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May 17, 2018 | MABioN Webinar – IMPLEMENTATION OF A BSL2 RECOGNITION PROGRAM AT NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY
May 17 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm CDT$10
MABioN is proud to offer a webinar discussing the IMPLEMENTATION OF A BSL2 RECOGNITION PROGRAM AT NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY
The oversight of Biological Safety Level 2 (BSL2) presents a number of challenges in research safety management in many large research institutions. The reasons for this may vary but are often some combination of lax oversight by the Principal Investigator, disorganization, poor housekeeping and the haphazard use of Personal Protective Equipment. On the other hand, there are some extraordinarily well managed BSL2 labs that deserve special recognition and dispensation for their efforts.
At Northwestern University, our BSL2 Recognition Program both encourages and recognizes those labs that demonstrate and maintenance of a culture of safety and responsibility.
Specifically, the Recognition Program:
- Ensures the safety of laboratory workers, support staff and the community.
- Assists laboratories in maintaining compliance with applicable NIH, OSHA, CDC, and EPA regulations as well as other relevant State and Local agencies (as applicable).
- Reinforces and rewards a positive working relationship between the Office for Research Safety (ORS) and individual laboratories.
- Grants special dispensation to accredited laboratories in the form of rewards and incentives including recognition, rewards and less frequent inspections.
The primary structure of the Northwestern University BSL2 Recognition Program has been developed in a form of a rubric by which laboratories could be accredited in a standardized fashion. The rubric uses elements that had already existed as a part of the Office for Research Safety (ORS) Laboratory Safety Review (LSR), a safety checklist that Laboratory Safety Specialists (LSS) use to evaluate a laboratory. The rubric identifies several key safety elements in which laboratories must not be deficient in order to achieve accreditation. Additionally, two unannounced laboratory inspections will be conducted within a three month period prior to being considered for accreditation. Upon achieving accreditation, a laboratory maintains that status for two years during which time laboratory inspections will be waived. Our goal is to recognize and award 10% of the BSL-2 laboratories. We have 230 BSL-2 labs in Chicago and 55 in Evanston. In 2017, we have awarded 7 laboratories on each campus. For 2018, we have recognized 12 laboratories in Chicago and 1 in Evanston. Our goal for Evanston has been reached, but we are still working on getting few more labs from Chicago.
Presented by: Iwona Spath
Iwona Spath has been involved in the biosafety field since she joined the Office for Research Safety (ORS) at Northwestern University 11 years ago. After receiving her associate degree in biotechnology from Truman College, Chicago and bachelors in biochemistry from University of Illinois at Chicago, Iwona worked as an intern in a pharmaceutical company for few months. Iwona then took a position as a lab manager in the department of Biological and Chemical Engineering at Northwestern University. She worked also as a researcher performing experiments involving metabolic engineering with different Clostridium strains and as a safety officer for several labs. Her favorite code for new graduate students was “Clostridium acetobutylicum” that she would use until they could pronounce the strain. The next step in her career involved work with mice and diabetes research. Iwona joined ORS in 2007 where she took full time position in biosafety with the main focus on recombinant DNA. Currently, Iwona also organizes lunch and learns for the NU research community in regards to safer laboratory products as well as bio group meetings with the focus on changes impacting work in the laboratories. Last year, Iwona initiated BSL2 certification program at NU. One of Iwona’s passions is to be involved in her community, so in her spare time, Iwona likes to volunteer in her son’s school where she teaches classes with the focus on scientific topics. She currently resides in Elmwood Park with her husband Ken, her two sons (14 and 8), their Cotton de Tulear dog named Pika, and a Bengal cat named Baggles. She can be contacted at email@example.com.