ABSA Update

ABSA Orlando 2012

The 55th Annual Biological Safety Conference will be in Orlando, FL, October 18-24, 2012. Meetings and Exhibits will be at the Hilton Bonnet Creek Resort and the banquet will be at Sea World.

The Call for Papers and Proposals will open shortly. A notice will be emailed and posted on the ABSA web site.

Exhibit and Sponsor opportunities for 2012 are also available. We are looking forward to an outstanding 55th Annual Biological Safety Conference!

ABSA Council

President: LouAnn Burnett

On behalf of the ABSA Council, I offer our heartfelt congratulations and thanks to all of those who contributed to the success of the 54th Annual Biological Safety Conference in Anaheim, CA. Nearly every ABSA committee played a part in our biggest and most visible event of the year; and many have already begun work towards next year's conference (October 18 - 24, 2012) in Orlando, FL.

The Council is very grateful for the thought and time that each of you took to respond to the Member Engagement cards we initiated at the Anaheim conference. We are sorting through hundreds of valuable comments. You will begin to see detailed responses in early 2012 and we look forward to your continued input to those responses.

In the interim, I am pleased to report that (as requested by many of you) hotel room rates for the Orlando (2012), Kansas City (2013), San Diego (2014) and Providence (2015) conference hotels have already been negotiated to include wi-fi (and we intend to negotiate this into all future contracts). Please stay-tuned for more information about the criteria and costs involved in choosing a conference venue and be prepared to help us determine priorities as we explore additional options for cost-savings in the future.

Many of you also expressed a desire to become more involved with the huge volunteer effort that fuels ABSA's success. I would like to personally extend my hand to each of you who are looking for a way to share your passion and perspective (and willingness to work hard!) with other ABSA members. Please send me an e-mail ([email protected]) and I will work with you directly to match you up with a team or committee that will welcome your contribution.

The ABSA Council looks forward to a great year ahead. Thank you for your participation and trust!

ABSA Distance Learning Committee

Chair: MaryJo Lanzillotta

Call for Webinars!

If you would like to propose a webinar or distance learning course, please go to  [link deleted]. The DLC is working toward new webinars and distance learning opportunities for 2012 to meet member needs. Watch the ABSA web site for additional information.

Mark your calendars for April 5, 2012 to attend the webinar "Selecting the Right Decontaminating Agents." It will be from 1:30-3:30pm CST. Watch the ABSA website for future details.

ABSA Principles & Practices of Biosafety

Co-Chairs: Paul Jennette & Paul Meechan

The next Principles & Practices of Biosafety (PPB) will be February 26 to March 2, 2012 at the Embassy Suites San Diego Bay in Downtown San Diego, California. The PPB is a comprehensive, interactive 5-day course. Principles & Practices of Biosafety will introduce the essential elements of biosafety and provide extensive resource lists for use after the course. Interactive exercises will be used throughout to provide hands-on experience, encourage networking, and problem-solving among participants and instructors.

There are still openings for the February offering. Additional information and registration can be found at http://www.absa.org/eduppb.html.

Leadership Institute and Review Course 

Chair: Rita D'Angelo 

The Leadership Institute and Review Course will be April 22-27, 2012 at the Embassy Suites in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The Leadership Institute will begin in the afternoon of April 22 and will conclude the afternoon of April 25. The Review Course will start the morning of April 26 and conclude on the afternoon of April 27. The Embassy Suites Hotel rate is $135; which includes breakfast, internet, and a nightly managers reception. More details will be announced and posted on the ABSA web site in the near future.

CDC Symposium

ABSA is a Co-sponsor of the CDC's 12th International Symposium on Biosafety, which will be held on February 11-15, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia at the Crowne Plaza Ravinia. The title of the program is Sustainability: People, Practices, Planet. More information can be found at http://www.eagleson.org/CDC.

Technical Regulatory/Review Committee

Chair: Bill Homovec

The TRR Committee engaged in the following activities during the third quarter of 2011:

During the early part of July 2011, the TRR reviewed the Federal Experts Security Advisory Panel's (FESAP) report entitled "Recommendations Concerning the Select Agent Program," which was revised on January 10, 2011 as well as June 13, 2011. (Only the Forward portion was revised in June 2011.) This review was initiated to help prepare ABSA for a presentation to the FESAP on July 21, 2011. Comments were shared by TRR members with the ABSA office.

The TRR reviewed the July 25, 2011 issue of the Federal Register, which announced a proposed change in the NIH Guidelines. OBA was seeking comments regarding a proposal to specify the risk group classification of some commonly used attenuated strains of bacteria and viruses commonly used in rDNA research. Additional risk groups for several viruses not previously listed in the NIH Guidelines was also proposed. Comments were prepared, circulated, and approved. Comments and reviews can be found on the ABSA web site at http://absa.org/aiarevcom.html.

