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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Symposium to focus on safety in biological research

Two experts on working safely with potentially hazardous biological materials will present a symposium on safety in biological research Friday, Nov. 30, at New Mexico State University.

posium, sponsored by the university's Environmental Health and Safety Office, will be held in the Corbett Center Auditorium from 9 a.m. to noon. The program will focus on issues related to laboratory research involving potentially infectious, pathogenic or toxic agents.

The event is open to all interested researchers, administrators, employees, students and the general public.

Guest speakers will be John H. Keene of Biohaztec Associates Inc. and Robert P. Ellis, microbiology professor and biosafety officer at Colorado State University.

Keene has served as a technical adviser to the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health and is a member of the National Committee on Clinical Laboratory Standards subcommittees on the Protection of Laboratory Workers from Infectious Disease Transmitted by Blood and Tissue, Laboratory Waste, and the Hazards of Medical Instrumentation. He will present a risk assessment approach to working safely with potentially hazardous biological materials.

Ellis will review risk management and strategies that have proven effective in a university environment. He recently presented information on the "Design, Construction, Commissioning and Operation of a Biosafety Level 3 Building" at an annual meeting of the American Biological Safety Association. He is certified by the association as a biosafety professional.

Keene and Ellis also will provide information on the operation of primary containment devices.

The symposium will include a discussion of the changing regulatory environment and current challenges of biological research.

Breakfast snacks will be provided.