Team:Virginia United/Safety



Virginia United
All students in the Virginia United regional iGEM team received biosafety training at the iGEM boot camp and signed safety contracts.

VT/BSC subteam

  • Students attended Virginia Bioinformatics Institute’s mandatory Student Groups Health & Safety Orientation.
  • Students received ethidium bromide training from Virginia Bioinformatics Institute to ensure safe handling and disposal of this chemical.
  • The subteam worked in a BSL-1 laboratory which met practices, safety equipment, and facility requirements for this biosafety level.
  • Students were supervised at all times in the lab by a faculty advisor with microbiology experience and considerable laboratory safety training. In addition, a molecular biologist and laboratory manager at Virginia Bioinformatics Institute and a laboratory manager at Fralin Biotechnology Center provided safety counseling.
  • All subteam members were provided Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – laboratory coats, gloves, and safety goggles. PPE was used appropriately. Team members were required to wear appropriate clothing in the lab - no open toed shoes and no clothing above the knee were permitted.
  • No food or beverages were permitted in the lab.
  • Biohazard waste was properly handled and was autoclaved on a regular basis.
  • Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) were reviewed before chemicals were used. Chemicals were handled according to MSDS instructions. A fume hood was used to perform work involving volatile chemicals.
  • Hazardous chemical waste was labeled and stored properly. This waste was picked up by Environmental Health Safety Services for proper disposal.
  • Flammables were stored in a flammables cabinet.
  • Bunsen burners were turned off when not in use.
  • The laboratory facility was cleaned daily and kept organized.
  • University of Virginia team

    • The UVA Team members were trained by the UVA Office of Environment Health and Safety.
    • Also took online training courses in "Chemical Safety and Waste Training for Research Personnel" and went through additional training for working with arsenic.
    • VCU and VSU subteam

      • All VCU and VSU lab workers were required to participate in online courses in General Lab Safety, Physical Hazards, Carcinogen, and Biosafety Training before conducting research.