Message from ABSA International President Maureen O’Leary
Dear ABSA Colleagues,
I am truly honored and flattered to be the ABSA President this year. I realize that it will be difficult to emulate the great ABSA Presidents of the past but will sure give it my best shot.
During the ABSA conference I presented a few overarching focus areas for the coming year:
- We will continue to work with federal agencies on influencing biosafety and biosecurity policy. There is important knowledge from practitioners that needs to be conveyed to the different agencies. We are in a great position to educate and influence the direction of regulations that we will need to comply with and implement at our own institutions.
- We will also work on developing a process to have resources available in a timely fashion for new and emerging technologies and infectious agents. Availability of these resources will ensure that all of our members will have access to the best and latest information/recommendations related to best practices.
- Enhancing our international engagement will ensure that we are living up to our new name as ABSA International and that we are a global source for biosafety and biosecurity resources. By interacting with our affiliates, partners, and members throughout the world, we will work towards contributing to international biosafety and biosecurity norms, which will be beneficial to all of us while creating a broad set of expertise and resources.
- We are also reigniting the development of the ABSA Ambassador Program to have greater outreach both domestically and internationally .
Work is in progress to organize and establish working groups and task forces. If you are interested in one of these areas or have ideas you would like to share please let me know.
ABSA International is a successful association because of our outstanding members, especially those that commit to volunteering their time to work on important ABSA initiatives. If you are interested in volunteering please fill out the Get Involved form.
I am looking forward to a very busy and productive year!
Maureen O’Leary, PhD, MBA, CBSP, ABSA International President
Maureen O’Leary, PhD, MBA, CBSP
ABSA International President
ABSA President’s Report
February 23, 2017
October 25, 2016
Maureen O'Leary, PhD, MBA, CBSP
Dear ABSA Colleagues,
We had a great conference this year in Grapevine, Texas with 633 attendees with 911 spots filled in the preconference courses. Thank you for your participation and making the annual meeting such a dynamic learning experience and a place where a lot of new ideas and sharing of best practices came to light. Thank you to the Scientific Program Committee, Local Arrangements Committee, Preconference Course Committee, and Exhibitors Advisory Committee for their contributions to the ABSA International Conference.
During the conference we had the ABSA International Council meeting and the opportunity to work on strategic planning with team and committee leadership. I presented a few overarching focus areas for the coming year:
We will continue to work with federal agencies on influencing biosafety and biosecurity policy. There is important knowledge from practitioners that needs to be conveyed to the different agencies. We are in a great position to educate and influence the direction of regulations that we will need to comply with and implement at our own institutions.
We will also work on developing a process to have resources available in a timely fashion for new and emerging technologies and infectious agents. Availability of these resources will ensure that all of our members will have access to the best and latest information/recommendations related to best practices.
Enhancing our international engagement will ensure that we are living up to our new name as ABSA International and that we are a global source for biosafety and biosecurity resources. By interacting with our affiliates, partners, and members throughout the world, we will work towards contributing to international biosafety and biosecurity norms, will be beneficial to all of us while creating a broad set of expertise and resources.
We are also reigniting the development our ABSA Ambassador Program and having an international focused session on the Sunday before the next ABSA conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Work is in progress to establish working groups and task forces. If you are interested in one of these areas or have ideas you would like to share please let me know.
Lastly, the USDA ARS 4th International Biosafety and Biosecurity Symposium will be held February 6-9, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland and the Principles & Practices of Biosafety will be held March 5-10, 2017 in San Antonio, Texas.
I am looking forward to a very busy and productive year!
