Biosafety Fellowship Program. A strategic goal of the MRCE is to develop the region's biodefense infrastructure by training scientists to work with select and other infectious agents. The MRCE has established a career development program for a biosafety professional designed to meet the growing need for individuals capable of leading biosafety programs in government, industry, and academics. Biosafety Fellows participate in the day to day operations of a biosafety officer, and receive specialized training in all aspects of biosafety program development and management in the context of the MRCE consortium. Although supervised by Dr. Cook, fellows undergo rotations with select individuals to learn about specialized biosafety issues, including animal models of disease and working with pathogens at BSL3, with an emphasis on Select Agent Program management. Fellows assist with and participate in meetings of the Washington University Institutional Biological and Chemical Safety Committee (IBC) where they apply skills related to assessing risks associated with cutting-edge emerging infectious disease and biodefense research. Fellows also play a key role in the development of the MRCE Biosafety Education for the Research Scientist Course, aiding Dr. Cook in course management and participating as instructors and in the hands-on exercises. Professional Certification: At completion, fellows will have the opportunity to take the American Society for Microbiologists, National Registry of Microbiologists, Specialist in Biosafety certification exam. The MRCE will support the cost of this exam.
A strategic goal of the NIAIDs biodefense initiative is to increase the nation's capacity to work safely on potentially dangerous human pathogens. The construction of several Regional and National Biocontainment labs are a direct outcome of this NIAID led initiative. This, along with specific funding opportunities offered be the RCE system for investigators to pursue biodefense and emerging infectious diseases research has led to a dramatic increase in BSL3 laboratory space. The MRCE Biosafety Fellowship is designed to meet the growing need for trained individuals capable of leading biosafety programs in these laboratories.
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