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IMAGE: <p>Dr. Chris Woolverton, professor of biology, epidemiology and environmental health, works in the Biosafety Training Lab in Cunningham Hall.<br /> </p>
Dr. Christopher Woolverton, professor of biology, epidemiology and environmental health, works in the Biosafety Training Lab in Cunningham Hall.

2nd Biosafety Training Facility in Country

Appeared in e-Inside
Kent State University has been named a Designated Training Facility of the National Institutes of Health’s National Biosafety and Biocontainment Training Program (NBBTP), becoming only the second facility in the country to receive this designation.

As such, the university’s Biosafety Training Lab becomes a continuing education training site for the NBBTP, whose mission is to prepare biosafety and biocontainment professionals of the highest caliber to meet the needs of the biomedical, emerging disease and civilian biodefense research communities through the 21st century.

A ceremony to recognize this special designation was hosted in October 2009 in the Samsung Auditorium, located on the first floor of the Liquid Crystal and Materials Sciences Building on the Kent Campus. Speakers included Kent State President Lester A. Lefton; Former Ohio Congressman Ralph Regula; Dr. Deborah Wilson, director of the Division of Occupational Health and Safety at the National Institutes of Health; Dr. Murray L. Cohen, president and chairman of Frontline Healthcare Workers Safety Foundation Ltd., which administers the NBBTP; and Dr. Christopher Woolverton, Kent State professor and director of the Center for Public Health Preparedness. Following the short program, a plaque certifying the Designated Training Facility status was unveiled, and tours of the university’s Biosafety Training Lab were given.

“This program provides the latest in professional education to those who operate, maintain and work in biocontainment laboratories, and Kent State went through a rigorous and thorough process to be selected as only the second Designated Training Facility in the country,” Lefton says. “This achievement is another feather in our cap as Kent State demonstrates its excellence in research and our facilities.”

“Because of the increasing number of high-containment laboratories and the constant threat from emerging diseases and bioterrorism, there is a perpetual and desperate need for biosafety training of the highest caliber and the facilities in which to offer that training,” Cohen says. “Kent State University’s commitment to biosafety has been demonstrated by its swift courses of action to be deemed an NBBTP Designated Training Facility.”

The title NBBTP Designated Training Facility is reserved for training sites able to provide instructional space in an actual or simulated high-containment (BSL-3 or BSL-4) laboratory. The first facility to receive the designation was Kansas State University’s Biosecurity Research Institute in May 2008. The NBBTP courses at Kent State will be offered starting in June 2010.

Frontline Healthcare Workers Safety Foundation Ltd. is the platinum standard in accredited biocontainment training and the only organization providing biosafety and biosecurity training programs specifically tailored to the unique needs of high-containment professionals in academia, industry, government and international organizations.

The NBBTP courses are nationally and internationally recognized for their content and delivery by instructors who are themselves nationally and internationally recognized experts in the fields of biosafety, biocontainment, biosecurity and instructional design.

The NBBTP is a partnership between the Division of Occupational Health and Safety (DOHS) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health. DOHS is part of the Office of Research Services (ORS) at NIH. For more information on the National Biosafety and Biocontainment Training Program, visit www.nbbtp.org.

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