ABSA Past Presidents
1985 Everett Hanel
1986 Jerry Tulis, PhD
1987 Jonathan Richmond, PhD, RBP
1988 John H. Richardson, PhD, RBP
1989 Joseph Songer
1990 Diane Fleming, PhD, RBP, CBSP
1991 Emmett Barkley, PhD
1992 Gerald Spahn, PhD, CBSP
1993 Jerome Schmidt, PhD, CBSP
1994 Mary Cipriano, RBP, CBSP
1995 Manny Barbeito, CBSP
1996 Byron Tepper, PhD, CBSP
1997 Joseph Van Houten, PhD, RBP, CBSP
1998 Richard Knudsen
1999 Marilyn Misenhimer
2000 Jack Keene, DrPH, RBP, CBSP
2001 Debra Hunt, DrPH, RBP, CBSP
2002 Maureen (Best) Ellis, RBP
2003 Barbara Johnson, PhD, RBP
2004 Stefan Wagener, PhD, RBP, CBSP
2005 Betsy Gilman-Duane, RBP, CBSP
2006 Glenn Funk, PhD, CBSP
2007 Bob Hawley, PhD, RBP, CBSP
2008 Chris Thompson, RBP, CBSP
2009 Bob Ellis, PhD, CBSP
2010 Ben Fontes, MPH, CBSP
2011 Karen Byers, MS, RBP, CBSP
2012 LouAnn Burnett, MS, CBSP
2013 Barbara Fox Nellis, SM(NRCM), RBP, CBSP
2014 Paul J. Meechan PhD, MPH, RBP, CBSP, SM(NRCM)
2015 Marian M. Downing, RBP, CBSP, SM(NRCM)
2016 Melissa Morland, MS, MBA, RBP, CBSP
The council is the governing body of ABSA International.
2017 ABSA International Council
Maureen O’Leary, PhD, CBSP
Patrick Condreay, PhD, RBP
Melissa Morland, MS, CBSP, RBP
University of Maryland
Krista Murray, RBP, CBSP
University of Delaware
James Klenner, MSc, MPH, MPA, RBP, CBSP
Indiana University – Purdue University, Indianapolis
Kelly Flint, RBP, CBSP, SM(NRCM)
National Institutes of Health
The individuals listed on this page are all volunteers. Please direct all correspondence through the ABSA International office.
Professional Development Team
Team Leader: Deborah Howard, CBSP
Vice-Leader: Kirt Poulson
Provide continuous evaluation and revision of educational content for ABSA developed courses.
Maryjo Lanzillotta, MS, RBP, CBSP, SM(NRCM)
Kathleen Kennedy, MPH
ABSA’s Distance Learning Committee (DLC) is dedicated to the development and delivery of quality training modules and webinars for biosafety professionals.
Karen Byers, MS, RBP, CBSP
Barbara Johnson, PhD, RBP
The duty of the Journal Board is to ensure the timely production of a professional publication focused on biosafety on a quarterly basis. The Co-Editors, Associate, Assistant and Managing Editors achieve this collectively by soliciting high quality articles in the form of original research, review articles, editorials, columns and other applicable submissions which are then subject to double-blind review by subject matter experts with a track record of publications who have been appointed to the Editorial Board. The Co-Editors and Associate Editor coordinate with the Managing Editor throughout the article solicitation, review and publication phase of the process, as well as conduct a Quality Control review of the final product before it is released to the membership.
Niki Drazenovich, RBP, CBSP
Matthew Fischer, PhD, RBP
Corrie Ntiforo, MSPH, RBP
Carrie Smith, PhD, RBP, CBSP
Provide quality, relevant biosafety education to ABSA members and other practitioners. The committee will develop courses, serve as facilitators, review course content and handouts, on-site coordination of the course, and summarize evaluations from the course.
Bruce Whitney, PhD
Promote and foster the publication of biosafety media
★ Publications Committee is looking for volunteers.
LAI Database Committee
★ also, the LAI Database Committee is looking for volunteers.
David Harbourt, PhD
Eric Cook, MPH, CBSP
Provide a consolidated collection of biosafety training materials readily accessible via the ABSA website for individuals responsible for providing biosafety training. Identify and solicit quality biosafety training materials, evaluate all submitted materials for relevance and accuracy, and organize materials into categories for posting on the website.
★ Training Tools/Resources Committee is looking for volunteers.
