Apr 18

Speaker Applications for Biosafety Symposium 2017

The Front Range Biological Safety Association is in the process of planning a Biosafety Symposium at The University of Colorado, Boulder on September 29th, 2017. We want to attract a broad target audience, from Biosafety, Public Health and Health Care Professionals, to biomedical students and researchers in Academia and Industry.
The FRaBSA Membership is filled with individuals with expertise in a multitude of biosafety-related fields. We would like to extend an invitation to you to submit an application to present at the Symposium. While we have not finalized the agenda and specific topics for the Symposium, a previous survey of the FRaBSA Membership showed there was strong interest in topics such as Genome Editing, Animal Biosafety and Laboratory Acquired Infections.

If you know of someone who would make a good presenter on these or related topics we would certainly welcome your suggestions. (Please send me an email zachary.wilson@ucdenver.edu with details!)
If you are interested in presenting, please complete and return the Speaker Application by April 21sth.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Sincerely,
Zachary Wilson
zachary.wilson@ucdenver.edu
Chair, FRaBSA Symposium Speaker Sub-Committee

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Mar 17

Upcoming Meeting

Friday, May 5, 2017

HOST: National Wildlife Research Center

LOCATION:

USDA/APHIS/WS

National Wildlife Research Center

4101 Laporte Ave

Fort Collins, CO 80521

FRaBSA Meeting Agenda May 2017

to RSVP

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Feb 21

US Federal Select Agent Program Regulatory Changes – Penalties!

 US Federal Select Agent Program Regulatory Changes – Penalties!

The Technical and Regulatory Review (TRR) and Legislative Affairs (LA) Committees would like the ABSA membership in the Federal Select Agent Program (FSAP) to be aware of a new and extremely significant change.

As of January 6, 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) places into effect Civil Monetary Penalty (CMP) rules added to 42 CFR Part 1003: Subpart I – CMPs for Select Agent Program Violations: §1003.900 Basis for civil money penalties, §1003.910 Amount of penalties, and §1003.920 Determinations regarding the amount of penalties.

The HHS OIG will now consider the following factors in all 42 C.F.R. Part 73 Select Agent Program violations:

§1003.920 Determinations regarding the amount of penalties.

In considering the factors listed in §1003.140, aggravating circumstances include:

(a) The Responsible Official participated in or knew, or should have known, of the violation;

(b) The violation was a contributing factor to an unauthorized individual’s access to or possession of a select agent or toxin, an individual’s exposure to a select agent or toxin, or the unauthorized removal of a select agent or toxin from the person’s physical location as identified on the person’s certificate of registration; or

(c) The person previously received an observation, finding, or other statement of deficiency from the Department or the Department of Agriculture for the same or substantially similar conduct.

The TRR and LA committees determined to share this information with the FSAP community as §1003.920 elicited concerns that the vague language and potentially broad interpretation of this regulation may lead to inconsistent and steeper penalties. To see the entire changes, please see the regulations at https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-12-07/pdf/2016-28293.pdf#page=21  or http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=d71e546e10776faf4dce1550c467b1c2&mc=true&node=sp42.5.1003.i&rgn=div6 .

Sincerely,

Technical & Regulatory Review Committee

Legislative Affairs Committee

ABSA International

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Feb 21

HHS and USDA select agents and toxins amendments

HHS and USDA have published parallel amendments to federal regulations for work with select agents and toxins.  The regulatory amendments include critical changes to the requirements that must be followed by those working with select agents and toxins, and aim to increase the safety and security of work with these materials.

Key components include:

  • Changes to the toxin permissible limits
  • Addition of specific requirements that must be followed for the inactivation of select agents
  • New provisions to the biosafety sections
  • Clarifications to the regulatory language regarding security, training, incident response, and records
  • Clarification that each registered entity must comply with the regulations for select agents and toxins listed on the registration regardless of whether the entity is in actual possession of the select agent or toxin

No changes are being made to the list of select agents and toxins at this time.

The amendments take effect 30 days from the date of publication and are available at the following links:

The publication of these amendments reflects the culmination of an extensive process, and includes input received from public comments and federal advisory bodies.  Elements are also responsive to recommendations received through recent program reviews.

Multiple efforts are underway by the Federal Select Agent Program (FSAP) to help registered entities comply with the regulations.  FSAP is updating current guidance documents, as well as developing new guidance, and will be holding an upcoming webcast to address the changes and provide an opportunity to ask questions about the regulations.

