2020 BioNet Annual Symposium

The BioNet Board of Director's and Symposium Sub-Committee have decided that we will hold our annual BioNet Symposium via webinar this year.  We also intend to reduce the length to ~ 4 hours (10am to 2pm PDT) rather than our usual full day session.  This webinar will be offered free to BioNet members.

The webinar will include three biosafety individual presentations followed by a panel discussion on SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19.

This event will be held on May 1, 2020

Check the event page for registration.

2020 Membership Registration Open

The membership Registration for 2020 remains at the low cost of $40. If you are a member, renewal must be done by January 31, 2020 to avoid losing your privileges as a member, such as access to the member only webpages, discount for the BioNet annual meeting and free lunch at the quarterly BioNet meetings. If you are not a member, this is the best time to join and enjoy the member benefits!

To renew your membership, either log in to the BioNet website as a member and
1. Click on the "Members" page button on the top menu bar,
2. Click on "BioNet Membership Renewal"

Or if you were not a BioNet member in 2019 and do not have access to the member page, click here to access the renewal page.

3. Enter your information: Name and method of payment
4. Click on sent. A message “Your message was sent successfully. Thanks” will appear on your screen.
5. Choose your method of payment. If paying with PayPal, click on “Buy Now", if paying by check or money order, please send it at the address listed at the bottom of the webpage. Please note that credit card payments can only be done via a PayPal account, not by using your credit card directly.

BioNet 2020 Meetings

Save the date!

The first BioNet lunch meeting for 2020 is scheduled for January 17 at La Jolla Institute for Immunology, La Jolla. Stay tune for topic and other 2020 meeting dates.

Lunch meetings are free for BioNet members and cost $15 for non-members (lunch included). You can become a member by visiting the registration page!

Check the event page for more info!

BioNet Election – Call for Nominations

BioNet is accepting nominations for the two positions on the BioNet Board of Directors up for election:
Board Treasurer: The term of BioNet Treasurer is 2 years. The Treasurer is responsible for all financial actions and recordkeeping for the organization. Time commitment: 4-6 hours/month.

Director-at-Large:  This is a 3 year term to assist in ideas for speakers for the quarterly meetings or annual symposium, assist President with requested activities. Time commitment: 1-3 hours/month.

We hope to increase our diversity by having people join the board who have not previously been involved with the BioNet administration.  We are also hoping to recruit candidates from outside of San Diego, if possible.  Please note the nominee must be a BioNet member but not necessarily a member of ABSA .

Click here for BioNet positions description and here for the Nomination Form.

The BioNet Board of Directors meets each month via a ~60 minute conference call and for ~30 minutes before each public meeting.  There are three 2-hour luncheon meetings that include 45-75 minute lectures on a topic of interest and a day-long symposium scheduled for Springtime each year. Any potential board member should be available to attend most of the BioNet meetings and Board conference calls.

All nominees will be reviewed by the Nominations Committee and the selected nominees will be announced at the November BioNet member meeting.  Elections will follow.

Please let us know if you would like to run or nominate someone you know would like to serve.  It is perfectly OK to nominate yourself; many do.  If you nominate a colleague, make sure that he or she is willing.

Nominations should be sent to:
David Hall
La Jolla Institute
9420 Athena Circle
La Jolla, CA 92037

National Inventory for Poliovirus Containment Survey

With the assistance of the NIH Office of Science Policy, the U.S. National Authority for Containment of Poliovirus (U.S. NAC) has contacted all registered Institutional Biosafety Committee Chairs and/or Co-Chairs to request their assistance in sharing information about the recently launched National Inventory for Poliovirus Containment (NIPC). The Chairs/Co-Chairs were asked to forward information about the national inventory online survey to principal investigators. This survey is being conducted to 1) identify facilities in the United States that possess any materials that could potentially contain poliovirus and 2) collect laboratory inventory data of materials potentially containing poliovirus.

Poliovirus containment is a key objective of World Health Organization (WHO)’s Global Polio Eradication Initiative and Global Action Plan (GAPIII). Per GAPIII, each country is required to complete a national inventory of poliovirus-containing materials. The NIPC was launched because of guidance issued by WHO on the handling of poliovirus potentially infectious materials (PIM), material collected in a time and place where wild poliovirus (WPV) circulated or oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) was in use.

Investigators are being asked to complete the survey if their laboratory tests, extracts, handles, or stores biological samples from humans, experimentally infected animals, sewage, or environmental waters. The survey questions are intended to identify laboratories that possess any materials that could potentially contain poliovirus, and it is important to note that potentially infectious materials are identified on the basis of where and when the samples were collected, not on the basis of any test results. Additional information about the survey can be found on the U.S. NAC’s website at https://www.cdc.gov/cpr/polioviruscontainment/NIPC.htm.

NIH Guidelines Revision

the NIH posted the finalized proposal to amend the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules (NIH Guidelines) to streamline the oversight of gene therapy research. This proposal, which was developed in conjunction with the Food and Drug Administration, included amending the NIH Guidelines to eliminate duplicative review and reporting requirements for human gene transfer protocols and refocuses the role of the NIH Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee (RAC) as a transparent forum for science, safety, and ethics of emerging biotechnologies. The RAC has been renamed the Novel and Exceptional Technology and Research Advisory Committee (NExTRAC).

The roles and responsibilities of IBCs to review gene therapy protocols have been modified so that they are consistent with the review of other research covered under the NIH Guidelines. Gene therapy protocols remain subject to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other clinical trial regulations, and only after FDA, IBC, IRB, and other relevant approvals are in place can these protocols proceed.

2019 BioNet Symposium – Feedback

The annual BioNet Symposium was successfully held on April 19, 2019 at San Diego State University. This year's program covered Zika virus effects in brains, Project Management strategies, ABSA current role and effort to promote biosafety worldwide, biosecurity and biosafety risks associated with synthetic biology, biosafety considerations when administrating viral vector or human pathogens in rodent, challenges when handling coxsackie B virus, and tips on how to approach investigators initiating new projects.

The Committee would like to thank BioRaft for sponsoring the symposium and the exhibitors (Applied Instruments, Berlin Packaging, Corporate Environmental Advisors, and Technical Safety Services Inc.) for their support.

Attendees also enjoyed a day of networking, and raffle prizes and afterwards gathering at a nearby brewery. We hope to see you all at the next BioNet event!

Summer Meeting Outcome

The summer BioNet meeting was held on Friday August 3 afternoon at Celgene Corporation with a really informative presentation on the new EPA e-manifest system by James Kaplin, ACTenviro (BioNet members may view the presentation by login on to the member pages only) and interesting short presentation on how to apply Behavioralism and Marketing to create a Biosafety Culture by Tara O'Bryan.

BioNet would like to thank Celgene Corporation for their support by cordially allowing the use of their facilities.

The afternoon lectures were followed by a wonderful and fun networking event at Green Acres.

Do not miss the last 2018 BioNet meeting scheduled on November 9 in the Orange County/Los Angeles area. Stay tune for more info!

October: National Biosafety Month

NIH Office of Science Policy has announced the focus for this year’s National Biosafety Month for October 2017 "Promoting biosafety through good governance". BioNet members are invited to share with other BioNet members using the Forum section of the members only portion of the website to post what their institutions are doing for National Biosafety Month. Please join the discussion!

You may also consult the “Guiding Principles for Biosafety Governance”, recently developed by the Federal Experts Security Advisory Panel (FESAP).  Other resources can also be found, on the S3: Science, Safety, Security website.