Wednesday, June 12, 2024
8:00 – 12:00       Principles of Biosafety for Occupational Health Professionals
Paul Meechan, PhD, MPH, RBP, CBSP; Ellyn Segal, PhD; Maureen Thompson, BSN, RN, COHN-S, RBP

1:00 – 5:00       BSL3/ABSL3:  Occupational Health Considerations
Michelle Gochnour, MN, RN, COHN-S; Maureen Thompson, BSN, RN, COHN-S, RBP; Gary Fujimoto, MD
Thursday, June 13, 2024

8:30 AM Welcome


Session 1:  Tuberculosis

Facilitator: Amy Behrman, MD, FACP, FACOEM, University of Pennsylvania

Mycobacterium Tuberculosis has been a leading cause of death throughout much of human history, and remains so today despite 150 years of diagnostic development and nearly a century of antibiotic availability.  The disease is endemic in much of the world and continues to impact communities and workforces globally.  Countries with low TB burden must still grapple with imported and reactivated infections, including multi-drug resistant strains. In research settings, concerns extend to laboratorians, staff working in endemic locations, and highly vulnerable laboratory animal species. This session will focus on current developments in epidemiology, diagnostics and therapeutics.  Case studies and a panel discussion will provide opportunities to address issues specific to occupational and research exposures.


8:45 AM TB in Research Settings:  Managing Bi-Directional Risks

Amy Behrman, MD, FACP, FACOEM, University of Pennsylvania


9:00 AM TB and MDR-TB: Epidemiology, Treatment, and Prophylaxis

Randall Reves, MD, University of Colorado School of Medicine


9:50 AM Break


10:10 AM New Technologies and Strategies for TB Diagnostics and Treatment

Wendy Thanassi, MD, Department of Veterans Affairs and Qiagen


11:00 AM Case Studies


11:30 AM Panel Discussion with all speakers


12:00 PM Lunch


Session 2:  Viral Vectors & Gene Therapy

Facilitator:  Ellyn Segal, PhD, Biosafety Consultant 


1:00 PM An Update on Risks and Management for Lentiviral and Retroviral Vector Exposures

Gary Fujimoto, MD, Occupational Health Consultant   

This program will discuss new issues associated with lentiviral and retroviral vectors along with updated recommendations for post-exposure prophylaxis.  With the FDA approvals for multiple vector-based therapies, the number of individuals working with these agents is rapidly expanding.  While these technologies generally involve replication-deficient agents, the potential hazards associated with transgene incorporation into one’s genome need to be conveyed to all those working with these vectors.


2:30 PM Break


2:50 PM Achievements and Perspectives in Gene Therapy

Garry Coulson, PhD, RBP, Clinical Biosafety Services  

Clinical trials utilize a wide array of gene transfer platforms for the delivery of therapeutic products for the treatment of a spectrum of cancers, infectious diseases, and rare disorders. These platforms range from the relatively lower biosafety risk technologies such as messenger RNAs (mRNAs) and DNA plasmids to the more consequential viral vector platforms that may pose significantly greater occupational risks to staff members and the public that may come into direct contact with these products. In this talk, we will highlight some contemporary gene transfer platforms currently in use in the clinic and discuss biosafety and occupational health considerations when working with such products.


3:50 PM Panel discussion


Session 3:  BMBL and Occupational Health

Facilitator:  Ellyn Segal, PhD, Biosafety Consultant


4:15 PM How the BMBL can Assist Occupational Health Professionals: A Discussion with an Editor

Paul Meechan, PhD, MPH, RBP, CBSP, Biosafety Consultant

The 6th edition of the BMBL provides some specific recommendations for occupational health, but there is additional information available that may be useful to a practitioner.  This session has three major goals: provide an overview of additional information in the BMBL that can assist an occupational health professional; provide a period for audience questions; and end with a case study based on an actual event. The case study will help participants recognize options available to identify, triage, and potentially treat exposures.


5:00 PM Conclusion


6:30 PM Class Dinner



Friday, June 14, 2024

Session 4:  Malaria Research, Medical Surveillance and Post Exposure Follow-Up

Facilitator: Michelle Gochnour, MN, RN, COHN-S, Seattle Children’s Research Institute


8:30 AM Malaria Research with Mosquitos and Humanized Mice

Ashley Vaughan, PhD, Seattle Children’s Research Institute

Ashley studies Plasmodium, the eukaryotic pathogen that causes malaria. The human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, causes upwards of 400,000 deaths per year, mostly in sub Saharan Africa. The life cycle of the parasite is complex, alternating between a mosquito vector and the human host. To study the complete Plasmodium falciparum life cycle in a lab setting, Ashley and his team run an insectary to produce mosquitoes. In addition, human liver-chimeric mice are used to study the initial stages of the human life cycle. This unique process leads to gain insights that can help develop novel means of intervention. Ashley’s work involves some specific biosafety approaches that will be discussed.


9:15 AM Malaria: Case Review and Exposure Management 2024

Marte’ Brady, ARNP and Anne Terry, RN, MSN, ARNP, CTH, CTropMed, University of Washington

The purpose of this presentation is to update employees and scientists on Plasmodium species (malaria) and risk for exposure to laboratory workers. This discussion will include a case review, information on medical management plans and post exposure prophylaxis.


10:00 AM Panel discussion


10:25 AM Break


Session 5:  Herpes B

Facilitator: Maureen Thompson, BSN, RN, COHN-S, RBP, Emory University


10:45 AM Herpes B-virus Exposure Follow-up and Case Management

Rebecca Stenberg, MN, RN, COHN-S, University of Washington

This session will address numerous challenges associated with the management of Herpes B-virus exposures, offering follow-up recommendations. Additionally, diverse perspectives on interpreting the guidelines will be examined. Attendees are encouraged to engage in discussions about current developments in the field, share their experiences, and explore potential solutions.


12:00 PM LUNCH


Session 6: Sharps

Facilitators:  Michelle Gochnour, MN, RN, COHN-S, & Katie Ayres, BSN, RN, COHN-S, Seattle Children’s Research Institute


1:00 PM Sharps Safety 102: Changing the Laboratory Sharps Culture

A panel will discuss collaborative efforts in improving sharps safety culture, including success stories from different organizations and participant problem-solving of cases to determine better sharps safety solutions.




Session 7: Travel Medicine

Facilitator:  Michelle Gochnour, MN, RN, COHN-S, Seattle Children’s Research Institute


2:45 PM Preparation for International Travel for the Research Scientist

Marte’ Brady, ARNP and Anne Terry, ARNP, CTH, CTropMed, University of Washington

This presentation will provide the research scientist with the most up to date information on travel vaccinations, malaria prophylaxis, insect bite avoidance and prevention and treatment of traveler’s diarrhea. In addition, case studies related to prevention and treatment of travel related exposures will be included. 


4:00 PM Open Discussion:  Current Topics of Concern

Discussion Facilitated by Planning Committee


5:00 PM Conclusion