For more information, please visit www.selectagents.gov

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Feb 21

Biosafety Curriculum for Undergraduate and Graduate Students

NEW!
Introduction to Biosafety

Biosafety Curriculum for Undergraduate and Graduate Students

Are your students prepared to work safely in the laboratory?

Research laboratories are unique environments that present specific risks and challenges. Many undergraduates, and even graduate students, lack rigorous instruction in biological safety. They don’t understand the risk present in the laboratory or how to protect themselves from those risks.

ABSA International, in partnership with the National Biosafety and Biocontainment Training Program (NBBTP), is pleased to announce the offering of a curriculum package for the education of undergraduate science students in the discipline of biological safety; this course is also appropriate for graduate, medical, nursing, public health, and medical technology students. The course is designed as a 12-week semester course, either 1 or 5 credits. The course content is designed to be flexible to allow instructors to select what is appropriate for their specific program needs and schedules.

Covered topics include:

  • History of biosafety microbiology and molecular biology
  • Risk assessment
  • Biosafety levels
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Laboratory facilities and safety equipment
  • Disinfection, decontamination, and sterilization
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Laboratory security and emergency response
  • Administrative controls
  • Current topics in biosafety

The course package includes learning objectives, assessment criteria, a workbook with case studies, exercises, and helpful illustrations and diagrams; it is available free of charge to anyone interested.

There is also a one-week long summer course guide for high school students who plan to pursue careers in science.

Thank you to Dr. Robert Ellis at Colorado State University who kindly provided his course outline to use as a roadmap for this work. Thanks also to Dr. Brandon Hatcher and Dr. Chad Austin who led the NBBTP efforts to develop these courses.

Follow this link for the curriculum and other materials:
https://www.absa.org/resintro.html 

Comments or questions should be sent to:

ABSA International
info@absa.org

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Jan 13

Leadership Day in Biosafety

A Virtual Conference Experience
April 14, 2017 @ 10:00 – 6:00 PM ESTConfirmed Speakers Include
Sean Kaufman – Behavioral-Based Improvement Solutions |  Dr. Robert Hawley – Private Consultant |  Jim Welch – Elizabeth R. Griffin Research Foundation |  Maureen Sullivan – Minnesota Department of Health | James Blaine – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Dr. Anwar Nasim – Private Consultant |  Maureen O’Leary – ABSA International | Sarah Ziegler – Southern Research | Dr. Bob Ellis – Colorado State University | Leyma Deharo – New Mexico Department of Health |  – with more speakers confirming!This event will be a VIRTUAL CONFERENCE with main and breakout sessions!  If you have a smart phone, tablet, or computer with internet connection – you should be able to attend this event.We will be sending more information and opening registration as soon the agenda is finalized.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

 

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Oct 11

ABSA Risk Group Database App

Risk Group Database App
FREE for iTunes and Android!

ABSA International created an app for the ABSA Risk Group Database, which is available for Apple and Android devices. The app will allow users to access the ABSA Risk Group Database on their mobile devices.

The ABSA Risk Group Database consists of international risk group classifications for Bacteria, Viruses, Fungi, and Parasites. In many countries, including the United States, infectious agents are categorized in risk groups based on their relative risk. Depending on the country and/or organization, this classification system might take the following factors into consideration: pathogenicity of the organism; mode of transmission and host range; availability of effective preventive measures (e.g., vaccines); availability of effective treatment (e.g., antibiotics); and other factors.

iPhone and iPad Instructions:
You can download the Risk Group Database app in the Apple iTunes store by searching for “Risk Group Database app.”

Android Instructions:
You can download the Risk Group Database app in the Google Play Store by searching for “Risk Group Database.”

The app only works when your device is connected to the internet.

Please send any comments or suggestions about the app to info@absa.org. An update is being planned for early October.

ABSA International would like to express our sincere gratitude to the fellows at the National Biosafety and Biocontainment Program (NBBTP) for updating the ABSA Risk Group Database.

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Oct 21

Everett Hanel, Jr. Presidential Award

Biosafety director earns acclaim for securing research pathogens | SOURCE

The Colorado State University officer charged with protecting researchers and the public from infectious research pathogens has received international honors for effective safeguards that support research success.

Bob Ellis, CSU biosafety director, earned the Everett Hanel, Jr. Presidential Award from the American Biological Safety Association for outstanding work promoting biosafety and high professional standards.

full article

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Jun 16

HHS selects nine regional Ebola and other special pathogen treatment centers

http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2015pres/06/20150612b.html

HHS selects nine regional Ebola and other special pathogen treatment centers
• Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment in partnership with Denver Health Medical Center in Denver, Colorado

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