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2022 ChABSA Pre-Symposium Workshops





to register for workshops.



Course Title:  Gene Editing and Risk Assessment: Application to IBC Review

Instructor:      Jessica McCormick-Ell // National Institutes of Health                                                     

Course Length:  8 hours

Course Time:  8:00 am – 5:00 pm

Date:  June 13, 2022


Gene editing technologies have been used for decades by scientists in the field of molecular genetics and recombinant DNA technology. Recently, with the discovery of CRISPR-Cas 9 gene editing, this field has expanded, and the ease to manipulate genes has changed significantly. There are multiple methods for editing genes, and many times they are used together. Biosafety officers, although experts in safety and bio-risk assessment, may need additional information in regards to the scientific and technical side of this new technology in order to understand the risks of a protocol more completely in order to provide adequate risk management recommendations. This course is designed to provide a brief, but detailed, overview of basic gene editing technologies such as plasmid based systems, RNA interference, viral vectors, CRISPR Cas9 technology and gene drives. After brief discussion of these technologies, participants will review a proposed project as it may be presented to the IBC. They will be expected to review, discuss risks and benefits, and should be able to propose alternative ways for the research to be conducted in a safer manner. The goal of this course is to provide the participants with comprehensive background knowledge of various gene editing and recombinant DNA technologies in common use, to better enable them to ask the pertinent questions during protocol review. Additional detail on off-targeting issues, and streamlined protocol exercises will be offered.

Key Objectives:

  • Describe the different types of gene editing technologies including viral vectors, RNAi and CRISPR/Cas9
  • Explain why and how these technologies are used together in a research project
  • Restate the topics and questions needed to assess the risks of gene editing research proposals

Course Title: Large Animal Biocontainment

Instructor:      Joseph Kozlovac // USDS ARS

                        David White // USDS APHIS


Course Length:  4 hours

Course Time:  8:00 AM  - 12:00 pm 

Date:  June 14, 2022


This course will introduce some of the basic concepts and challenges in regards to risk assessment, facility and operational challenges associated with production animal life science facilities.  

Key Objectives:


Course attendees through lecture, participation and case studies will understand the following.

• Assess and describe the need to perform risk assessments for transboundary animal and endemic priority diseases in animal populations;
• Understand approaches for developing and implementing effective biocontainment, biorisk management, and bioexclusion programs tailored to species, regulatory, and other needs; and,
• Identify and understand the similarities and differences in public health risk vs agricultural


 Course Title:  Battling Professional Burnout by Taking Control Your Biosafety Career

 Instructor:      Robert Emery // The University of Texas School of Public Health

                         Scott Patlovich // The University of Texas School of Public Health

                         Kristin King // The University of Texas School Health Science Center at Houston

 Course Length:  4 hours

 Course Time:  1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

 Date:  June 8, 2021


Professional burnout arises from constant exposure to emotional and interpersonal stress and has been defined by psychological community as exhibiting dimensions of exhaustion, cynicism, and inefficacy. While traditional means of addressing burnout include interventions such as rest, proper diet, and techniques for relaxation, an emerging body of knowledge is also identifying positive engagement as a promising option for consideration. The dimensions of engagement include: dedication, absorption, and vigor. In other words, by reframing the way individuals approach their work and establish strategies for gaining control of their careers can be a powerful means of addressing burnout. In this presentation three practicing biosafety professions will share their collective experiences on how enhanced control over, and better understanding, of the biosafety profession was established, leading to a more professionally rewarding career. Real world examples of the techniques that were used will be described, and ample time will be allocated for questions and discussion.

 Key Objectives:

Learning Objective Competencies (1)
1. Identify how “professional burnout” is manifested and its causes(2)
2. Discuss how “engagement” can be one means of addressing burnout(3)
3. Provide examples of how biosafety professionals can improve their “engagement” through establishing a better understanding of the role of biosafety programs within an organization, professional development and improved communications
4. List examples of means for improving staff morale

(1) Emery RJ, Patlovich SJ, King KG, Lowe JM, Rios J. Assessing the established competency categories of the biosafety, infection prevention, and public health professions: a guide for addressing needed professional development training for the current and next pandemic. Appl Biosaf accepted, February 2022.

(2) Maslach C, Schaufeli WB, Leiter MP. Job burnout. Annu Rev Psychol. 2001;52:397-422. doi: 10.1146/annurev.psych.52.1.397. PMID: 11148311.

(3) Gan T, Gan Y. Sequential development among dimensions of job burnout and engagement among IT employees. Stress Health. 2014 Apr;30(2):122-33. doi: 10.1002/smi.2502. Epub 2013 Jul 1. PMID: 23818403.