The University of Cincinnati Biosafety Office
is responsible for performing risk assessments to identify hazards and
to guide researchers in implementing practices and procedures that will
minimize or eliminate risks associated with research involving
biohazardous materials. It is charged with ensuring compliance with
institutional requirements and federal, state and local regulations
pertaining to the possession, use and transfer of biohazardous agents.
The Biosafety Office provides administrative support to the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)
which is charged with reviewing and approving all University research
activities involving the use of biohazardous materials and recombinant
or synthetic nucleic acid molecules, as described in the National
Institutes for Health “Guidelines for Research Involving the Use of
Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules” (NIH Guidelines) and the current edition of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Biohazards in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories” (the “BMBL” or CDC Guidelines).
The Biosafety Office and IBC work closely to ensure the safety and health of research staff and compliance with applicable laws.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued a memo to all NIH grantee institutions announcing September as the “National Biosafety Stewardship Month”, a time to focus on immediate and long-term ways to strengthen overall biosafety and biosecurity practices across the United States. The announcement came a week after the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy ordered all federal labs dealing with infectious agents to check and, if necessary, strengthen safety procedures.
NATIONAL BIOSAFETY STEWARDSHIP
Recent reports of lapses in biosafety practices within federal laboratories involving the agents of smallpox, anthrax and bird flu have served to remind us of the importance of adhering to robust biosafety standards.
UC researchers are asked to ensure that the following action items are addressed:
- Review of laboratory specific policies and procedures.
- Ensure up-to-date training.
- Conduct inventories of biological agents in all laboratories.
51 Goodman Drive, suite 300
Cincinnati, Ohio 45221