ABSA Update

2012 ABSA Conference - Orlando

ABSA Kansas City 2013

The 56th Annual Biological Safety Conference will be in Kansas City, Missouri, October 17-23, 2013. Meetings and Exhibits will be at the Sheraton Crown Center.

More information and hotel registration is available at www.absaconference.org.

Exhibit and Sponsor opportunities for 2013 are also available. We are looking forward to an outstanding 56th Annual Biological Safety Conference!

ABSA Council

President: Barbara Fox Nellis

For the past few years the ABSA President, President-Elect and our Executive Director attended the annual American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) CEO Symposium for chief staff executives and board chairs. ASAE is a phenomenal resource for association management, membership engagement and strategies to move the organization forward in an ever changing world and economy. The ABSA Council has incorporated many ideas from this symposium, including the member engagement questions and the strategic plan structure to improve the interface with members both internal to ABSA and external alliances. The portrayal of the life cycle of an association is an interesting perspective from conception through old age and the challenges that confront an organization along the way. Knowing what challenges are most likely to occur certainly helps in dealing with them in a proactive versus a reactive way. One other discussion from this symposium that was especially interesting includes the four cornerstones of success or what successful associations have that others don't:

  1. Smart people with the right skills who actually enjoy what they do
  2. Decisions and work methods that fit the culture and are viewed as models
  3. Owners, customers and staff who respect and trust each other
  4. Reputation for relevancy even in an every changing world

Monthly ABSA Council business highlights include International Federation of Biosafety Associations (IFBA) activity, the ABSA member engagement questions and answers, the October 2012 conference evaluations from attendees, strategic plan objectives per team for action and review, the new Compensation and Review Committee, team/committee structure modifications to better align with the strategic plan, ABSA Policy & Procedures (P&P) revisions and term limits, new regulatory changes including H5N1 comments, financial status and many other miscellaneous items as they occur.

Council's goal is to respond to membership needs and questions, involve new members, look long and hard at ways to streamline the budget, grow the organization despite the economy and continue to follow ABSA's Core Purpose that ABSA is dedicated to promoting and expanding biological safety expertise. Because of the current economic challenges that face ABSA and its members, the ABSA Council and ABSA President have been fiscally responsible when making all decisions. Travel will be limited and international travel will be on an absolutely necessary basis. This method should significantly save on travel budgets. The Council will carefully determine when and how major expenditures will occur and balance them against need, importance and return on investment.

ABSA 2012 Strategic Plan

Over the past year, the ABSA Council has worked with the ABSA teams, committees, and a strategic planning consultant to create a strategic plan that will guide ABSA over the next 10 years. There was a lot of careful thought and planning that considered our environment, the future of biosafety, and ABSA members' needs. The plan will roll out in 2013 with additional planning meetings at the mid-term Council meeting in Albuquerque and a session at the ABSA Conference on Sunday, October 20, 2013. Members can view the plan on the ABSA Members Only page at https://my.absa.org/.

ABSA Distance Learning Committee

Co-Chairs: MaryJo Lanzillotta and Kathleen Kennedy

Call for Webinars!

If you would like to propose a webinar or distance learning course, please go to [link deleted]. The DLC is developing new webinars and distance learning opportunities to meet member needs.

Upcoming Webinars:

Steam Sterilization and Gas Decontamination Systems for Laboratory Use
May 15 and 22, 2013, 1-3 pm CDT

Basic Disinfection Webinar
June 6 and 13, 2013, 1-3 pm CDT

Q&A Infectious Substance Shipping Webinar
July 11, 2013, 1-3 pm CDT

ABSA Principles & Practices of Biosafety

Co-Chairs: Paul Jennette & Jeff Owens

The next Principles & Practices of Biosafety (PPB) will be July 21-26, 2013 at the Embassy Suites in Portland, Oregon. Additional information and registration can be found at http://www.absa.org/eduppb.html.

The PPB is a comprehensive, interactive 5-day course. Principles & Practices of Biosafety introduces the essential elements of biosafety. Interactive exercises will be used throughout to provide hands-on experience, encourage networking, and problem solving among participants and instructors.

The PPB instructors would like to thank all of those volunteers who participated in the peer-review of the course materials. Your thoughts, suggestions, and expertise are greatly appreciated in our goal to constantly improve the course.

Leadership Institute

Leaders: Sean Kaufman & Jim Welch

The 6th Annual ABSA/Emory/ERGF Leadership Institute, Managing Unmanageable Situations: Management Techniques and Strategies for Biosafety Professionals, will be April 15-18, 2013 in Charleston, South Carolina. The Leadership Institute was developed to provide those serving biosafety an opportunity to brainstorm, regroup, be mentored, exchange ideas, and be prepared for the challenges ahead. It is important for all professionals to take the time to review outside perspectives, gather their thoughts, and listen to experienced experts - so they may go back to their institutions and continue to manage a very challenging situation.

Please review the agenda, as we believe this program will offer real opportunities for personal and professional growth. Registration, agenda, and additional information are available at http://absa.org/eduleadership.html.