Professional Development Team Update
Distance Learning Committee - February 23, 2017
- Dual Use Research of Concern (DURC) Roundtable Discussion with Dr. Kathryn Harris and will include a panelist discussion about designing an effective DURC Program
- Bioethics for Biosafety Professionals with Dr. Brynn Welch
- Large-scale Biosafety (based on the preconference course) with Brian Petuch
- A course on CRISPR/Cas Systems and Risk Assessment is under development
- Q&A Infectious Substance Shipping-SME Eric Cook on February 17, 2017 from 12:30-3:00 pm CST
- NEW! Large-Scale Biosafety-SME Brian Petuch on February 21 and 23, 2017 from 12:30-3:00 pm CDT
- Current Trends in Sterilization-SME Arthur Trapotsis and Paul Lorcheim on March 1 and 3, 2016
- Behaving Safely in the Laboratory: Understanding Complexities of Building and Sustaining a Culture of Safety-SME Sean Kaufman on April 3, 5, and 7, 2017 from 12:30-2:30 pm CST
- NEW! Bioethics-SME Dr. Brynn Welch on April 10, 11, and 12, 2017 from 12:00-1:00 pm CDT
- Train the Trainer: Tools for More Engaging Compliance Training-SME David Casavant on May 24, 2017 from 12:30-1:30 pm CDT
- Occupational Medicine: Your Valued Partner in Biosafety-SMEs Drs. Winter and Hudson on November 9, 2017 from 12:00-2:00 pm CDT
Principles & Practices of Biosafety (PPB) - February 23, 2017
Journal - February 23, 2017
Publications Committee - February 23, 2017
Preconference Course Committee - February 23, 2017
Learning Verification Committee - February 23, 2017
Training Tools/Resources Committee - February 23, 2017
ABSA Owned Courses - February 23, 2017
Over 40 modules were sold in 2016.
Learning Verification Committee - October 25, 2016
Co-Chairs: Niki Drazenovich and Matthew Fischer
The Learning Verification Committee is in the process of reviewing additional materials to generate quizzes from. ABSA International members have 8 quizzes available online for CM points. These quizzes are available at low cost and can be located on the website at http://absa.org/online-education/.
Training Tools Committee - October 25, 2016
Co-Chairs: Dave Harbourt and Eric Cook
The Training Tools and Resources Committee would like to thank Eleanor Low for her service to the committee as Chair for the past 3-years. The committee welcomes Eric Cook as the new Co-Chair and continues to be committed to providing the best training resources for our membership.
Publications Committee - October 25, 2016
Co-Chairs: Bruce Whitney and David Gillum
The Publication Committee continues working to implement the database of published reports of laboratory-acquired infections. We also continue working to determine the need and feasibility of translating foreign language biosafety-related publications into English and from English into select foreign languages.
Journal Board - October 25, 2016
Coeditors-in-Chief: Karen Byers and Barbara Johnson
SAGE Publishing is on-track with the publication schedule. SAGE is assisting with Indexing starting now through 2017 (we hope to get feedback in 6 months). If you would like to propose an article to the journal, please visit
Distance Learning Committee - October 25, 2016
Co-Chairs: Maryjo Lanzillotta and Kathleen Kennedy
The Distance Learning Committee (DLC) continues to develop, review, and offer new and ongoing webinars for ABSA International members professional growth.
New webinars offered this year include 4 distinct modules on the topic of biosecurity. Each webinar builds-off the previous yet they are able to stand alone as well allowing members to select modules most relevant to their needs. Three of the four modules have been completed. The DLC is excited to offer two new webinars this fall: Virus-based Gene Transfer Vectors and Molecular Biology 101. Registration for these webinars is now open at http://absa.org/online-education/.
The DLC continues to review the Basic Disinfection course to convert it into an on-demand module with a goal to launch in mid-2017. The committee's plans for 2017 also include bringing back Current Trends in Sterilization and the Q&A Infectious Substances Shipping webinars, as well as the addition of a new webinar on Large-scale Biosafety, based on the preconference course. The DLC is actively reviewing other new course ideas submitted by ABSA International members, including the topics of Dual Use Research of Concern, Bioethics, and Import Permits.
The list of professional development opportunities is available on the Online Education webpage https://absa.org/online-education/; new courses are added routinely. Please invite your colleagues, nonmembers, or other professionals to attend.
Defining the Profession Team
Donald Wang, MPH, RBP, CBSP
Tom Boyle, RBP
Recognize biosafety professionals through credentialing. Review applications for Certified Biological Safety Professionals (CBSPs) and Registered Biosafety Professionals (RBP) to determine if applicant meets established criteria.
Susan Cook, CBSP
Thomas Leonard, PhD, CBSP
Develop the continuing education criteria necessary for Certified Biological Safety Professionals (CBSPs) and Registered Biosafety Professionals (RBP) to maintain their certification and for administering the recertification process. Criteria for serving on the Board include being an active status CBSP and/or RBP.
