Biohazards Committee

Committee Responsibilities

The Biohazards Committee works closely with and serves as a resource to the Department of Environmental Health and Safety, the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC), and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).  The responsibilities of the Biohazards Committee include:

  • Oversee the registration of biohazardous material and/or biological agents (except work with recombinant or synthetic nucleic acids) to ascertain if precautions are adequate to protect personnel and the environment, and recommend measures necessary for safely working with such materials.
  • Review and/or propose procedures for maintaining safe work environments and for compliance with federal, state, and local regulations involving the procurement, use, containment, decontamination, disinfection, and/or disposal of biological agents or biohazardous materials.
  • Mediate disputes over the proper handling, use, or disposal of biohazardous materials, and/or the proper containment of biological agents.
  • Oversee the commissioning and de-commissioning of facilities requiring containment above Biosafety Level 2 (BSL-2) and Animal Biosafety Level 2 (ABSL-2).  Review and approve associated Standard Operating Procedures for such facilities with regard to design, commissioning and approval.
  • Review medical surveillance programs aimed at preventing laboratory-acquired infections.
  • Review incident reports involving biohazardous materials or biological agents, and recommend corrective actions to prevent recurrence, eliminate hazards or provide appropriate follow-up for exposed individuals.
  • Provide consultation on emergency response planning involving the proper handling, disinfection and disposal of biohazardous agents.
  • Review and approve revisions or additions to the University of Pittsburgh Bloodborne Pathogen Exposure Control Plan.
  • Advise on training efforts developed to communicate relevant procedures and programs.

Committee Members

Lee Harrison Chairman - Faculty - Infectious Disease
Christian Apetrei Faculty - Microbiology & Molecular Genetics
Jamie Bender Staff - Employee Health Services
Katy Board Staff - RBL Biosafety Officer
Denise Capozzi Staff - Director, Office of Research Protections
Pete Chambers Staff - Director, Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences Shared Research Support Services
Jason Dechant Faculty - Health Promotion & Development
Robert Duda Faculty - Biological Sciences
Jay Frerotte Staff - Director, Environmental Health & Safety
Beverly Harding Staff - Director, IBC Office
Amy Hartman Faculty - Infectious Disease & Microbiology
Edwin C. Klein Staff - DLAR Veterinary Services
William Klimstra Faculty - Microbiology & Molecular Genetics
Rebecca Lingenfelter Staff - EH&S Associate Biosafety Officer
Teresa Silvaggio Staff - Director, Employee Health Services
Molly Stitt-Fischer Staff - University Biosafety Officer
Chu Wang Staff - Radiation Safety Office