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NIH concludes that BU biolab poses minimal risk to community


NIH concludes that BU biolab poses minimal risk to community

Decision comes after thorough and comprehensive analysis

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently concluded that Boston University’s National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories (NEIDL) poses minimal risk to the surrounding community.  

 The issuance of the Supplemental Record of Decision follows a thorough and comprehensive analysis by distinguished scientists and researchers of the potential safety risks posed by the NEIDL, according to a statement by NIH.  

The 2,717 page Final Supplementary Risk Assessment extensively reviewed and analyzed scenarios involving the potential of human health consequences of an exposure to laboratory workers and the general public as a result of unintentional or malevolent events. It also addressed these same scenarios at potential alternative locations for the lab.

“The NIH conducted an exhaustive review of the lab and its findings were affirmed by an independent panel of eminent scientists on the Blue Ribbon Panel,” said John R. Murphy, PhD, NEIDL Director ad interim. “The NEIDL will be an important addition to life science research in our region and its work to improve public health will have local, national and global impact.”

There are a number of necessary next steps to take in the process to open the lab for BSL-3 and BSL-4 research, including obtaining a certificate from the Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs and seeking approval from the Boston Public Health Commission. BU will soon be filing the necessary documentation, including a Supplementary Final Environmental Impact Report with the Massachusetts Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.

BU must also seek approval from the Boston Public Health Commission, the agency that regulates BSL- 3 and 4 research in the city. Finally, before any research can begin, projects must also be approved by the Institutional Biosafety Committee and, if Select Agents are being used, approval must be granted by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and/or US Department of Agriculture.

Patrick awards $6.8 million in workforce training grants

Gov. Deval Patrick announced last week $6,846,496 in Workforce Training Fund grants to 87 Massachusetts companies. The grants, which support up to two years of training, will create 682 new jobs and train over 6,300 workers, according to a statement released by the Patrick Adminsitration.

“We are focused on addressing the skills gap issue in the Commonwealth so that workers can compete in today’s ever-changing jobs market,” said Patrick. “The Workforce Training Fund focuses on the needs of both our businesses and workers, as Massachusetts continues to lead the nation in economic recovery.”

The companies are located in 66 cities and towns across the Commonwealth and training will be provided to employees in a range of sectors, including financial services, manufacturing, engineering and hospitality. 

The fiscal year 2012 budget established the Workforce Training Fund as a trust fund, allowing for collection and disbursement of funds as needed by businesses, rather than on an annual appropriation cycle.

Here is a partial list of grant recipients:


ARTAIC, LLC. $82,000 awarded, seven employees to be trained, four additional jobs are expected to be created as a result of training.

BOSTON TECHNOLOGIES, INC., $63,980 awarded, 62 employees to be trained, 10 additional jobs to be created as a result of training.

EASCARE AMBULANCE SERVICE, LLC, $54,180 awarded, 45 employees to be trained, 45 additional jobs are expected to be created as a result of training.

MASSACHUSETTS MEDICAL DEVICE INDUSTRY COUNCIL, on behalf of a consortium of medical device manufacturers, $118,802 awarded, 189 employees to be trained, 23 additional jobs are expected to be created as a result of training.

MCCOURT CONSTRUCTION, $91,978 awarded, 130 employees to be trained, no additional jobs are expected to be created as a result of training.

MERIDAMERIDIAN, LLC, $62,000 awarded, 50 employees to be trained, three additional jobs are expected to be created as a result of training.