CSU celebrating National Biosafety Month with poster contest, safe pledge

CSU is marking the fifth anniversary of National Biosafety Month in a variety of ways.

Olivia and Anneliese
Anneliese Detmer and Olivia Uzan

This year’s theme, “Promoting a Culture of Biosafety & Responsibility,” is being publicized by the American Biological Safety Association (ABSA) International. Biosafety month is October, and it is a time for institutions to promote a greater awareness of biosafety and biosecurity, as well as provide an opportunity to promote safe research and help cultivate a culture of safety.

Paige holding poster
Paige Fortunati

To help engage the campus community, the CSU Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) has several announcements regarding the October 2018 National Biosafety Month.

This year’s “Biosafety Stewardship” poster contest was highly competitive, and the committee announced that the top three poster winners are all from the Department of Microbiology, Immunology & Pathology (MIP). The winning poster was a joint submission from two graduate students, Anneliese Detmer and Olivia Uzan. Both students plan on attending veterinary school after they graduate.

The second-place poster winner was Paige Fortunati, an undergraduate microbiology major who plans to pursue a career in vaccine development research. Zoe Winigrad, also a graduate student in MIP, submitted the third-place poster. She plans to continue her education and obtain a Ph.D. in hopes of working as a researcher specializing in bacteriology.

Zoe holding poster
Zoe Winigrad

The committee has also launched a RAM Safe Pledge. All individuals working or conducting research in the lab play an essential role in biosafety. Each person is responsible for their own personal safety by using the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), following specified procedures, and being properly trained. Everybody in the lab needs to be aware of the risks associated with their research (including use of biohazardous materials, agents and procedures). To be good stewards of biosafety, everyone must be mindful of how their actions in the lab impact those around them. The committee recommends following these guiding principles (Responsible, Aware, Mindful) to keep everyone safe, and encourages everyone to take the RAM Safe Pledge! A special recognition will be awarded to the department that submits the most pledges.

October is also recognized by CSU as “Clean out your Lab Fridge & Freezer” month. The IBC is urging the campus community to take some time to clean out laboratory refrigerators and freezers, and to ensure that inventories are up to date.

More information and tips about completing this task can be found on the IBC website.

For more information about October 2018 National Biosafety Month, or to share ideas on how to promote a culture of biosafety and responsibility, email RICRO_IBC@mail.colostate.edu.