Certification Review Course Committee

Co-Chairs: Rita D'Angelo and Willie Wong

Advanced Biosafety Training Series Modules

These modules are online offerings targeting intermediate to advanced biosafety professionals. Each module will address essential elements at a level appropriate for someone preparing to take the NRCM Biological Safety Specialist exam or interested in advanced training. Modules are available on the ABSA web site at www.absa.org/educbsp.html and include:

Risk Assessment and Hazard Identification: Infectious Agents, rDNA & Occupational Health Issues Regulatory Aspects Pertinent to Risk Assessment: NIH Guidelines, Select Agents & Animal Biosafety Facility Design & Large Scale Biosafety Issues Disinfection, Decontamination & Sterilization Work Practices, Equipment Biohazards and Personal Protective Equipment Equipment, Biological Safety Cabinets & Bioaerosols Regulatory Aspects, Standards, Guidelines, Institutional Biosafety Committees (IBCs) & Emergency Response

Preconference Course Committee

Co-Chairs: David Harbourt & Corrie Ntiforo


The Preconference Course Committee is beginning the process of reviewing the 36 submissions received for consideration for the 2013 ABSA Kansas City conference. The preliminary course schedule will be posted on the ABSA web site in early June.

Legislative Committee

Co-Chairs: Alexis Brubaker & Debra Sharpe

On February 12, 2013, an Executive Order was signed by the President entitled "Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity," which was published in the Federal Register. The Legislative Committee began its evaluation of the Order to determine any possible impact on biosafety program management for entities registered in the CDC Select Agent and Toxin Program.

Regulatory Review Committee

Chair: Leslie Hofherr

The Regulatory Review Committee drafted a response letter on the Federal Register request for information on Influenza viruses containing the hemagglutinin from the Goose/Guangdong/1/96 Lineage which was finalized by Council and submitted on December 14, 2012. The letter is posted on the ABSA web site at http://www.absa.org/aiarevcom.html.

Scientific Program Committee

Co-Chairs: Dawn Wooley, Shelley Jones, and Karen Gillis

The committee is busy preparing for the 56th Annual Biological Safety Conference in Kansas City, Missouri. They have reviewed and summarized the 2012 evaluations, and made revisions to their processes to better plan a great program. The Call for Papers submission site will remain open until April 1, 2013. To submit an abstract go to: http://www.absaconference.org/abstractsubmission.html

Local Arrangements Committee

Chair: Tim Sturgis

The 56th Annual Biological Safety Conference will be held in October in Kansas City, Missouri at the Sheraton Crown Center. Tim Sturgis, Ed Stygar, and Julie Savage toured the site in December 2012. The Tuesday night banquet will be held at the World War I Museum (www.theworldwar.org).

Exhibitors Advisory Committee

Chair: Steve Sowa

This year at the 56th Annual Biological Safety Conference there will be 101 booths available. The Exhibitor Prospectus has been completed and mailed out. To date, we have 36 confirmed exhibitor booths. If you are interested in a booth at the ABSA Conference, please contact the ABSA office.

Publications Committee

Co-Chairs: Joany Jackman and Bruce Whitney

Applied Biosafety

If you are interested in submitting a manuscript to Applied Biosafety: Journal of ABSA International, please visit http://apb.sagepub.com/. Applied Biosafety (Volume 18, Number 1, 2013) is due to be sent to the membership and subscribers the first week of April. PDF files of every issue of Applied Biosafety continue to be created and posted to the ABSA web site as they are published. These PDFs are useful for research, reference, etc., and can be found in the Members' Only section of the ABSA web site. Visit the ABSA web site at http://apb.sagepub.com/ for more information.

Anthology of Biosafety

Visit the ABSA Anthology page at: http://www.absa.org/pubanth.html. The Anthology XIV book is well underway! All chapters have been received and, as of early March, halfway done with the proofreading process.

Laboratory Accreditation Team

Team Leader: Chris Thompson

When the ABSA Council met at the October 2012 annual conference, they gave the Accreditation Task Force the mandate to proceed by, forming an Accreditation Board and 3 committees: Standards, Accreditation, and Inspectors Committees. The people involved with the Task Force were split-up to form the board and the 3 committees, with representation from the Task Force on all of the above. Additional ABSA members were recruited for the board and committees. The board and committees together form the Accreditation Team, which will be reporting to the ABSA Council.

The committees and board have written P&Ps and have developed all the documents necessary to begin operations. An application form, confidentiality agreements, audit checklists, and fee structure have been developed. When all the documents are finalized, notification will be sent to the biosafety community. Entities interested in obtaining accreditation will be encouraged to apply. The laboratory accreditation process will be ready within the next quarter of 2013.

Training Tools/Resources Committee

Co-Chairs: Patricia Cox & Eleanor Low

If you would like to submit a resource to the committee to share with other members through the ABSA web site, please follow this link: http://www.absa.org/trainingtools.html.

Awards Committee

Chair: Judy LaDuc

The ABSA Awards Committee is seeking nominations for the 2013 ABSA Honor Awards, which will be presented at the 56th Annual Biological Safety Conference, October 17-23, 2013 in Kansas City, Missouri. All ABSA members are encouraged to submit nominations for the awards. Nominations need to be received by June 1, 2013.

The three honor awards for which nominations are being sought are Arnold G. Wedum Distinguished Achievement Award, the Everett Hanel Jr. Presidential Award, and John H. Richardson Special Recognition Award. You are encouraged to submit nominations at http://www.xcdsystem.com/absa2013/awards.cfm.

ABSA Membership Site

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 can also purchase ABSA publications, NEW ABSA shirts, and other ABSA products. ABSA is working hard to make managing your membership more intuitive and user-friendly.

Upcoming ABSA Events


Calendar Members Only