About MABioN

Mission Statement

The mission of MABioN is to promote and facilitate the development of biosafety professionals and others who are interested in biological safety through networking, symposia, facility tours, and workshops.


MABioN ’s vision is to create opportunities at a local level for individuals interested in biological safety through sponsoring events focused on biosafety awareness and education. Our goal is to reduce the risk of potential occupational illnesses and adverse environmental impacts from biologically-derived and infectious materials.

Guiding Principles

  1. MABioN, the Midwest Area Biosafety Network, is an incorporated not-for-profit organization that is an affiliate of ABSA International (ABSA).
  2. MABioN membership is open to anyone interested in learning about biological safety and may include individuals in roles as biological safety officers, researchers, educators, or public and private sector employees.
  3. MABioN and its members are encouraged to join and participate in the annual MABioN symposium and to join and attend other meetings, workshops, and training sponsored by ABSA International and its affiliated organizations.
  4. MABioN encourages the exchange and dissemination of information about regulatory compliance, best practices, lessons learned, and environmental issues.
  5. MABioN aspires to ensure biosafety professionals have up-to-date knowledge and are highly skilled experts.
  6. MABioN aspires to serve as a mentor by offering guidance and opportunities for the involvement of newer biosafety professionals.
  7. MABioN’s executive council is committed to working together and conducting its activities in accordance with best practices and the highest ethical standards.

History of MABioN

MABioN was started in 2004 as the brainchild of Kathryn Harris, PhD, RBP, then Biosafety Officer at Northwestern University in Chicago, IL (currently Senior Outreach and Education Specialist at NIH’s Office of Biotechnology Activities).  MABioN’s first president was Jim Klenner, Biosafety Manager at IUPUI.  He served two terms from 2004-2008.  The past, current, and president-elect are listed in chronological order below:

  • Jim Klenner (2004-2008)
  • Jyl Burgener (2008-2010)
  • Marcia Finucane (2010-2011)
  • Paul Umbeck (2011-2014)
  • Mary Cipriano (2014-2016)
  • Matt Anderson (2016-2018)
  • Brandy Nelson (2018-2020)
  • Steve Ziegenfuss (2020-2022)

MABioN Logo History

Our logo has as its base element a geographical map of the region we draw our main membership from; Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.  We do have members from outside this region, but these states comprise our core membership.

The other main component of our logo is the universal Biohazard symbol.

New Logo (2012)

New MABioN Logo Final_sm

Original Logo (2005)



MABioN has established several committees to assist the Executive Council with various tasks associated with running our association.  Each committee will have a liaison with the council and has duties as described below.  These committees also allow the general membership to take a more active role in the association.

Education Committee

The Education Committee is responsible for developing webinars, training opportunities, educational materials, and symposium scientific programs which represent the educational needs and interests of the membership.  This committee will work closely with the Communications Director to coordinate the registration and presentation of webinars.  The President-Elect will serve as the trustee member of the committee to support his/her role as MABioN Symposium Chair.

Communications Committee

The Communications Committee is responsible for supporting the Association’s web resources, social media presence, and member communications.  This includes educational opportunity registrations, webinar presentations, web-based surveys, and elections conducted electronically.  The Communications Director will serve as the trustee member of the committee.

Membership Committee

The Membership Committee is responsible for promoting MABioN membership to biosafety professionals and other interested individuals in the geographic area assigned to the affiliate.  The Membership Committee will make efforts to cross-promote membership and its benefits to other ABSA International affiliate groups and other relevant professional organization members.  The Secretary will serve as the trustee member of the committee to ensure provision of an accurate and current membership roster to the committee members.

Committee Interest Form

If you are a member of MABioN and are interested in volunteering to serve on one of our committees, please submit the form below.

  Sorry, this form is for MABioN Members only. MABioN Members, please login to submit the form.

Current MABioN Executive Council

PresidentAndrea Hall, PhD, SM(NRCM), CBSP (ABSA)
Northwestern University
President-ElectKara Sarchet, PhD, RBP (ABSA)
Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)
SecretaryAllen Helm, PhD, RBP, CBSP (ABSA)
University of Chicago
TreasurerAnne Dombroski-Brokman, M.S., RBP (ABSA)
Iowa State University
Councilor-at-largeSarah (Sally) Lawson, RBP, CBSP (ABSA), SM(NRCM)
University of Michigan Medical School
Councilor-at-largeIwona Spath, MPH, RBP (ABSA)
Northwestern University
Councilor-at-largeKrista Hyde, PhD, MBA, CSP
Vir Biotechnology, Inc.
Past-PresidentSteven Ziegenfuss, RBP, (ABSA)
Iowa State University
Communications DirectorHsiang-Ming(Anthony) Wang, PhD, MBA, NRCM(SM)
University of Chicago