Defining the Profession Team Update
Credentialing Maintenance Board - February 23, 2017
Credentialing Evaluation Board - February 23, 2017
Credentialing Evaluation Board - October 25, 2016
Co-Chairs: Donald Wang and Betty Kupskay
From January to August 2016, the Credentialing Evaluation Board convened monthly by conference calls to review and discuss submitted and pending applications. During this period, the Board reviewed a total of 37 applications; 35 for Registered Biosafety Professional (RBP) and 2 for Certified Biological Safety Professional (CBSP). Of the RBP applications, 23 received approvals, 7 were disapproved, and 5 applications pending; (either waiting for additional information or clarification prior to our final decision). Both of the CBSP applications received were reviewed and approved. Some of the common reasons for disapprovals were: not meeting the period required in managing a comprehensive biosafety program management, the academic degrees not relevant to biological safety, or information provided not relevant to biosafety.
The newly credentialed professionals acknowledged at the annual conference were:
Registered Biosafety Professionals (RBP)
Cristine Campos Lawson
Certified Biological Safety Professionals (CBSP)
J. Paul Jennette
Credentialing Maintenance Board - October 25, 2016
Co-Chairs: Susan Cook and Thomas Leonard
The Credentialing Maintenance Board (CMB) reminds the credentialed community that a convenient series of inexpensive, online opportunities for credentialing maintenance points are available through ABSA's online educational resources at http://absa.org/online-education/. Thanks to efforts of the Learning Verification Committee, credentialing maintenance points may be earned through satisfactory completion of quizzes designed to verify comprehension of Applied Biosafety journal articles and other educational materials. Over 7.0 Credentialing Maintenance points have been preapproved by the CMB.
Judy LaDuc, RBP
Kimberly Heard, MS, CBSP
Janet Peterson, CBSP
Jeffrey Potts, MPH, CBSP
Provide the names of nominees for the Arnold G. Wedum Distinguished Achievement Award, Everett Hanel, Jr. Presidential Award, the John H. Richardson Special Recognition Award, and the Knudsen Award to the ABSA Council for review and approval.
Francine Rogers, RBP, CBSP
Tim Sturgis, RBP
Amy Ryan, MPH, RBP
Review the By-Laws, propose amendments, and review other matters related to the By-Laws
Matt Anderson, PhD
Sarah Ziegler, PhD
Facilitate the continued development and oversight of the ABSA website as a fundamental means of communication for ABSA members and other practitioners.
James Klenner, MS, RBP, CBSP
Sarah Gillette McAbee, RBP
Make recommendations to the Council on matters concerning financial policy, fiscal performance, financial statements, investment of funds, and other financial matters.
Management Team Update
Finance Committee - February 23, 2017
Awards Committee - February 23, 2017
E-Communications Committee - February 23, 2017
Bylaws Committee - February 23, 2017
E-Communications Committee - October 25, 2016
Co-Chairs: Matt Anderson and Sarah Ziegler
The E-Communications Committee has made progress toward the ABSA International website redesign, finalized a navigation menu and picked the Word Press theme. The committee is accumulating photos to use on the site and developing page layouts and brainstorming "call to action" elements. The ABSA International blog has had only one submission in the past few months. We have submitted a request to the Credentialing Maintenance Board to offer CM points for blog posts. If you are interested in submitting to the ABSA International blog, please visit http://blog.absa.org/
Awards Committee - October 25, 2016
Co-Chairs: Janet Peterson and David Gillum
The Awards Committee had a very busy summer. We worked with the Publications Committee to review all of the Applied Biosafety Journal articles published in the past year to choose the Knudsen Award recipient. Thanks to all of you who submitted nominations and journal articles!
The Committee also worked diligently to review Honor Award nominations. Below are the 2016 Honor Award recipients.
2016 Honor Award recipients:
Arnold Wedum Distinguished Achievement Award
Paul Meechan, PhD, RBP, CBSP
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Everett J Hanel Jr. Presidential Award
Brian Petuch, RBP, CBSP
Merck & Co., Inc.
