In This Issue:
ABSA Distance Learning Courses
Regulatory and Technical Affairs Team Management Team
Conference Services Team
Anthology of Biosafety XII
Task Forces Updates
ABSA Denver Conference
OSHA Distracted Driving Initiatives
ABSA Website Additions
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.
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;
- ABSA Conference -- Local Arrangements Committee, Scientific Program Committee, and the Pre-conference Cours Committee have again organized an outstanding series for the 54th annual biosafety safety conference, Oct.27-Nov.2, 2011 in Anaheim, CA. We're looking forward to seeing you there!
- Financial - ABSA had a net profit of $45,000 in 2010. The Finance Committee is refining the Financial report for the members meeting so that it is easily understood
- Ethics Task Force report on editing the ABSA ethics statement to include dual use and additional recommendations that will require ABSA member input
- Reports from the ANSI/ BL3 Standard Task Force
- Exciting plans from the Professional Development Team for webinars and conference courses
- Report from the Scientific Program Committee, who have again planned an outstanding conference experience for you
- Philanthropy Committee application and award criteria for two scholarships and two stipends to defray the cost of attendance for the Principles and Practices of Biosafety Course. One stipend is earmarked for a US applicant ($500USD) and one for an international applicant ($1000USD)
- Conducted a site a site visit of Providence, Rhode Island for the ABSA 2015 Conference
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 President, Karen Byers, attended AfBSA in Accra, Ghana, with Ed Stygar, ABSA Executive Director, and the EBSA Conference in Estoril, Portugal. Past-President, Ben Fontes, attended the IFBA Conference in Thailand, and LouAnn Burnett, President-Elect, attended AMEXBIO (Mexican Biosafety Association)
- ABSA's role in the support of the Biological Toxin and Weapons Convention is outlined in the UN Disarmament Forum publication, available online at: http://www.unidir.org/publications/disarmament-forum
ABSA Distance Learning Courses
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.
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.
The 2011 Nominating Committee
Ben Fontes, Chair
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:
- Reviewed the draft NIOSHA Alert entitled "Preventing Occupational Respiratory Disease From Dampness in Office Buildings, Schools, and Other Nonindustrial Buildings" in response to an announcement printed in the May 18, 2011 Federal Register. Comments were prepared, circulated, and approved. They were routed to Council for their review.
- Reviewed the Institute of Medicine report entitled "Certifying Personal Protective Technologies: Improving Worker Safety" in response to an announcement printed in the May 18, 2011 Federal Register. Comments were prepared, circulated, and approved. They were routed to Council for their review.
- Began the consideration of a review of a draft Food and Drug Administration (FDA) document entitled "Draft Guidance for Industry; Considering Whether an FDA Regulated Product Involves the Application of Nanotechnology" which was noted in announcement printed in the June 14, 2011 Federal Register. The TRR had not completed its consideration at the time this quarterly report was submitted.
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.