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
Biosafety and Biosecurity Training Opportunities
- Optional VA IBC Member Training: New optional VA IBC Member Training available in CITI provides information to support IBC review of VA biomedical research. Please go to the following link to obtain more information about the training.
- Non-VA Training Opportunities
- Eagleson Institute: multiple offerings, Sanford, ME
- ABSA Biosafety & Biosecurity Training Course, Fort Collins, August 7-11, 2023
- 66th Annual Biosafety and Biosecurity Conference, Omaha, NE, October 13-18, 2023
- ABSA Principles & Practices of Biosafety. San Diego, March 10-15, 2024
- 18th CDC International Biosafety Symposium, Atlanta, GA 2024
- USDA ARS 8th International Biosafety & Biocontainment Symposium, February 2025
VHA ORD Biosafety and Biosecurity Policy and Guidance
US Government Guidance, Policy and Regulations
Additional Biosafety and Biosecurity References