West Point, PA
John H. Richardson Special Recognition Award
Robert J. Emery, DrPH, RBP, CBSP
University of Texas Health Science Center
2016 HASH Award Recipients:
Shelly Jones, RBP, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ
Rhonda O'Keefe, CBSP, The Broad Institute, Cambridge, MA
Susan Cook, PhD, CBSP, Washington University, St. Louis, MO
Jeff Owens, MPH, CBSP, HDR, Inc., Atlanta, GA
Yolanda Stringer, MS, RBP, CBSP, Children's Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, MO
J. Paul Jennette, MS, PE, RBP, CBSP, Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine, Ithaca, NY
Rebecca Caruso, MPH, RBP, CBSP, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
David Gillum, RBP, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
Membership Leadership Team
Team Leader: Margaret Juergensmeyer, PhD, RBP
Vice-Leader: Sophie Brocard, PhD, RBP
Jennifer Gaudioso, PhD
Despina Felis, RBP
Assists, advises and coordinates the Affiliate and International affiliate petition process with the respective petitioning organizations according to criteria approved by the ABSA Council. Serves as liaison between ABSA and it’s affiliated organizations. Convenes a meeting of delegates of affiliated organizations at the Annual Conference. Makes recommendations to the ABSA Council on matters affecting Affiliate and International Affiliate policy.
Je T’Aime Newton, MS, RBP
Malissa Mayer-Diaz, RBP
Promote membership in ABSA.
★ Membership Committee is looking for volunteers.
Althea C. Treacy, PhD
Sarah Ziegler, PhD
Facilitate the creation of mentoring relationships within ABSA, between a mentee who wishes to enhance their biosafety knowledge in specific areas, and a mentor. The Committee’s goal is to solicit knowledgeable ABSA members willing to volunteer as mentors, and match up interested parties. The Committee will also solicit feedback on the process in order to track the effectiveness and make improvements.
Melissa Morland, MS, MBA, RBP, CBSP
Prepare a slate of candidates for officers, Councilors, and at-large members of the Nominating Committee. Nominating Committee members are elected.
Membership Leadership Team Update
Membership Committee - February 23, 2017
Nominating Committee - February 23, 2017
Mentoring Committee - February 23, 2017
Affiliate Relations - October 25, 2016
Co-Chairs: Despina Felis and Jennifer Gaudioso
The ABSA International Council approved the Affiliate Ribbons for the conference in October. Several affiliates participated. Feedback from the Affiliates regarding the ribbons was positive. For more information on Affiliates go to http://absa.org/affiliates/.
Mentoring Committee - October 25, 2016
Co-Chairs: Althea Capul and Sarah Ziegler
The Mentoring Committee has submitted an ABSA-wide request for potential Mentees and Mentors to establish Mentoring Program profiles in my.absa.org. If you are interested in becoming a Mentor or are looking to join the program as a Mentee, information can be found on the Welcome page of my.absa.org. Follow the link to participate in the Mentoring Program. All ABSA International members are welcome!
Nominating Committee - October 25, 2016
Chair: Marian Downing
Many thanks to the 2016 Nominating Committee: Janet Peterson, Scott Patlovich, Hallie Hoskins, and Deb Howard. Also, thanks to all the final candidates and others who were contacted and made some difficult decisions.
Membership Committee - October 25, 2016
Co-Chairs: JeT'Aime Newton and Malissa Mayer-Diaz
This quarter the Membership Committee contacted all new members that were interested in getting more information/joining ABSA International committees. They are still receiving the responses and putting them into contact with the Chairs of the committees. We have 274 new members so far this year, which includes 43 new international members. The Membership Committee continues to review Emeritus applications as submitted.
Christina Thompson, RBP, CBSP
The purpose of the Accreditation Board is to be responsible for oversight of the Accreditation Program.
Bob Ellis, PhD, CBSP
Rebecca Caruso, MPH, RBP, CBSP
The purpose of the Accreditation Committee is to determine whether an entity can be accredited based on the complete and final inspectors’ report.
Marian Downing, RBP, CBSP
Julie Johnson, PhD, CBSP
The purpose of the Inspectors Committee is to select and train inspectors for the Laboratory Accreditation program, conduct entity inspections, and to provide a completed inspection report to the Accreditation Committee.
★ The Inspectors Committee is looking for volunteers. They need experienced biosafety professionals.
Bill Homovec, CBSP
Rob Heckert, DVM, PhD, CBSP
The purpose of the Standards Committee is to develop and implement effective methods for identifying, reviewing and adopting regulations and other pertinent guidelines or best practices that impact the standards referenced or used by the ABSA Laboratory Accreditation Board in its laboratory accreditation process. The committee is also responsible for developing and implementing effective methods for identifying, reviewing, and updating checklists used in the laboratory accreditation process and communicating that information to affected Committees.
★ The Standards Committee is looking for volunteers.
Accreditation Team Update
Accreditation Board - October 25, 2016
Chair: Chris Thompson
The Accreditation Board recently met and re-elected Co-Chairs for all their committees. We continue to be hopeful that with the recent fee structure reduction, we will be garnering further attention for the accreditation of facilities nationwide. We are also exploring opening the accreditation process to those international partners that are seeking accreditation. For further information regarding the accreditation program, please visit http://www.absa.org/lab-accred/.
Regulatory & Technical Affairs Team
Alexis Brubaker, CBSP
Bill Homovec, CBSP
Meghan Seltzer, PhD
Brian O’Shea, PhD, CBSP
ABSA’s Legislative Committee has twin aims: 1) to establish ABSA’s credibility with Congress as a preeminent voice on American Biosafety, and 2) to inject ABSA’s stance on important biosafety issues into the Congressional forum. The Legislative Committee endeavors to accomplish these goals by monitoring Congress for biosafety-related hearings and proposed rulemaking, and initiating contact with Congress on appropriate matters.
Rebecca Moritz, CBSP
Joshua Turse, PhD
Yolanda Arriaga Stringer, MS, RBP, CBSP
Ingrid Abbott-Permell, RBP, CBSP
Develop and implement an effective method for reviewing and commenting on issues or regulatory concerns that impact the ABSA membership or the health or safety of the environment. Respond to requests for comments by regulatory agencies proposing new or amended regulations. Develop “white papers” and other guidance documents.
★ Technical & Regulatory Review Committee is looking for volunteers.
Regulatory & Technical Affairs Team Update
Legislative Affairs Committee - February 23, 2017
Technical & Regulatory Review Committee - February 23, 2017
Public Relations Committee - February 23, 2017
Public Relations Committee - October 25, 2016
Chair: Rebecca Moritz and Joshua Turse
The Public Relations Committee worked with SME's Kelly Tyrell, University of Wisconsin Madison, and Jim Newman, KGB Texas Communications, to develop the course titled Media and Public Relations for Biosafety Professionals. This course was offered during the ABSA Conference.
Technical & Regulatory Review Committee - October 25, 2016
Co-Chairs: Eric Steelman and Yolanda Arriaga
The Technical and Regulatory Review Committee (TRR) frequently reviews technical and regulatory documents and determines which documents need a deeper review and comment by the committee. In some cases, a technical review is determined to not be warranted based on further analysis or if other ABSA groups are involved.
The TRR did not submit specific comments during the last round of requests for input, but encouraged ABSA members to submit comments for issues they felt important.
Recently, the EPA requested comments in their efforts to ensure proper recordkeeping and training of personnel in institutions working with agents of dual-use concern. The TRR contacted the EPA and were given permission to view the checklist and other criteria that will be used to for the audit. The information that was provided can be found on the Federal Register website, as well as what is provided on the Federal Docket website. We did not submit comments as the forms and questions were found on common assessment forms.
The TRR has reviewed a proposal from the NIH regarding human stem cell research. The modification will impact sections IV and V of the NIH Guidelines. https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/08/05/2016-18601/request-for-public-comment-on-the-proposed-changes-to-the-nih-guidelines-for-human-stem-cell.
Legislative Committee - October 25, 2016
Co-Chairs: Debra Sharpe and Meghan Seltzer
The Legislative Committee's (LC) primary focus has been to streamline and oversee ABSA International's new legislative monitoring program, provided through the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) Government Affairs Office. Since the last update, the committee has reviewed 130 state legislative bills. To date, 4 state bills have been identified as having a potential impact on biosafety programs and were referred to local affiliates for further review and action.
The LC has also been working to identify ways to engage our local legislative representatives and invite them into our organizations to introduce them to what we do. The LC is also working to identify new mechanisms to engage and educate federal policymakers. The goal of both initiatives is to forge relationships, awareness, and improve the chances that they will reach out to ABSA International members when relevant policy issues or incidents arise.
The committee welcomes 2 new members (Torsten Hopp from University of Louisville and Brian J. O'Shea from Battelle).
Conference Services Team
Team Leader: Sylvie Blondelle
Make recommendations to the Council concerning issues relating to exhibitors and event sponsors. Solicit new exhibitors and sponsors.
