Protocol Online logo
Top : New Forum Archives (2009-): : Career Advice

Joining a BSL4 lab - (Jun/14/2014 )

Hi,
I'm a PhD in plant sciences with 2 yrs experience in thn animal system. Now I've an opportunity of joining a BSL4 lab. I have read quite a lot on BSL labs but haven't actually worked there. Does anyone know any case where researcher has got the infection of pathogens originating from BSL lab, inspite of the extreme care that they take? What's your advice on accepting such job offer?
Thanks

-rmbio-

It happens occasionally that someone is infected with something that they are working with, but even at BSL2 these events are rare, even for people who work with easily transmissable viruses such as adenovirus.

 

Just because you work with a lab that is capable of BSL4 doesn't mean that you will actually be working at that level at any time - it would require extensive training and experience at BSL2 and BSL3 before you are likely to be in there. 

 

If you are interested in the work - I would say go for it - it will look good on your CV and you will gain valuable experience working with pathogens.

-bob1-

Hi,
I'm a PhD in plant sciences with 2 yrs experience in thn animal system. Now I've an opportunity of joining a BSL4 lab. I have read quite a lot on BSL labs but haven't actually worked there. Does anyone know any case where researcher has got the infection of pathogens originating from BSL lab, inspite of the extreme care that they take? What's your advice on accepting such job offer?
Thanks

 

It happens....

But the thing is: it happens also with very experienced people!

So its not just the fault of the person (in many cases).

 

Normally you will get a very good training and they wont take any risks because if you get infected you also might infect others ... so the precautions they take are extreme!

 

The only thing that matters is your mental state: not everyone is capable of doing this because they are either "scared" (too paranoid) or they are too "relaxed" and slacking too much when taking the precautions each time (routine can be deadly in this and some people can not cope with this).

 

There are not too many BSL4 labs in the world, so it does look good on your CV

 

What virus is it you are going to study?

-pito-

I think if you are kind of obsessive about rules and cleanness and into adrenalin-rich experiences, it's definitelly a cool job to have ;)

-Trof-