities, conduct risk assessments, and determine potential impacts in order to guide the development of countermeasures such as detectors, drugs, vaccines, and decontamination technologies to protect the U.S. against these threats.
DHS completed the environmental planning and public review process for the construction of the NBACC facility with a Record of Decision on January 26. It is anticipated that an architectural and engineering (A&E) contract will be awarded late March 2005 to allow groundbreaking to take place in the summer of 2006 and completion of the project in 2008.
The gross space, or entire footprint, is expected to be about 160,000 square feet. This includes administration areas, Biosafety Level (BSL) – 2, -3 and -4 laboratory space, air handling equipment space, security controls, and other supporting features.
It is anticipated that the number of researchers and support staff involved in the NBAAC will be approximately 120.
An interim capability for the NBFAC has been established in partnership with the FBI and the U.S. Army at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) at Fort Detrick. Also, some threat characterization research and studies are being conducted in other established private and government laboratories, including USAMRIID.
The National Interagency Biodefense Campus
NBACC will be located on the new National Interagency Biodefense Campus at Fort Detrick. The other agencies sharing the Ft. Detrick National Interagency Biodefense Campus are:
• Health and Human Services’ National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), NIH;
• Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service and Foreign Disease-Weed Science Research Unit (FDWSRU); and the
• Department of Defense’s U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID).
Collectively, these laboratories have complementary scientific goals and will collaborate on developing a comprehensive understanding of biological agent characteristics (NBACC), elucidating the disease process (NIAID Integrated Research Facility), and developing products to reduce risks to human health and agricultural productivity (USAMRIID, USDA-Agricultural Research Service).
The unique missions of forensics analyses and threat characterization will complement the mission responsibilities of the other agencies. Coordination of these proposed activities takes place through an established Fort Detrick interagency committee.