2017 Albuquerque, NM:
Jen Gaudioso, PhD
Select and coordinate arrangements for upcoming conferences. Work begins at least three years prior to the conference date. Often members of this committee work or live in the city where the conference will be held.
Betsy Matos, PhD, RBP
Jessica McCormick-Ell, PhD, RBP, CBSP
Claudia Gentry-Weeks, PhD, CBSP
Solicit submissions for platform presentations and poster sessions for the annual conference, submit nominees for the Wedum and Eagleson Lectures. The SPC shall also request applications for the Gross Memorial Award, select moderators for each of the platform presentation sessions and actively encourages all presenters to prepare and submit papers for publication in the Applied Biosafety: Journal of ABSA International.
★ The Scientific Program Committee is looking for volunteers.
Conference Services Team Update
Scientific Program Committee - February 23, 2017
Local Arrangements Committee - February 23, 2017
Exhibitors Committee - February 23, 2017
Exhibitors Advisory Committee - October 25, 2016
Chair: Brandon Rosendahl
ABSA International would like to thank all of the sponsors and exhibiting companies participating at the the annual conference in Grapevine! We appreciate your support! Go to the following link for a list of sponsors and exhibitors http://absaconference.org/sponsorexhibitor-info/.
Local Arrangements Committee - October 25, 2016
Chair: Patrick Conley
The 2016 Conference Local Arrangement Committee arranged the banquet at the Glass Cactus Night Club. Attendees enjoyed Texas BBQ, line dancing, and casino games in addition to the great sunset views over Lake Grapevine.
Scientific Program Committee - October 25, 2016
Co-Chairs: Darlene Ward and Betsy Matos
This was a crucial time for the Scientific Program Committee (SPC) and we hope you were able to join us at the 59th Annual Biological Safety Conference. The hard work by the SPC created a great program! New this year-the posters were categorized by scientific and informational criteria to make viewing and judging more streamlined. Many of the presentations are posted on the ABSA website at
http://absaconference.org/agenda/sci-agenda/ and are available to conference attendees. If you were unable to attend or if there was a presentation you would like to see again, several of the presentations are available for purchase through DCP Providers at http://www.dcprovidersonline.com/absa/?event_id=ABSA107
ABSA Ambassadors ★
Marian Downing, RBP, CBSP
★ The ABSA Ambassadors task force is looking for volunteers. Volunteers must be past ABSA councilors or officers
LouAnn Burnett, CBSP
Bob Ellis, PhD, CBSP
Don Callihan, PhD
John Balog, BS, RBP
Bob Hawley, PhD, RBP CBSP
Infectious Disease Response and Antimicrobial Resistance
Jen Gaudioso, PhD
Susan Weekly, RBP
Eric Cook, CBSP
Lolly Gardiner, RBP
New/Emerging Technologies and Diseases
David Gillum, MS, RBP
Rebecca Moritz, CBSP
Emerging Infectious Disease Consortium
Paul Meechan, PhD, RBP, CBSP
Krista Murray, RBP, CBSP Colleen Driskill, RBP, CBSP
Task Forces Update
Select Agent Task Force - February 23, 2017
Emerging Infectious Disease Consortium - February 23, 2017
ABSA Ambassadors Task Force - February 23, 2017
Global Health Security Agenda Consortium (GHSAC)-Professional Associations Working Group - October 25, 2016
Chair: Donald Callihan
The Global Health Security Agenda Consortium met on July 6, 2016 at the U.S. Department of State Marshall Center. Don Callihan, Working Group Liaison representing ABSA International attended, along with Ed Stygar, ABSA International Executive Director. ABSA International is the coordinating organization for the Professional Membership Associations Working Group (PAWG).
The mandate of the Professional Associations Working Group is to strengthen global health security by engaging and networking with our professional organization counterparts working in GHSA partner countries and support their efforts as they prepare to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats in their country and region. Participating professional associations will seek to engage our members in opportunities to share their knowledge, skills, and abilities with professional peers across the international community.
- Promote capacity building for professions engaged in implementing Action Packages in GHSA member countries
- Coordinate programs and activities among professional associations in support of GHSA Action Package implementation
Jim Welch, Executive Director of the Elizabeth R. Griffin Research Foundation and Chair of the GHSAC Steering Committee, announced that the GHSAC website is nearing launch.
For more information on GHSA and GHSA Action Packages, visit the GHSA website at https://ghsagenda.org/.