This week, the White House asked federally funded labs studying infectious agents to take “immediate steps” to inventory samples and review safety and security procedures in light of several well-publicized incidents, exposures and disturbing discoveries occurring in high-profile, high-containment government laboratories. In response, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has called for a month-long review of policies and procedures, inventory of infectious agents and toxins, and training of all relevant staff. Although federal facilities/laboratories and associated agencies are the primary targets of the “Safety Stand-Down,” institutions receiving funding from federal agencies (e.g. NIH, as does UT) are strongly encouraged to participate in a similar way.
For more information, please visit the Biosafety Program website.