Under the supervision of the Director of the Office of Research Safety Affairs, the Institutional Biosafety Officer (IBO), directs and oversees a comprehensive, university-wide Biosafety program designed to proactively minimize risk associated with the handling of biological agents and promote compliance with applicable regulations and policies governing the conduct of biomedical research. The IBO also, implements guidelines established by the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC), The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), and agencies of the State and Federal governments, and coordinates the biosafety monitoring, compliance, and response activities of all UTHSC research facilities, except the Regional Biocontainment Laboratory.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
Develops, implements, and coordinates a comprehensive biological safety program for the University to enhance institutional biosafety-related objectives and to ensure compliance with all applicable regulations, guidelines, policies, and directives including those established by OSHA, CDC, NIH, USDA and others as applicable.
Identifies common and highest-risk biological hazards present in research areas and works with faculty and staff to develop effective and efficient risk mitigation steps.
Develops, coordinates, and provides biosafety education and training to all UTHSC faculty, staff, and students who work with or have potential for exposure to biological pathogenic agents.
Monitors all UTHSC teaching and research activities involving the use of hazardous biological materials and recombinant DNA molecules for compliance with appropriate regulations, policies, procedures, and best practices.
Participates in and provides leadership to various internal committees and task forces, such as the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC), the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), and the Infection Control Committee; actively participates in external meetings and organizations, and maintains liaison with professional counterparts in other institutions.
Reviews research grant applications, proposals, and activities involving biohazardous materials (in conjunction with the IBC) and recombinant DNA (in conjunction with the rDNA committee), and recommends modifications to ensure safe practices; provides guidance to researchers and/or performs follow-up as appropriate. This includes material transfer agreements.
Inspects research and teaching facilities for compliance with regulations and guidelines pertaining to the use, handling, and disposal of potential biohazards and recombinant DNA; coordinates the review and investigation of all biosafety accidents occurring on the UTHSC campus, and develops corrective action plans.
Informs and educates staff, students, and other constituencies regarding biosafety issues; develops comprehensive biosafety educational and outreach programs for schools and clinical/research laboratories.
Oversees the supervision of personnel, which includes work allocation, training, and problem resolution; evaluates performance and makes recommendations for personnel actions; motivates employees to achieve peak productivity and performance.
Develops and implements emergency response procedures for incidents involving biohazardous agents and materials, and maintains UTHSC Incident Action Plan for biohazards; develops medical surveillance criteria for activities involving biohazards and related materials; responds to biohazardous materials incidents as appropriate.
Serves as principal source of expertise to UTHSC regarding appropriate equipment, facilities, and work practices for protecting laboratories, staff, and the environment from contamination and infectious organisms.
Provides technical guidance to faculty and staff in the development of safety plans for grant applications; advises facilities and physical plant staff regarding technical and programmatic issues involving laboratory biosafety design and maintenance.
Reviews plans for laboratory building construction and renovation of existing facilities to assure adherence to current Biosafety practices.
Analyzes biological safety processes at UTHSC, identifies processes in need of improvement and develops plans for process improvement.
Develops, implements, and coordinates a program to promote the safe and compliant shipping of biological agents regulated as either hazardous materials or dangerous goods.
Performs miscellaneous job-related duties as assigned.
EDUCATION: Bachelor degree in biology, microbiology, molecular biology, environmental science, public health, or medical science or closely related field
EXPERIENCE: Seven (7) years of experience in a laboratory or biomedical research setting; OR Master's Degree in biology, microbiology, molecular biology, environmental science, public health, or medical science or closely related field and five (5) years of experience in a laboratory or biomedical research setting, with demonstrable job skills, as defined below.
Preferred Certifications: Professional certification as a Registered Biosafety Professional (RBSP), Certified Biosafety Professional (CBSP), or Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH), preferred.
Ability to obtain clearance: Continued employment in the position is contingent upon successful completion of a DOJ/FBI Security Risk Assessment for individuals seeking access to select biological agents and toxins, and receipt and maintenance of appropriate clearance in connection with the same.
Working knowledge of federal, state and local health and safety regulations and guidelines governing laboratory safety, biological safety and animal use operations.
Knowledge of and experience in biosafety, microbiology, and recombinant DNA technologies;
Knowledge of basic industrial hygiene principles, virology, molecular genetics, public health, chemistry and toxicology.
Understanding of NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules and completing required review activities.
Implementing standards and practices in accordance with the NIH-CDC Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories for laboratories at Biosafety Level 1 and 2 and Animal Biosafety Levels 1 and 2.
Experience in conducting risk assessment for the management of infectious agents and potentially infectious materials, recombinant DNA materials and technologies.
Knowledge of disinfection and decontamination of biohazardous materials.
Practical experience with biosafety cabinets and familiarity with biosafety regulations and consensus standards.
Knowledge of regulations specific to biosafety, infection control, and occupational health and safety including the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving rDNA or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules, CDC/NIH Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories 5th edition, HHS and USDA Select Agent regulations, OSHA Blood borne Pathogen Standard, regulations on biomedical waste disposal.
Demonstrated knowledge of the principles of epidemiology, disease transmission patterns, risk-assessment and risk management, disinfection and sterilization of biohazardous materials, disease prevention, aerobiology and environmental control.
Ability to work cooperatively and collaboratively with a wide range of constituencies in a diverse community; Strong interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to work effectively with
Skill in examining and re-engineering operations and procedures, formulating policy, and developing and implementing new strategies and procedures. Able to provide process improvement by promoting organizational and operational efficiency.
Investigative and problem solving and Program development and management skills.
Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite to include Word, Outlook, Excel, and Power Point.
Excellent communications skills both oral and written.
The mission of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center is to bring the benefits of the health sciences to the achievement and maintenance of human health, with a focus on the citizens of Tennessee and the region, by pursuing an integrated program of education, research, clinical care, and public service.