Biosafety & Biosecurity Program
The VA Office of Research and Development (ORD) Research Laboratory Biosafety & Biosecurity Program promotes the safe use of infectious agents, pathogens, toxins, recombinant and synthetic nucleic acids (collectively referred to as biohazards) in VA biomedical research programs.
Biosafety is the consistent application of safety measures to minimize or prevent exposure to the person handling biohazards, lab and building occupants, the community and the environment. Biosecurity is the risk- and threat-based control measures established to prevent the unauthorized access, misuse, loss, theft, diversion and intentional release of valuable biological materials, pathogens, toxins, information, expertise, equipment, technology and intellectual property that have the potential to cause harm to humans, animals, plants, the environment, public safety or national security.
ORD's biosafety and biosecurity program functions in coordination with similar programs at individual medical centers. ORD’s biosafety and biosecurity program’s activities involve multiple components, including developing VHA policy, issuing guidance, communicating training requirements and initiating training programs; it also involves coordinating with other Federal entities regarding biosafety, biosecurity and homeland defense.
The program provides advice and guidance to VA Facility biomedical research programs on biosafety and biosecurity program management practices and strategies to control the risks associated with the respective biomedical research activities at field sites.
Questions, comments, and suggestions regarding VA’s biomedical and biosafety research program or activities may be submitted to VHACOORDBiosafety@va.gov
Biomedical and Biosecurity Research, Institutional Biosafety Committees
John Balog, BS, RBP
ORD National Research Biosafety Officer
Policy and Guidance
Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories 6th Edition
NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant and Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules