A new lab set to open at the U of S
Important research on dangerous viruses and bacteria is set to start in Saskatoon at the International Vaccine Centre (InterVac) on the University of Saskatchewan campus.
InterVac is just waiting for inspectors from the federal government inspectors to come in and make sure the facility meets safety standards, then research will be begin, likely this fall, on creating vaccines for some dangerous health problems.
"This is considered a level three laboratory," said Andrew Potter, director and CEO of InterVac. "This one is a bit unique in that it also has an animal facility incorporated into it and that makes it one of the top two labs in Canada."
With the designation of a level three lab, researchers in Saskatoon will be able to work directly with viruses and bacteria including tuberculosis, West Nile Virus, Hepatitis C, anthrax and plagues.
But Potter emphasized that even with dangerous viruses in the lab, the general public shouldn't be concerned.
"It's not like a normal lab where you would simply put on a lab coat and go in and work. You will wear full surgical scrubs for example in the laboratory as well as a lab coat," he said.
All researchers are also required to shower before going in and out of the lab with a shower chamber directly connected to the lab.
To prevent potentially harmful viruses from making their way into the air, all air is filtered coming out of the labs before being released to the outside, he said.
Potter is hopefully this facility could produce a ground-breaking vaccine in the next five to 10 years.
"I would like to see at least one vaccine come out of this building or organization that can be used to protect the health of either animals or people."
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