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biosafety advisory

Matthew Anderson, Ph.D.  Dr. Anderson is the Biosafety Officer at a land grant university.  His duties include management of the university’s biosafety program, conducting safety inspections of research, diagnostic and teaching labs, serving as the Alternate Responsible Official and program manager for the university’s Select Agent program, reviewing construction plans for new laboratories on campus, as well as administering and serving on the university’s Institutional Biosafety Committee which has oversight of research activities involving recombinant and synthetic nucleic acids, human, animal and plant pathogens and work with transgenic organisms.  He received Bachelor of Arts degrees in Biology and Chemistry from Dana College in Blair, NE and his PhD in Chemical Biology from Washington University in St. Louis.  After his PhD, he completed a post-doctoral fellowship in nanomedicine at Washington University School of Medicine, creating scaffolds for targeted drug delivery and imaging of cardiovascular disease and he subsequently completed the MRCE Biosafety Training Program post-doctoral fellowship also at Washington University.

Gretchen L. Demmin, Ph.D., MT(ASCP). Dr. Demmin is s biosafety professional who retired from the military after 22 years of service to form her own biosafety consulting firm, Demmin Consulting, LLC. As president of the company, she is actively involved in developing course content and teaching maximum containment laboratory practices and procedures for the National Institutes of Health. While on active duty, Dr. Demmin gained experience in laboratory safety and management as a medical technologist and director of both clinical and hospital laboratories. She received her doctoral training in Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Colorado Health Science before being assigned to the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease (USAMRIID). During her six years at USAMRIID, she conducted research in both high and maximum containment laboratories as well as provided oversight for safety and security as Director of Safety, Security and Biosurety. She is an experienced researcher and clinical laboratory manager with extensive training and experience in high and maximum containment laboratory operations. Dr. Demmin was also the Responsible Official for USAMRIID, the largest biodefense research laboratory in the Department of Defense, as well as project lead for implementing the Army Biosurety Program. She developed and implemented policies and reviewed procedures and personnel to ensure the safe and secure handling of all research materials, and the trustworthiness and reliability of all personnel.

Rob Foreman PhD. Rob Foreman, PhD, is the Associate Biosfatey Officer (ABSO) of Northwestern University.  Rob is responsible for providing guidance and consultation to identify and address the risks of working with human, animal, and plant pathogens; human tissues, fluids, cells or cell cultures; recombinant DNA materials and human gene transfer; and laboratory animals.  Rob serves as an Alternate Responsible official for the Federal Select Agent Program.  Rob is a member of the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC), the Institutional Review Board (IRB), and an alternate member of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).  Rob received his PhD in Microbiology from the University of Chicago in 2012.  The year following, Rob completed a fellowship in biosafety as a Great Lakes Regional Center for Excellence (GLRCE) Biosafety Fellow.

Amy Helgerson MS. Amy is a Biosafety Specialist at a large agricultural university which includes a veterinary school. Her duties include being an Alternative Responsible Official and program coordinator for the university’s Select Agent program, sitting on the Institutional Animal Care and Use committee and reviewing protocols for health and safety issues and in charge of the Bloodborne Pathogen program and biological waste disposal. She also has experience with verification of Biosafety Level 3 laboratories. Amy received her Bachelor of Science in Animal Science in May 2000 and Master of Science in Microbiology in May 2006 from Iowa State University.

Ted Myatt, Sc.D., RBP. Dr. Myatt is the Director of Research Compliance at a research university with oversight over the university’s Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC).  The IBC provides National Institutes of Health mandated safety and exposure guidance to the research communities engaged in research involving recombinant DNA and infectious agents. He received in BS in microbiology from the University of Illinois and a Master’s in Environmental Management from Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment. Ted obtained his Doctorate of Science (Sc.D.) in Environmental Health from the Harvard School of Public Health. His dissertation was on infectious disease transmission in the workplace.

Molly Stitt-Fischer, Ph.D., CPH, SM(NRCM). Dr. Stitt-Fischer is a biosafety professional currently serving as Biosafety Officer at a large academic and research institution. She completed the National Biosafety and Biocontainment Training Program, a two-year post-doctoral fellowship in biosafety at the National Institutes of Health. She is also a member of the Charter Class of professionals Certified in Public Health. Dr. Stitt-Fischer received her Ph.D. from the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health in the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh in April 2008. She also has a Master of Science in Molecular Toxicology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (February 2002) and a Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology from Allegheny College (May 1999). While pursuing her Ph.D., her research focused on exploring the connections between zinc homeostasis and nitric oxide signaling in the pulmonary endothelium. Prior to that, she worked as a research technician at the University of Pittsburgh examining zinc homeostasis in pulmonary endothelial cells.



Thanks to previous contributors: Stephen Rusbarsky, J Craig Reed, Marissa M. Cardwell, Amy L. Razukiewicz, Lisa Burley, Joleen Weese, Rebecca L. Moritz.