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Boston Science Jobs in Bioterrorism Lab Require Background Checks

Posted on October 14, 2008

A group of new scientists have been hired to fill important new Boston science jobs.

The scientists have been hired to work at Boston University‘s new bioterrorism laboratory. Because of the sensitive nature of the work, all the workers hired will be required to undergo a rigorous background check. The checks will include psychological testing and a review of the worker’s financial records, according to an article by the Associated Press.

Gary Nicksa, Boston University vice president for operations, stated the purpose of the background checks is to identify researchers who may be susceptible to stress-related mistakes or extortion. The checks are expected to be even more rigorous than current federal standards require.

The National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories, located in Boston’s South End, will conduct research into some of the world’s most dangerous germs. For extra precautions, the building also will be monitored by security cameras and researchers will be required to work in pairs.

The $192 million lab is scheduled to open next year. The lab is part of a national network of secure facilities that study infectious diseases, whether they occur naturally or are introduced through bioterrorism.

The lab will focus on performing cutting-edge basic and clinical research on emerging infectious diseases and developing diagnostic tests, treatments and vaccines to promote the public’s health through combating infectious diseases; providing training in these areas of research and supporting a national response in the event of a biodefense emergency and establishing a research facility with the highest attention to community and laboratory safety and security.