February 23, 2021

HSP Convenes Virtual Summit With Turkish Students, Faculty To Reinforce Biosecurity, Biosafety At Pathogen-Handling Laboratories

Last week, HSP convened a group of thirty student laboratory personnel and faculty members from the Izmir Institute of Technology (IYTE), to help reinforce and strengthen the biorisk management practices at the university’s labs.

At IYTE’s labs, pathogens like Brucella and Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever, are routinely studied as part of the university’s research program. Thus, creating the need for a laboratory environment with the utmost biosafety and biosecurity.

During the one-day workshop, students were given biosafety-themed tasks that had to be completed in real-time and then shown via webcam or smartphone. The training also gave the students the opportunity to engage with Turkish engineering firm, INSEL Systems, to identify biorisks and possible engineering controls in their respective laboratories.

Trainings like this one are incredibly helpful to laboratorians in Turkey, not only because they help mitigate biorisk but also because only 28% of Turkish laboratory workers have formal biosafety and biosecurity training, making the recipients more knowledgeable and qualified.

Given that so few Turkish lab workers have formal biorisk training, the Council of Higher Education and our other Turkish partners are reviewing this training for additional student and professional development. IYTE already plans to train another group of 30 with this exact same course.