ABSA Update

2011 ABSA Conference - Anaheim

ABSA Anaheim 2011

The 2011 ABSA Conference will be in Anaheim from October 27 to November 2, 2011 at the Anaheim Marriott. Click here for hotel reservations and preliminary information.

ABSA Council

President: Karen Byers

President: Karen Byers, MS, RBP, CBSP
President-Elect: LouAnn Burnett, MS, CBSP
Treasurer: Ros Rutledge-Burns, CBSP
Secretary: Betty Kupskay, CBSP
Past President: Ben Fontes, MPH, CBSP
Councilors:  Barbara Fox Nellis, RBP, CBSP
Michelle McKinney, MS, CBSP
Rich Rebar, MS, RBP, CBSP
Marian Downing, RBP, CBSP

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) have compiled a supplement to the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) entitled, "Biosafety Laboratory Competency Guidelines." The document seeks to identify behaviors and knowledge that workers should have to safely work in laboratory environments. Requisite competencies are provided for the structuring of the training of these workers. The publication of this document is targeted for the second quarter of 2011, and no later than June of this year, and it will subsequently be available on the CDC and APHL web sites. Details will be available once the document is released for publication.

ABSA Denver Conference Recordings and Presentations

If you would like to purchase any recordings of the ABSA Denver Conference presentations you can go to http://www.dcprovidersonline.com/absa/. Click here to view power point presentations and videos from the ABSA Denver Conference. 

Click here to view presentations from the USDA ARS 1st International Biosafety and Biocontainment Symposium.

Regulatory and Technical Affairs Team

Team Leader: Bill Homovec, CBSP

Technical Regulatory/Review Committee

Chair: Bill Homovec, CBSP
The TRR considered the following documents for review and comment:

Management Team

Team Leader: John Balog

Affiliate Relations Committee

Chair: Jennifer Gaudioso, PhD

The ARC reviewed the Mexican Biosafety Association's application to be an international affiliate and it has been approved by the ABSA Council. The committee is planning a webinar for affiliate leaders sometime this summer and another Affiliate Management Workshop at the ABSA Conference in Anaheim. The committee is also considering additional benefits and a possible provisional status for Affiliates. More information and Affiliate resources can be found at http://www.absa.org/affiliates.html

Professional Development Team

Team Leader: Patrick McKinney, RBP
Vice Team Leader: Kelly Flint, RBP

PDT Organization:  Kelly Flint was recently selected as the Vice Team Leader for the PDT.

ABSA Owned Course

Chair(s): Esmeralda Prat & Betsy Weirich
The committee will be tweaking the Risk Assessment Course for the next ABSA Conference. The Risk Assessment and BSL-3 Courses will most likely be offered at the 2011 ABSA Conference.

Road to Leadership

Chair: Rita D'Angelo, RBP, CBSP
The Seminar Series has been replaced by the Road to Leadership. The Road to Leadership consists of the Leadership Institute for Biosafety Professionals and the Certification Review Course. The 2011 Road to Leadership will be April 3-8 in Austin Texas. More info can be found at http://www.absa.org/eduleadership.html.

Principles & Practices of Biosafety Committee

Chairs: Paul Jennette, RBP, and Paul Meechan, PhD, RBP, CBSP
The Principles and Practices of Biosafety class continues to sell-out with 40 students per session every six months. We just completed a class in San Antonio, Texas and already have several registrants for the next offering July 24-28 in Providence, Rhode Island. We continue to update modules to incorporate new adult learning strategies as well as respond to student input. More information can be found at http://www.absa.org/eduppb.html.  

Preconference Course Committee

Chair: Je'T Newton, RBP
The call for papers for the 2011 Pre-Conference Courses has been published and submissions are due by April 1st. Please visit www.absa.org if you would like to submit a proposal.

Distance Learning Committee

Chairs: Stacey Kraemer, PhD, RBP, and MaryJo Lanzillotta, MS, RBP, CBSP
The Distance Learning Committee is working on updating the Basic Disinfection Webinar that will be offered in 2011. The Effective Biosafety Safety Training Course Webinar will also be offered again in 2011.

Training/Resources Committee

Chair: Hallie Heaney
In order to increase submissions to the Training Tools database, calls for specific training tools were sent out via the ABSA listserv. This has been done twice (requesting animal and zoonotic MSDSs or fact sheets and BBP trainings). We received several responses (3 to 5 for each topic) and plan to continue with this method. Each submission is reviewed by three Training Tools committee members who are requested to respond with comments within one week. Any requested changes are sent to the submitter; once changes have been made the revised submission is sent to ABSA for posting. At the October 2010 meeting we discussed reviving the Outstanding Means of Communication award to entice contributions. More information about submitting training tools could be found at http://www.absa.org/trainingtools.html.

Publications Committee

Chair: Joany Jackman
The Publications Committee met in February to update existing policies and procedures for the committee. The document is in draft format and is currently being reviewed by their committee members. Other activities the committee will be working on this coming year include pursing a joint effort with the Training Tools Committee to establish a database of SOPs, reviewing submissions for the Knudsen Award, and revising the existing award score sheet. Anthology XII has just been completed and will available soon. The Committee has also just started working on Anthology XIII which will be based on the USDA ARS 1st International Biosafety and Biocontainment Symposium.