Credentialing Maintenance Board

Chair: Krista Murray

ABSA would like to remind all CBSPs and RBPs of the requirement to recertify their credentials. All CBSPs are on a 5-year cycle. The RBP recertification program is just being phased-in, so these initial cycles range from 3-5 years, with the 5-year cycles following the initial renewal. The cycle years end on December 31; recertification packets must be submitted to the ABSA office no later than February 1 (32 days after the end of the cycle).

If you have any questions regarding the dates of your recertification cycle, please see

http://www.absa.org/pdf/CBSPCMCycleAssignments.pdf for the CBSP cycles or

http://www.absa.org/pdf/RBPscycle2010.pdf for the RBP cycles.

We highly recommend that you track your professional development throughout your cycle. You must earn an average of 8 points per year of cycle (40 points in a 5-year cycle). There is a guidance document on the process at http://www.absa.org/word/CMProgramguide08-09.doc.

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

Anthology of Biosafety XII is the newest in the Anthology of Biosafety Series. This 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 are 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 edition is a practical and important addition to any biosafety professional's library. For more information and to order Anthology of Biosafety XII, go to: http://www.absa.org/pubanth.html.

ABSA Griffin Grant Committee

Chairs: Bob Hawley and Elizabeth Gilman Duane

The 2011 Elizabeth R. Griffin Grant has been awarded to Lorraine McConnell for the project titled Responsible Conduct of Research Course (RCR) with Biosafety Core Elements. This course will be available online.

The 2010 Griffin Grant, BRI Working with Livestock in Biocontainment, has been completed by the Biosecurity Research Institute at Kansas State University. The video is available on DVD and will be available on the ABSA web site in the future. All ABSA members will receive a copy of the DVD.

ABSA Anaheim Conference Recordings and Presentations

If you would like to purchase any recordings of the ABSA Anaheim Conference presentations, you can go to http://www.dcprovidersonline.com/absa/. Go to [link deleted] to view PowerPoint presentations and videos from the ABSA Anaheim Conference. 
Joseph Songer

In Memoriam-Joseph R. Songer

December 20, 1926-October 20, 2011

Joe Songer's accomplishments in biological safety while serving with the USDA Agricultural Research Service at the National Animal Disease Center, Ames, Iowa, were significant. His excellent work in applied biosafety research on air handling systems, decontamination, and cross-contamination is reflected in his publications.

Mr. Songer's contributions of his time and efforts on behalf of the biosafety profession before and after the founding of ABSA is best illustrated by his scholarly work "The Songer Bibliography" which is still available on the ABSA web site. Mr. Songer has been recognized by ABSA as the recipient of the Everett Hanel, Jr. Presidential Award in 1986 and as the 2007 recipient of the Arnold G. Wedum Distinguished Achievement Award. Mr. Songer is also featured on the 50th Annual Conference Historical Roundtable and Interviews DVD. His knowledge and leadership will be greatly missed.

Professional Development Team

Team Leader: Patrick McKinney

The Professional Development Team sent out a Training Needs Survey through Zoomerang at the end of November. Please take a moment to fill out the brief survey. Your input is greatly appreciated as it will help guide the team in developing future distance learning opportunities. If you did not receive the survey, please send an email to [email protected] to request one. Thank you in advance for your input.

ABSA Membership Site

Did you know that through the ABSA Store, not only can you access the ABSA Members Directory, you can update your contact information under the "My Information" link; view events you have registered for under "My Events"; access your educational credits under the "My Professional Development" link (still being updated); print a copy of past invoices under "My Transactions". You could also purchase ABSA publications, NEW ABSA shirts, and other ABSA products. The ABSA office is working hard to make managing your membership more intuitive and friendly.

ABSA on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn

You can keep up with ABSA activities, announcements, and network with other ABSA members through Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Click on the icon of your favorite social media on the ABSA home page and never miss a thing.

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Upcoming Events

ABSA Principles & Practices of Biosafety Course, February 26-March 2, 2012 in San Diego, California 
CDC Symposium February 11-15, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia
ABSA Webinar "Selecting the Right Decontaminating Agents" April 5, 2012 1:30-3:30pm CST
ABSA Principles & Practices of Biosafety Course, July 2012 (location TBD)
ABSA 55th Annual Biological Safety Conference October 18-24, 2012 in Orlando, Florida 
USDA/ARS 2nd International Symposium on Biosafety and Biocontainment in 2013 (location TBD)

Calendar Members Only