Institute Launches Biosafety Consulting Unit

Southern Research Institute, a not-for-profit organization, on Wednesday announced the creation of BioSafety Solutions LLC, a consulting company that will provide technical and operational support for existing biosafety and biosecurity programs and will develop and implement comprehensive programs for high-containment laboratories and organizations involved in life science R&D.

Debra Sharpe, manager of Environmental Health Safety and Security at the institute, was named president of BioSafety Solutions LLC. "In today's highly regulated environment, organizations face a multitude of difficult and complex challenges when it comes to working safely with infectious diseases and biothreat agents," said Jack Secrist III, Ph.D., president and CEO of the institute. "BioSafety Solutions was formed to help organizations put in place programs that improve safety, reduce costs, and increase efficiencies, further resulting in decreased risk for their employees, technologies, and bottom line."

Sharpe has some 20 years' experience in bringing academic, private-sector, and not-for-profit biosafety and biosecurity organizations into compliance with OSHA, EPA, USDA/CDC, NFPA, and NIH regulations. At the institute, she has headed the infectious disease contract research group; she currently manages the compliance and physical security programs at its facilities in Birmingham, Ala., and Frederick, Md. "I'm thrilled to spearhead this exciting venture with the help and expertise of my Southern Research staff and an exceptional team of highly qualified consultants and technical specialists," Sharpe said. "We look forward to working with diverse public and private entities to guide them through the maze of complex regulations and help them develop and implement comprehensive and customized high-containment laboratory programs based on best practices in the biosafety and biosecurity field."

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