Cambridge Biosafety Forum

  • May 09, 2023
  • 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
  • Virtual (registration required)

The Cambridge Public Health Department is hosting the 2023 Cambridge Biosafety Forum, a free two-day virtual training, on Tuesday, May 9 and Wednesday, May 17 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Cambridge is the first city in the world to establish direct citizen oversight of biological research, and continues to set the standard for strict public oversight of this sector.

The Cambridge Biosafety Forum is designed to educate residents from Cambridge and neighboring communities who are interested in serving as community representatives on Cambridge institutional biosafety committees, known as IBCs. An IBC serves a critical role in assessing the research and ensuring that appropriate safeguards are in place to protect scientists, the public, and the environment.

The Cambridge Biosafety Regulation requires that all IBCs include two community members with no financial ties to the host institution. You do not need a science background to be a community representative, but you should be interested in science and serving their community. Most committees meet once a year.

Who Should Attend?

  • People interested in serving as an IBC Community Representative
  • Local public health staff and local elected officials
  • IBC members (including current community representatives)
  • Biosafety and environmental health and safety professionals

What Will You Learn?

People who attend the Cambridge Biosafety Forum will learn about:

  • Roles, and responsibilities of an institutional biosafety committees (IBC)
  • Role of the IBC Community Representative
  • Municipal biosafety programs
  • Basics of risk assessment, microbiology, and new genetic technologies

Participants will also observe a mock IBC meeting and have an opportunity to ask questions.


The Forum is free of charge, but participants must register for each session.


Day 1 Training
Tuesday, May 9, 2023, 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
Topics: risk assessment, basic microbiology, specialized risk topics, and the IBC community member perspective

Day 2 Training
Wednesday, May 17, 2023, 6 p.m. –8 p.m.
Topics: municipal biosafety programs, IBC Best Practices, and mock IBC.

For more information, please contact Sam Lipson at [email protected].


Sponsored by the Cambridge Public Health Department (MA)

Corporate Sponsorship provided by Environmental Health & Engineering Inc.

Co-Sponsored by:

 New England Biosafety Association (NEBSA)

Massachusetts Environmental Health Association (MEHA)

Massachusetts Health Officers Association (MHOA)