Biosafety Education for the Research Scientist. This education program seeks to increase awareness of biological hazards encountered in biodefense and emerging disease research laboratories, to provide a scientific basis for assessing risks associated with this research, to provide guidance on recommended practices and to promote the development of required skills to work safely with human pathogens. The object of safety awareness and practice is to assure laboratory and support personnel that?with proper precautions, equipment and facilities?biohazardous materials can be handled without undue risk to themselves, their associates, their families, and the environment. This program is intended not only for trained microbiologists, but also for clinicians, scientists trained in other disciplines and other individuals involved, either directly or indirectly, with biodefense or emerging disease research. The safety principles promoted are based on scientific risk assessment, sound safety practices, common sense, good housekeeping, thorough personal hygiene, and a plan for responding to accidents. This course is conducted at least once per year at Washington University School of Medicine with an enrollment of 20 to 25 individuals. The MRCE will subsidize the costs of tuition and will subsidize the costs of room and board for those individuals in Region VII coming from outside the St. Louis area. The MRCE Administrative Core aids with the registration process and is responsible for verifying the credentials of all applicants (social security number, U.S. Citizenship, employment/student status, current research effort, and good standing) with their parent institution. The course is advertised through electronic mailings to all Region VII academic institutions, and is posted on the MRCE and the St. Louis University Center for Bioterrorism and Emerging Infectious Diseases websites.

Public Health Relevance

This course is designed to educate investigators and associated faculty and staff how to work safely in biodefense and emerging infectious diseases research laboratories. While most of the lessons learned apply to working in BSL2 conditions the unique requirements for working in BSL3 laboratories are heavily emphasized. The primary goal of this program is to raise the nations level of training and awareness related to issues in biosafety, biosecurity and proper risk-assessment

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Specialized Center--Cooperative Agreements (U54)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAI1-DDS-M)
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Washington University
Saint Louis
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