Workshop Series on Institutional Biosafety Committee – Karachi – October 19 to 20 2022
Pakistan Biological Safety Association (PBSA) in collaboration with Xibios Biorisk Consulting Belgium, CHROME Biorisk Consulting US, and Fogarty International Center (FIC) National Institutes of Health (NIH) US conducted a series of “Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)” workshops. These workshops were held in Karachi at Mövenpick Hotel on October 19th and 20th, in Lahore at Faletti Hotel on October 22nd and 23rd, and Islamabad at PBSA Training Center on October 25th and 26th.
Purpose of Workshop
According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, USA, The IBC is responsible for reviewing projects that involve, but are not limited to, recombinant DNA, RNAi, pathogens, human materials and other potentially infectious material, as well as transgenic animals. The IBC provides recommendations to the intramural community in matters pertaining to the control of biohazards associated with the use of microbiological agents and their vectors. It also represents the interests of the surrounding community with respect to public health and protection of the environment.
The workshop brought together Pakistani institutions with experience running successful Institutional Biosafety Committees (IBC) and less experienced institutions with nascent/nonexistent and non-functional IBCs. The purpose of this workshop was creating and strengthening IBCs at the less-experienced institutions. Each workshop engaged six institutions, including two institutions with well-functioning IBCs and four that are seeking to create IBCs or which have nascent IBCs. At the workshops, the experienced institutions presented how they created their IBCs and the adaptations that they had to make along the way to ensure that it functions well. The institutions seeking to develop new IBCs described their objectives, existing resources, and the help they need. After the workshops concluded, over the course of six months, we will coordinate the institutions to work together to create tools and materials that will help to ensure that new IBCs are effective and resilient. After 6 months there will be three region-specific, one-day closeout meetings to review the materials and tools that were developed and reflect on lessons learned and best practices.
The following institutions participated in the Sindh Regional IBC Workshop.
- University of Sindh, Jamshoro
- Shah Abdul Latif University Khairpur
- Liaqat University of Medical and Health Sciences, Jamshoro
- A.Q Khan Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, University of Karachi
- Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi
- Aga Khan University, Karachi
The management team of the workshop were as follows
- Shehroze Ameen, Project Coordinator, PBSA
- Fariha Munir, Project Officer, PBSA
- Saeed Khan, President, PBSA
- Tim Trevan, Co-Founder, CHROME Biorisk Consulting, US
- Philippe Stroot, Xibios Biorisk Consulting, Belgium
During the workshop, Vice Chancellor of Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS) Karachi visited the workshop and witnessed the proceedings which occurred. He gave an opening address to the participants, appreciating the efforts put in developing IBCs, on the development of a biosafety culture which had become a norm in DUHS, and the importance of integrating risk assessment and risk management in institutes in Sindh.
Dr. Saeed Khan gave closing comments, appreciating the collaboration between PBSA and CHROME Biorisk Consulting, Xibios Biorisk Consulting, and FIC NIH-US. He hoped that the participants will use the lessons learnt to improve their institutions, and they will actively participate in the monthly follow-up calls.
Keeping in view the struggle of PBSA, 13 participants joined the cause as lifetime members