07/23/2012 10:47 EDT | Updated 09/22/2012 05:12 EDT

New level 3 research lab to open on University of Saskatchewan campus

SASKATOON - Important research on dangerous viruses and bacteria is set to start in Saskatoon at the International Vaccine Centre on the University of Saskatchewan campus.

The centre is waiting for inspectors from the federal government inspectors to come in and make sure the facility meets safety standards, then research will be begin, likely this fall.

CEO Andrew Potter says it's a level three laboratory and is unique in that it also has an animal facility.

Researchers will be able to work directly with viruses and bacteria including tuberculosis, West Nile Virus, Hepatitis C and anthrax, among others.

But Potter emphasized that even with dangerous viruses in the lab, the general public shouldn't be concerned.

All researchers are required to shower before going in and out of the lab and all air is filtered coming out of the labs.

"It's not like a normal lab where you would simply put on a lab coat and go in and work," said Potter. "You will wear full surgical scrubs, for example, in the laboratory as well as a lab coat."

Potter is hopefully this facility could produce a ground-breaking vaccine in the next five to 10 years.

"I would like to see at least one vaccine come out of this building or organization that can be used to protect the health of either animals or people."