National Biosafety and Biosecurity Month saw much success in October

Colorado State University took a multipronged approach to promote Biosafety and Biosecurity Month in October, with this year’s initiative focusing on the theme of “Beyond the Lab: Increasing the Visibility of Biosafety and Biosecurity.”

This included the fifth annual Biosafety Poster Contest hosted by the Research Integrity and Compliance Review Office and the Institutional Biosafety Committee. The contest is designed to engage the CSU research community and help promote awareness about the CSU Biosafety Stewardship Initiative and National Biosafety and Biosecurity Month. The winning poster was used to advertise the CSU Biosafety Stewardship Initiative during Biosafety and Biosecurity Month.

Poster winners

Poster Winners

A team of three veterinary students designed this year’s winning poster. The team was comprised  of three veterinary students: Brooke MacNeill, Blaire MacNeill and Rowan Seabolt. Copies of the poster were distributed to department heads at the start of October, along with a letter from the IBC Chair announcing Biosafety and Biosecurity Month and the activities to come.

RAM Safe Pledge drive

Also in October, RICRO kicked off the RAM Safe Pledge drive. Launched last year, The RAM Safe Pledge is a commitment to be “Responsible,” “Accountable” and “Mindful” in regards to research safety.

CSU students, staff and faculty are encouraged to take the RAM Safe Pledge. The department that submits the most pledges is awarded the traveling Golden Safety Goggles trophy to keep for one year. Last year RICRO received 200 pledges.

“We surpassed our goal with 324 pledges from 18 different departments,” said Christine Johnson, senior coordinator of the Institutional Biosafety Committee. “Pledges were submitted by faculty, staff, undergrads, graduate students, post-docs, research scientist and research associates, with the largest majority coming from faculty and undergraduate students.”

Biosafety and Biosecurity Fair

RICRO also hosted the inaugural Biosafety and Biosecurity Fair to promote awareness and increase the visibility of biosafety and biosecurity in research as a profession by providing fun and educational hands-on activities for the CSU research community.

The event was sponsored by five different departments, including RICRO, Biosafety, Occupational Health, Research Safety Culture and Laboratory Animals Resources. These departments partnered together to showcase the different aspects of biosafety and biosecurity at CSU and how they support research. Representatives from the FBI, CDC, and the Front Range Biosafety Association (FRaBSA) also joined the event to highlight various training and career opportunities in biosafety and biosecurity.

Overall, more than 400 faculty, staff and students participated in CSU Biosafety and Biosecurity Month events and activities.