ABSA Update


2011 ABSA Conference - Anaheim

ABSA Anaheim 2011

Registration and PreConference Courses are now online! The 2011 ABSA Conference will be in Anaheim from October 27 to November 2, 2011 at the Anaheim Marriott. The conference progam should be online in mid-July.


ABSA Council

President: Karen Byers

ABSA Council had a very productive meeting April 29-31 in Providence, Rhode Island. In addition to routine business, Council reviewed a number of reports;

Council also benefited from an association governance activity led by LouAnn Burnett, President-Elect. It was based on an American Society for Association Executives (ASAE) workshop she and Ed Stygar attended.

The ABSA Volunteer Leadership call on April 21, 2012 allowed Council to hear directly from committee and team leaders, and it is truly inspiring how involved many of our members are working very hard on ABSA activities and how much is getting done. It is an honor to serve this organization.

To support 2011as ABSA-Griffin year of the international biosafety association, the following has occurred:


ABSA Distance Learning Courses

Basic Disinfection
The Basic Disinfection webinar will be August 18 and 25 as a two-part webinar. More information and registration will be posted shortly at http://absa.org/edumenu.html.

Effective Biosafety Training
The Effective Biosafety Training course webinar will be September 19 and 26. The self-paced modules will be available on August 22. The 10 hour course is a combination of 6 hours of self paced modules and 2 two hour instructor led live webinars. More information may be found at http://www.absa.org/edubstraining.html.


ABSA Election

The 2011 ABSA Election will start on August 1. You will be receiving an email from Zoomerang.com to cast you vote. As a member of the American Biological Safety Association (ABSA), your vote determines the future of the association. In addition to the 2012 Council, remember that individuals elected to Council today become tomorrow's candidate pool for President-Elect of ABSA. Make your vote count and submit your ballot for the 2012 Council and Nominating Committee. Please notify the ABSA Office at [email protected] if you do not receive an electronic ballott after August 1st.

Thank you!

The 2011 Nominating Committee
Ben Fontes, Chair
Jairo Betancourt
Phillip Hauck
Janet Peterson
Dawn Wooley


Regulatory and Technical Affairs Team

Team Leader: Bill Homovec, CBSP

Technical Regulatory/Review Committee

Chair: Bill Homovec, CBSP
Since the last quarterly update, the TRR:


Conference Services Team

Team Leader: Robert Heckert

Exhibitors Advisory Committee
Chair: Steve Sowa
The Exhibitors Advisory Committee (EAC) has been working closely with the ABSA office to register exhibitors and sponsors for the upcoming conference in Anaheim, California. The EAC is always looking for new exhibitors to introduce to the ABSA community. The Annual Conference is a great way to make the introduction. We are also working on plans for an organized raffle that will be sponsored by the exhibitors. This raffle will encourage more interaction between the membership and exhibitors. Looking forward to seeing everyone in Anaheim.

Local Arrangements Committee:
Co-Chairs: Mimi Ton & Natasha Griffith
Surf's up at the Anaheim Marriott on Tuesday night, November 1, 2011. Come join fellow ABSA members for a fun filled night at the "beach." Wear your most "awesome" beach gear; get some grub; "hang ten" on the surfboard rider; dance to the coolest DJ tunes and immortalize the memories at the photo booth. Also, bring a piece of home with you to share and participate in our logo clothing exchange. It could be a hat, shirt, jacket, etc. that represents your school, employer, or hometown. California style dinner and two drink tickets will be provided. So, just come and chill with us!

Scientific Program Committee
Chair: Rob Heckert
As the 2010 ABSA conference wound down, the 2011 SPC wound up. With barely time to catch our collective breaths the SPC was busy reviewing the 2010 conference, considering what to change and what to keep for the 2011 conference. Then it was time to find keynote speakers and to make the Call for Papers. Before one could blink (or so it seemed to the SPC), we were busily reviewing all of the papers and posters. All of the papers and posters have now undergone review and letters sent out notifying the authors regarding acceptance at the 2011 conference.

The next project that the SPC is actively involved in is creating the schedule of events. While many do not like concurrent sessions, they are absolutely necessary for scheduling unless we want to make the conference longer (and therefore more expensive) or reject more papers. Until we hear from the ABSA community that this is what is truly desired, concurrent sessions shall remain. A draft agenda of the program for 2011 will be posted to the web shortly, so that everyone can start making their plans to attend the conference.


Anthology of Biosafety XII: Managing Challenges for Safe Operations of BSL-3/ABSL-3 Facilities

Anthology of Biosafety XII has just been published! The book builds skillfully upon the existing art and science that is biosafety. With new sections on regulations and potential legislative interventions, this work is especially timely. Review sections on risk assessment and foundational work on the safety competencies of laboratory workers provide a strong footing for both novice and experienced biosafety professionals. Maintenance, management, and training issues are also well explored in a practical manner. An impactful review of the "greening" of our laboratories, minimization of waste, optimization of energy utilization, and management of waste water is also included. Other topics expertly covered include an occupational health update on botulinum toxin, special animal species concerns in ABSL-3 and 3-Ag, disaster planning for animal facilities, and communication skills-building for biosafety professionals. This Anthology book is as practical and important addition to any biosafety professionals library.

For more information and to order Anthology of Biosafety XII go to: http://www.absa.org/pubanth.html


Task Force Updates

Do it Yourself (DIY) Biology Task Force
Lead: David Silberman

DIY Task Force activities have been focused on gathering information by its Chair, attending presentations by preeminent DIYers and their proponents such as Dr. Drew Endy of MIT, engaging various governmental agencies such as the FBI, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) in dialogue.

Plans for Quarter 3 include at least one conference call, attendance at local DIYer "garage" clubs and continued interaction with governmental and non-governmental agencies. Our goal is to develop a thoughtful position paper that encourages DIYers to ensure they are sufficiently well versed in the principles of biosafety and safe scientific practices, aware of all applicable biosecurity obligations (including reporting suspicious activities), the concept of dual use research of concern, and the availability of local resources.

Laboratory Accreditation Task Force
Lead: Chris Thompson

The Laboratory Accreditation Task Force conducted pilot accreditation site visits to Richard Roudebush Veterans Affairs Research Laboratory in Indianapolis and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, both of which volunteered to participate in our pilot program for high containment laboratories. Both conduct work in high containment (BSL-3) laboratories that does not fall under Select Agent Program oversight. The pilot site visits were considered to be very successful by all parties. Formal reports were issued to the volunteer institutions. The pilot visits enabled us to identify areas for improvement in our process. A third pilot visit is planned for Colorado State University in 3Q2011. A business plan is being developed by the Task Force to establish the next steps for going forward. Council will review the business plan and the site visit reports and decide on next steps.

Members Profile Task Force
Lead: Melissa Morland

A Member Profile Task Force has been created to develop an online tool which would consolidate information about our members expertise, needs, and activities. This tool will not only eliminate the need for multiple requests for information being sent to members, but will allow ABSA leadership to better develop programs geared to our members utilizing the strengths of our members. The Task Force held a meeting in April to discuss the current set of data collection tools which either exist or are proposed by ABSA committees. The Task Force will now work to develop a common process for collecting, maintaining, and mining this data for the future.


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.



OSHA Distracted Driving Initiative

OSHA's latest focus has been on distracted driving. Below is a link on their Distracted Driving Initiative https://www.osha.gov/distracted-driving/index.html.


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