Call for Webinars (New Initiative)

Chair: Sophie Brocard
This new committee has been created to offer additional distance learning opportunities for ABSA members. A call for webinar proposals will be sent to ABSA members in mid-April. The goal is to begin offering the new webinars this summer.

1st International Federation of Biosafety Associations (IFBA) Conference

The 1st International Federation of Biosafety Associations conference was held in Bangkok, Thailand, February 15 -17, 2011, as the official kick-off of the "Year of Building International Biosafety Communities" created by the Elizabeth R. Griffin Foundation. Over 160 participants from 39 countries were present at the event. ABSA was pleased to support and participate in this seminal event for IFBA in a range of activities. ABSA representatives provided assistance with moderation of working groups, delivered session presentations, and assisted with discussions on the review and proposed updates of the IFBA governance structure. Conference participants were engaged to play an active role from the first session presentation until the delivery of the IFBA Conference Declaration at the very end. All in attendance participated in work groups that were designed to assist IFBA in charting a course for its members. One entire day of the conference was dedicated to documenting the needs of the IFBA member associations to develop the Association's strategic plan. As such, participants were able to share in refining IFBA's function, direction and governance. The IFBA Declaration on Advancing Global Biosafety and Biosecurity developed by the conference participants along with the opening remarks and keynote presentation can be accessed at the IFBA website at: http://www.internationalbiosafety.org/.

2011 - The Year of Building International Biosafety Communities

African Biological Safety Association (AfBSA) 2nd Annual Conference

2011 - The Year of Building International Biosafety Communities

AfBSA 2011 in Accra, Ghana

The African Biological Safety Association's 2nd Annual Conference was recently held in Accra, Ghana March 7-11, 2011. The conference was originally scheduled to be in Cairo, Egypt but had to be relocated due to the recent events in Egypt. The theme of the conference was "Building Regional Capacity for Biorisk Management in Africa." The AfBSA Conference consisted of two days of preconference courses, two days of conference presentations, and a one day post conference biosafety association workshop. Even with the challenges of relocating the conference, it was well attended by representatives from Africa, Europe, and North America. Many ABSA members were in attendance, including the ABSA President Karen Byers and the ABSA Executive Director Ed Stygar. Karen presented on "Laboratory Acquired Infections" during the conference; Ed presented on "The Benefits, Establishment, and Maintenance of a Biosafety Association" and an interactive workshop on "Developing a Business Plan for Associations" at the biosafety associations workshop. Africa already has three biosafety organizations and the enthusiastic response may indicate that more will be formed. The Ghanaian Biosafety Association was formed at the AfBSA conference. There were two keynote speakers, Caryl Griffin of the Elizabeth R. Griffin Research Foundation and Maureen Ellis of Canada's Global Partnership Program.  Caryl's presentation "Building Capacity for Occupational Health and Safety in Biological Laboratories" demonstrated that we are "safer together" and the challenges of communication and problem-solving. Maureen presented on "Building Regional Communities for Biorisk Management" and stressed the need for the global community to work together to address global biosafety issues. Karen and Ed agreed that it was an honor to share experiences and to support the efforts of our African colleagues as they pursue the goal of enhancing the knowledge and practices of biosafety and biosecurity throughout Africa. The AfBSA team and the Ghanaian hosts did a great job in planning and welcoming everyone to the conference.  More information about the conference can be found at [link deleted] .

ABSA Co-Sponsors IBC Conference and Occupational Health Colloquium this June in San Diego


NIH's Office of Biotechnology Affairs will be offering a conference on "IBCs in an Evolving Research Landscape" on June 12-14, 2011 at Loew's Coronado Bay Resort. This conference  addresses the science, safety issues, and regulations associated with Viral Vectors, Nanoparticles, Synthetic Biology, Dual Use and Biosecurity. Special highlights include Mock IBC with viral vector protocols, case study exercises, and an optional behind-the-scenes laboratory tour at the San Diego Safari Park. This conference is offered in partnership with the Eagleson Institute and is sponsored by ABSA, AASM, ASM, MSMR, and PRM&R. For more information: www.eagleson.org

An Occupational Health Colloquium, "Preventing and Treating Biological Exposures" will be held June 15-17, 2011 in the same location. Topics include in-depth discussion and case studies related to: Viral Vectors, Transgenes, Influenza, HIV and TB, Zoonoses, Exposure Plans, and Special Worker Protections. This meeting is offered by CDC, Elizabeth R. Griffin Foundation, Eagleson Institute and sponsored by ABSA, ACOEM, and CSOHN. For more information: www.eagleson.org/OCCHEALTH

Upcoming Events

ABSA Leadership Institute and Review Course, April 3-8, 2011 in Austin, Texas

ABSA Principles & Practices of Biosafety Course, July 24-29, 2011 in Providence, Rhode Island

ABSA Anaheim 2011, October 27-November 2, 2011 in Anaheim, California

Look for the ABSA Booth at the ASM and AIHA Conferences!


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