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Biology Division

The Biology Division specialises in biological threat and hazard protection. This includes research, analysis and diagnostics of highly pathogenic agents and toxins, as well as the corresponding biosafety measures. In addition, the Division supports the NBCN Federal Staff in matters relevant to scientific biological weapons protection (such as the Australia Group and other export controls).


  • Assessment of naturally occurring and anthropogenic biological threats
  • Analysis and diagnostics of highly pathogenic agents and toxins
  • Research on the pathogenesis, spread and analysis of pathogens and toxins
  • Scientific support for export and arms control authorities
  • Education, research and training

Biosafety and Biosecurity Branch – Biocontainment laboratory

  • Ensuring biosafety and biosecurity
  • Ensuring technical safety in the security lab
  • Biosafety training

Diagnostics and Reference Laboratory Branch

  • Investigations and studies on the detection of highly pathogenic agents
  • Primary and secondary diagnostics of biosafety level 3 and 4 microorganisms, including in the framework of the Swiss regional laboratory network (Regionallabor Zentrum-West; Cantonal Laboratory Bern)
  • Certified quality assurance measures and regular participation in national and international interlaboratory tests for competence assurance
  • National and international cooperation in preparation for biological events (SHARP, UNSGM, etc.)

Highly Pathogenic Agent Research and Analysis Branch

  • Development and establishment of scientific procedures for the analysis of human pathogenic bacteria and viruses that can be used as biological warfare agents
  • Support of national civil protection on issues relating to epidemiology
  • Projects on antiviral substances and epidemiological matters, as well as participation in evaluation studies of vaccines, such as the vaccination against the Ebola virus.

Proteomics, Bioinformatics and Toxins Branch

  • Analysis of the protein content of highly pathogenic viral and bacterial agents
  • Toxin detection
  • Further development of applied methods and implementation of new technologies (laboratory and bioinformatic data analyses)

Spiez Laboratory Austrasse
CH-3700 Spiez
+41 58 468 14 00


Spiez Laboratory

CH-3700 Spiez