BSL-4 Biosafety engineering research institutions in Tianjin, China

1. Bioengineering in Tianjin, China

Biosafety is the conjunction of (a) well designed labs, (b) well trained researchers and lab hands and (c) correctly designed and applied processes, all under (d) the direction of a competent management. Remove any one of these 4 conditions and the biosafety of any lab may be crucially affected.

  • The PLA Institute of Medical Support Technology, Institute of Systems Engineering, Academy of Military Sciences, Tianjin [1]
  • The National Bio-Protection Engineering Center of China, Tianjin
  • The Tianjin University Center for Biosafety Research and Strategy (CBRS)
Structure and installation process of inflatable airtight door.

2. The PLA Institute and the National Center

Location and test lab

Both institutes are located in Tianjin, at the same location Address: 300161 06 Wandong Road, Hedong District, Tianjin (天津市河东区万东路106号). Additionally the editorial department of the Chinese journal of Medical and Health Equipment is also to be found at the same address in Tianjin.[2]

Sogou satellite imaging, China 2010 & 2012; Institute of Medical Support Technology, and National Bio-Protection Engineering Center of China, Tianjin 300161, with highlight on a new construction


The two institutes have been working on the engineering and testing for BSL-4 laboratories along with the three labs in China (Kunming, Wuhan and Harbin). They were involved in:

  • stainless steel structure and containment walls
  • air tightness
  • PPPS
  • life support system
  • Disinfection
  • Directional air flow
  • HEPA filters
  • Sterilization

3. Tianjin University

Bioengineering centers

Tianjin university is associated with two key bioengineering centers:

Synthetic Biology centre

It is also worth noting that Tianjin University had the first key laboratory of the Ministry of Education for engineering and synthetic biology research in China.

Track II engagement since 2018

Synthetic Biology has been a clear US biosecurity concern since at least 2016, when the US intelligence community placed gene editing on its list of potential weapons of mass destruction [3].

June 28, 2018: 2nd Workshop on Biosafety between TJU and JHU. Gigi Gronvall first seated on the right.
Zhang Weiwen (left), Gigi Gronvall (centre) during Zhang’s presentation at the Global Forum in Geneva on Dec 3, 2018
Presentation slide above
July 26, 2019: CBRS/John Hopkins conference. James LeDuc (UTMB) on the left, Tom Inglesby (JHU) on the right.


[1] Formerly the ‘Institute of Medical Equipment, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences’.

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Gilles Demaneuf

Gilles Demaneuf

Opinions, analyses and views expressed are purely mine and should not in any way be characterised as representing any institution.