Prince William lab helps fight bioterrorism

During the week of April 17, 2013, a man mailed ricin-laced letters to a congressman and the president of the United States. Ricin is highly toxic and is often fatal to humans. While no one was injured in the incident, it was highly reminiscent of the 2001 anthrax letters that killed five and stunned the nation.

In lieu of these attacks, new facilities were created between 2001 and 2005 to investigate bioterrorism and to fortify national defense against viral agents. One of these facilities was the National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases (NCBID), founded in 2001 and located at George Mason University’s Prince William Campus.