Second-year, GMU biodefense PhD candidate, and intern for the Department of Health and Human Services, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response within the Office of Policy and Planning, Elise Rowe, is taking on the international role of biosafety! As part of the student internship program, all interns are required to work on an independent project and present to ASPR staff upon its completion. Elise will be presenting her project, titled “Fostering an International Culture of Biosafety, Biosecurity, and Responsible Conduct in the Life Sciences,” on Wednesday, April 5th at the Thomas P. O’Neil Jr. Federal Building from 2-3:30 pm.
The abstract for her project is below:
In 2014 the Federal Experts Advisory Panel made a number of recommendations to federal agencies and relevant stakeholders to optimize biosafety and biosecurity in the United States, including a need to “create and strengthen a culture that emphasizes biosafety, laboratory biosecurity, and responsible conduct in the life sciences.”[i] Efforts to implement this recommendation, among others, are underway. An interagency working group has been established to implement this recommendation and garner the support of federal and non-federal stakeholders in identifying practical ways to operationalize the concept of a culture of biosafety, biosecurity, and responsible conduct. While the terminology may differ, a culture of biosafety and biosecurity, a culture of responsibility, and responsible conduct are topics of global relevance in the context of life sciences research, globalization, and international collaboration. We are hereby summarizing the US policy context and strategic guidance underlying the process of strengthening an organizational culture that emphasizes biosafety, biosecurity, and responsible conduct in the life sciences and also describe how the concept of a culture of biosafety, biosecurity, and responsible conduct is covered by relevant international treaties, international organizations, and professional organizations. We recommend that: 1) international regimes and organizations partner with international professional organizations to share best practices and lessons learned in strengthening a culture of biosafety, biosecurity, and responsible conduct, 2) the international community strive to create an organizational culture within the life sciences that is modeled in part after the well-established nuclear security culture, and 3) the international community recognize champions of culture at the state level both for their biosafety and biosecurity efforts, as well as their potential to model these efforts for the international community.
[i] IMPLEMENTATION OF RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE FEDERAL EXPERTS SECURITY ADVISORY PANEL (FESAP) AND THE FAST TRACK ACTION COMMITTEE ON SELECT AGENT REGULATIONS (FTAC-SAR), https://www.phe.gov/s3/Documents/fesap-ftac-ip.pdf