The Canadian Consortium of Academic
Biosafety Level 3 (CCABL3) Laboratories

About us

The goal of the Canadian Consortium of Academic Biosafety Level 3 (CCABL3) Laboratories is to facilitate and expedite research on risk group 3 (RG3) pathogens by Canadian scientists. CCABL3 achieves this by bringing together the directors of Canadian academic BSL3 facilities and key decision makers from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and the National Microbiology Laboratory (NML). The Consortium will also ensure that best practices and training in biosafety are implemented across its member facilities.

As a result, the entire pipeline for engaging with a new biological threat – from awareness to prevention, preparedness to detection, and response to recovery can be efficiently and rapidly coordinated.

Through interactions and international linkages, CCABL3 will provide rapid research coordination and engagement and recommendations to Canadian authorities when facing new emerging biological threats.

CCABL3’s mission includes facilitating data and information sharing, standardizing the training of highly qualified personnel, conducting resource mapping of existing academic BSL3 laboratories, identifying knowledge, expertise and infrastructure gaps, providing standardized operating procedures (SOP) for key assays (e.g., neutralization assays, growth of pathogens, etc.), producing and storing high-priority pathogens, facilitating the sharing of key reagents and specimens, and enhancing the coordination between Canadian academic BSL3 laboratories with federal and provincial public health laboratories and industry.

Helping to Prepare for Future Pandemics

CoVaRR-Net believes it is essential to plan for future pandemics, whether they will be caused by viruses or microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi.

That is why it is currently laying the foundations to eventually morph into a Pandemic Prevention and Preparedness Network that will foster close ties, collaborations and relationships with public health laboratories and industry — because everyone’s contribution is critical during a pandemic.

Members of the CCABL3 Executive Committee

CCABL3 is governed by an executive committee (EC) that defines objectives and the actions to be undertaken by the consortium to accomplish its mission. The EC is composed of six principal investigators from several Canadian universities across the country and supported by a scientific coordinator with RG3 expertise. To assist in providing additional expertise and logistical resources to the EC, a representative from CoVaRR-Net and PHAC complete the governance structure.  The EC meets virtually once a month to discuss ongoing priorities and actions required to meet its objectives.

Louis Flamand

Louis Flamand

Interim Chair CCABL3
Virology Pillar Lead

Professor and Chair, Department of Microbiology, Infectious Diseases and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Laval University

Mariana Baz

EC member, Canadian Consortium of Academic Biosafety Level 3 Laboratories (CCABL3)

Senior Research Scientist and Head of the Antiviral Drug Sensitivity Division at the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza;
Assistant Professor and Associate Director of the BSL3 laboratory, Université Laval

Marcel Behr

EC member, Canadian Consortium of Academic Biosafety Level 3 Laboratories (CCABL3)

Director, Infectious Diseases, McGill University; Director, McGill Interdisciplinary Initiative in Infection and Immunity (MI4); Director, CL3 Lab, Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre

Volker Gerdts

EC member, Canadian Consortium of Academic Biosafety Level 3 Laboratories (CCABL3)

Director and CEO, Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO)

David J. Kelvin

EC member, Canadian Consortium of Academic Biosafety Level 3 Laboratories (CCABL3)

Canada Research Chair in Translational Vaccinology and Inflammation
Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Dalhousie University

Marc-André Langlois

Marc-André Langlois

Ex officio member, Canadian Consortium of Academic Biosafety Level 3 Laboratories (CCABL3)

Professor, University of Ottawa
Faculty of Medicine Chair of Excellence in Pandemic Viruses and Preparedness Research
Executive Director, CoVaRR-Net

Sarah Viehbeck

Ex officio member, Canadian Consortium of Academic Biosafety Level 3 Laboratories (CCABL3)

Chief Science Officer, Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)


Rajesh Jacob

Scientific Advisory Board (SAB)

The Chair of the Executive Committee will meet twice a year with the members of the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) to provide updates on progress made and initiatives taken. In return, the SAB will provide guidance and recommendations to the Executive Committee to ensure that actions taken benefit researchers from all institutions.

Eric Arts
Western University

Marc Aucoin
University of Waterloo

Jennifer Corcoran
University of Calgary

Éric Cohen
Université de Montréal

Jocelyn Côté
University of Ottawa

Louis Flamand
Université Laval

Katrina Gee
Queen’s University

Volker Gerdts
University of Saskatchewan

Scott Gray-Owen
University of Toronto

Philippe Gros
McGill University

Jason Kindrachuk
University of Manitoba

Tom Hobman
University of Alberta

Matthew Miller
McMaster University

Eileen Denovan-Wright
Dalhousie University