November 13, 2023

Establishment of Biorisk Management Program in Five Pakistani Universities through IBC Strengthening

Health Security Partners organized a three-day workshop on October 4-6, 2023, in collaboration with the Association for Biorisk Management Pakistan. The primary aim of this workshop was to build the capacity of Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) members in biosafety and biosecurity program management and research oversight in five universities in Pakistan. This workshop represented a vital continuation of the HSP-ABM IBC project, which had previously led to the establishment of IBCs in 15 universities across Pakistan. A noteworthy outcome of the workshop was the development of an IBC application and checklist form tailored to suit the unique needs of the nascent IBCs. These applications will undergo finalization after the workshop, forming a significant post-workshop task. The participants also began outlining IBC SOPs in groups for the submission of applications, IBC review, meetings, record keeping, and monitoring. Participants also gained insights into how to effectively oversee projects involving emerging technologies, particularly those of a dual-use nature, acknowledging the need for vigilant scrutiny. Participants engaged in role-play exercises to simulate the project review process, honing their skills through practical application. Looking ahead, similar workshops are in the pipeline for the remaining universities that have recently established IBCs. These initiatives are poised to contribute significantly to building a robust culture of safety and security within academic and research settings across Pakistan.