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International 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.

Course objectives of 'Principles of Biosafety'

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:

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.

  • 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.


Monday 11 September

Welcome at UAntwerp
Biosafety officer in relation to other functions
The regulatory framework, how it started and what is it now?
Introduction to risk assessment
Introduction to risk management
Case studies

Tuesday 12 September

​​Risk management:
- personal protective equipment (PPE)
- infrastructure and containment
- Biosafety cabinet
- good microbiological practices
Risk management applied:
- spills
Introduction to 'flanking legislation'
- access and benefit sharing (Nagoya protocol)
- animal byproducts
- biobank legislation
- plant health legislation
- ...
Case study Risk management

Wednesday 13 September

Welcome at ITG
Keynote: Biosafety in the field
Risk management:
waste handling
validation of inactivation processes
Biocides: Which one can be used? Juridical situation
Risk management applied: BSC

Thursday 14 September

Incidents - emergency planning
Biosecurity introduction
Keynote: Biosafety in clinical trials/challenge studies
Transport of biological material
Case study Risk management
New techniques: lentiviral vectors, Crispr-Cas, ...
Risks and benefits

Friday 15 September

Keynote: Complex equipment in high containment
BBP and other biosafety organisations
Tour of the Institute of Tropical Medicine
lab facilities
laboratory animal facilities
technical installations
Lunch event

Course number:
Lectures and study days
Area of interest:
Biomedical Sciences, Medicine
Academic year:
2022 - 2023
Starting date:

Monday and Tuesday, the course will be held at the University of Antwerp.

From Wednesday to Friday, we welcome participants at the Institute of Tropical Medicine.

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