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Course on Principles of Biosafety

Seminar series organised by ITM and the University of Antwerp

13-27 Sep 2021

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About the course

People responsible for biosafety and biorisk management in an organization have to cope with an increasing complexity and diversity of topics. This international course provides a comprehensive review of all essential elements of risk assessment and risk management and highlights topics indispensable for biosafety practitioners to fulfil their tasks.

If circumstances permit, participants will have the opportunity to join in practical exercises (e.g. spill training, working in a microbiological safety cabinet) and experience the implementation of biorisk management during a visit of the Institute of Tropical Medicine.

This is an international course, organized by University of Antwerp, Institute of Tropical Medicine, University of Ghent, University of Namur, Free University of Brussels, Sciensano and Perseus BVBA.


Registration (deadline: 1 September)


Course objectives

Over the past years, the approach for biorisk management has markedly evolved. From checking compliance with prescribed requirements, the focus has shifted to management systems with protection measures designed in relation to the risks identified in a detailed assessment.

Against this background, people responsible for biorisk management in an organization are challenged to cope with an increasing complexity and diversity of questions. The vast majority learns its role “on the job” and can only build a curriculum through attending meetings and courses. 

This International Course provides a comprehensive review of all the essential elements of biorisk management, strengthening biosafety practitioners to build their own approach.

At the end of the course participants will be able to:

  • Identify potential hazardous biological materials and the risks associated with them.
  • Select appropriate means to minimize risk and to protect against or prevent exposure.
  • Recognize applicable legal requirements and prepare the necessary documents to obtain authorizations.
  • Understand how to run a biorisk management program.

The course will be based on examples with microorganisms in laboratories, but also genetically modified plants and animals, as well as large scale activities will be covered.


Who should attend the course 

  • The course is targeted to people with a responsibility in biorisk management, such as scientific researchers and laboratory directors. As the course covers all the essential elements of biorisk management, also biosafety professionals may find it a useful refreshment and an opportunity to share experience and knowledge.
  • To be effective, the trainee should have a bachelor in a life science discipline and be familiar with basic biological concepts.


Course details

Course language

The course and all the documentation will be presented in English.

Course fee

The course fee is as follows: 

  • External participant (not working in an Institute of the Organizing Committee): € 400  
  • Participant working in an Institute of the Organizing Committee: € 300

The fee includes access to the lectures, access to all presentations in advance of the course. 

Course evaluation

A personal evaluation and a certificate of attendance are foreseen at the end of the course.

Course venue

The course will be given online only on following Mondays: 13, 20 and 27 September 2021. A number of prerecorded presentations will be available after paid registration.