Initiated by the Lebanese Association for Biosafety, Biosecurity and Bioethics (LABBB), and in collaboration with the Natural Sciences Department at Haigazian University, a workshop entitled “Biosafety, Biosecurity, Research Misconduct and Medical Ethics”, tackling the best practices in biosafety, hazardous waste management, research misconduct, biosecurity, epigenetics, and medical ethics, took place at Haigazian University, on Saturday, November 28, 2015.
The workshop, which was attended by a capacity audience of students, lecturers, researchers, and professors in the fields of Biology, Health Sciences, Nutrition and Medical Laboratory, opened with the welcoming remarks of Dr. Nadim Hassoun, Chairman of the Faculty of Sciences at Haigazian University.
President of the LABBB and Chairperson of the Department of Exp. Path, Immunology and Microbiology at the American University of Beirut (AUB), Dr. Alex Abdelnoor, introduced the association, presenting its mission towards promoting biosafety, biosecurity and bioethics, as scientific disciplines to serve the growing needs of biosafety professionals throughout Lebanon. Abdelnoor went further to elaborate on the concentrated activities of the LABBB in spreading awareness for responsible conduct of research and promoting principles of biological practices, through carrying out educational programs and training sessions such as workshops, conferences and seminars in several academic institutions throughout Lebanon. In his presentation entitled “Some Aspects of Biosecurity”, Prof. Abdelnoor gave an overview of hazardous biological agents, sharing a historical perspective of weaponization of microorganisms.
Mr. Talal Abou Majed, the Head of the Biosecurity Unit of the Environmental Health Safety and Risk Management Department at AUB, covered the topics of the Basics of Biosafety and Laboratory Practices, the Effective Use of Class 2 Biological Safety Cabinets and the Hazardous Waste Management.
Ms. Nayla Akl from the LABBB tackled the issue of Research Misconduct. She highlighted the major cases of falsification, fabrication and plagiarism, underlining the importance of responsible conduct in research.
For his part, Dr. Elias Rahal from AUB, deliberated on the epigenetic modifications, discussing the effects of certain common chemical agents which render, otherwise harmless biological agents, extremely harmful and risky in terms of biosafety and biosecurity.
Dr. Bassam Barakat from the University of Balamand, discussed the principles of Medical Ethics in the practice of medicine. He highlighted the gaps between scientific capabilities and the ethical guidelines that must accompany them, stressing on the importance of adopting and implementing high standards of morality in medical practice.
Dr. Michel Daher, the Secretary General of the Lebanese National Consultative Committee for Ethics (LNCCE) provided an overview on the work of the LNCCE, and the legislations and recommendations the committee has succeeded to establish thus far. Daher further informed the audience about the informative publications and the educative initiatives of the LNCCE, in addition to the local and international cooperative projects of the committee.
After an interactive Q & A session, the worksop was concluded with a lunch on campus.
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