ASU EH&S hosted multi-agency biosecurity workshop

Nov 3, 2016

Arizona State University’s Environmental Health and Safety department hosted the Arizona Biosecurity Workshop to boost risk awareness on Nov. 4, 2016, at SkySong. The open-forum event was a joint effort of ASU EH&S, FBI and the Arizona Biosafety Alliance.

Biosafety practices and procedures keep biohazards from leaving containment spaces and prevent diversion, loss, misuse, theft or release. Effective biosecurity programs reduce biological information misuse and domestic security threats.

"ASU is at the forefront of current and relevant biosecurity concerns in higher education,” said Leon Igras, EH&S director. “This workshop brought together government officials, safety experts and researchers to calculate biosecurity risks and share best practices.”

Local and national experts discussed new biosecurity concerns and solutions. Partnerships between agencies formed and strengthened the ability to respond to threats and opportunities.

Arizona-based workshop attendees took advantage of networking opportunities, which can be critical in case of a biosecurity emergency.

“Collaboration between biosafety professionals, law enforcement as well as other professions is critical in doing our jobs, particularly from a biosecurity standpoint, and making sure that we’re aware of any threats that might present themselves,” said Shelley Jones, attendee and Northern Arizona Univeristy director of biological safety. “Professionals know that they can reach out and contact others to get assistance when they do have a concern.”

Other organizations in attendance:

  • Arizona Department of Public Safety

  • FBI

  • Maricopa County Department of Health

  • National Guard 91st Civil Support Team

  • Northern Arizona University 

  • Phoenix and Scottsdale Fire Departments

  • Phoenix Police Department

  • Pinal County Public Health District

  • UA Police Department

Learn more about ASU biosecurity and biosafety on this webpage