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Considerations for Working with LCMV – From Bench to Bedside

Webinar summary:

Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) is a single-stranded RNA arenavirus commonly used in laboratory animal models to examine acute and chronic viral infections and immunopathology. However, there is wide variation in LCMV biosafety practices between institutions, based on differing interpretations of guidelines and risk data. This lack of consensus can pose a challenge to the biosafety professional who may be evaluating LCMV use at their facility. The first part of this presentation will compare the two most common laboratory strains of LCMV, demonstrate the variation in biosafety policy between institutions, and discuss one institution’s recent approach to navigating the use of this virus.

Outside of the laboratory, LCMV has also become a promising viral vector with potential use in immunizations and immunotherapy. The second portion of this presentation will examine the applications of LCMV in a clinical setting, discussing the biosafety practices necessary for the safe handling of LCMV-based human gene therapies, focusing on the clinical risk assessment associated with recombinant forms of LCMV. Considerations for the safety of clinical subjects, staff, and close contacts will be explored.  

Presented by:
Caitlyn Hauke, PhD, Clinical Biosafety Services
Erik Pietrowicz, Dartmouth College

Speaker Bios:

Caitlyn Hauke, PhD, RBP(ABSA), CBSP(ABSA) is a biosafety professional specializing in clinical biosafety and human gene transfer research. Caitlyn has previous experience in academic laboratory biosafety as the former biosafety officer at Dartmouth College. She currently provides Institutional Biosafety Committee services and gene therapy risk assessments for clinical trial sites nationwide. Caitlyn has also served as a member of IACUC and IRB.

Erik Pietrowicz, MS, RBP(ABSA) is the current biosafety officer for Dartmouth College, where he also helps lead the hazmat response program, is involved in campus-wide emergency planning, and has served as interim radiation safety officer. Erik previously worked in cell biology research followed by several years as a paramedic and college educator prior to joining Dartmouth EHS.


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