Biosafety is a critical component of the research community at the University of Houston. Every October, since 2013, the UH Biosafety Office has observed the American Biological Safety Association’s (ABSA) National Biosafety Month as a time to focus on several topics relating to biosafety on campus. This year, ABSA focused on the theme “Beyond the Lab: Increasing the Visibility of Biosafety & Biosecurity.”
This year’s theme created a perfect opportunity for two offices within Campus Safety (Biosafety and Campus Safety Systems) to partner together to host the Biosafety Office’s 3rd Biosafety Month Q&A Day. The event was held October 23, 2019, on the 1st floors of the Health 2 and Science & Engineering Research Center buildings. During this event, UH investigators were encouraged to take a holistic approach to laboratory safety by considering biosafety and biosecurity. Participants received tips and handouts on how they may play a more active role in biosafety and biosecurity within their research facilities.
This year’s topics of discussion included the following:
- The multidimensional nature of the safe manipulations of biological materials as well as the security at which these materials are protected and stored.
- Proper biological waste disposal
- Proper registration of Visiting Researchers/Minors in research laboratories
The event was a great success as it sparked conversations about biosafety while also inciting curiosity in the area of biosecurity in research laboratories at the University. There were over 90 participants including researchers and professors. This is a significant increase from last year’s event. The goal next year is to partner with other offices on campus to broaden the audience and topics while continuing to serve the needs of the campus research community.
Should you have any questions about this event or future events, please call the main office at 713-743-5858.