Construction Starts on Tufts Tuberculosis Research Lab, Asian Women for Health Awarded Grant by The Lenny Zakim Fund

Construction Starts on Tufts Tuberculosis Research Lab

BOSTON (Feb. 15, 2013) – Construction has started on Tufts University’s planned tuberculosis research laboratory. The Arnold 8 Biosafety Laboratory is slated to be built within Tufts’ existing medical research building at 136 Harrison Avenue.

The laboratory, to be built by Shawmut Design & Construction, will focus on new ways to detect, prevent and treat tuberculosis, a disease found in Boston and around the world.

Tufts will seek approval to operate the biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) laboratory from the Boston Public Health Commission. The commission currently oversees 11 BSL-3 laboratories operating at major Boston hospitals and academic institutions.

At 1,700 square feet, the planned laboratory represents less than 1 percent of the total space of the existing 260,000 square foot Biomedical Research and Public Health Building in which it will be located.

Members of the project’s Community Advisory Committee toured the laboratory space in November, before construction began. The group also toured an operational microbiology research laboratory in the same building in order to get an idea of how the new facility would look and function—from research equipment such as centrifuges and biosafety cabinets to card readers that control laboratory access.

“We are committed to sharing as much information about the planned laboratory as possible,” said John Leong, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology at Tufts University School of Medicine. “There is no substitute for seeing things first-hand, so we thought a tour would be helpful to the committee.”

The CAC functions as an independent body whose members apply their individual experience and expertise to any questions or issues raised by the laboratory project.  Their goal is to objectively assess all aspects of the project, from its benefits to potential risks. The committee is meeting regularly throughout the permitting process and may continue to provide an ongoing voice when the laboratory begins operation.

The CAC currently includes seven members of the community: Janelle Chan, Paul Chan, Richard Chin, Gilbert Ho, Chau Ming Lee, Bill Moy, and Ruth Moy.

“Community members who want to learn more are welcome to get in touch with us,” said Community Relations Director Barbara Rubel. “Our phone number is 617-627-3780 and we have a website at”

Tufts hopes to obtain approval to begin operating the Arnold 8 Biosafety Laboratory by mid year. For information, call the Tufts Office of Community Relations, 617-627-3780, or go to

Asian Women for Health Awarded Grant by The Lenny Zakim Fund

Asian Women for Health (AWFH) was awarded a grant for $7,500 by The Lenny Zakim Fund to support start-up and program costs for the newly-formed non-profit. AWFH will join other grant recipients on Monday, February 25 at the annual Awards Ceremony at the Courtyard Marriott Tremont, Boston.

Asian Women for Health is a peer-led, community-based organization dedicated to improving Asian women’s health and happiness through:

  • Education and outreach programs — AWFH is organizing an inaugural “State of Asian Women’s Health” conference in June, bringing experts together to discuss the main health issues that affect Asian women in our community.
  • Advocacy — AWFH works with public health agencies and policy makers to advocate for dis-aggregated health data, to highlight the specific health issues affecting different Asian communities. This advocacy work will allow community health organizations to better serve specific Asian populations.
  • Community-building – AWFH works across cultural, linguistic, and socio-economic spectrums to bring Asian women together and build their leadership capacities.

 For more information about Asian Women for Health, please contact Chien-Chi Huang at [email protected].