CDC appoints permanent lab safety chief

first_imgThe US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today announced the permanent appointment of its first associate director for laboratory science and safety, the agency’s latest step in addressing a string of safety breaches.The appointment of Stephan Monroe, PhD, who was named as the acting associate director for laboratory science and safety in May, marks the first time the agency’s top lab administrator has reported directly to the CDC director.Creation of a single point person for lab safety accountability first surfaced in a series of steps the CDC announced in July 2014 in the wake an anthrax incident the month before at one of its labs. At around the same time, the CDC revealed that a lab sample unintentionally cross-contaminated with highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza had been shipped to a US Department of Agriculture lab.Problems at other federal facilities have kept lab safety issue in the headlines. Last summer, decades-old smallpox samples that were found to contain live virus were found abandoned in a Food and Drug Administration lab on the National Institutes of Health campus, and more recently, investigations by USA Today detailed problems at Department of Defense labs, including the shipment of live Bacillus anthracis samples—the bacterium that causes anthrax—to dozens of outside labs over the past decade.At the end of 2014, the CDC said the search for a chief of lab safety was under way, and that CDC microbiologist Leslie Dauphin, PhD, had been appointed to oversee the task until the position was permanently filled.Monroe, who replaced Dauphin in May, takes on the task at a time when high-profile lab safety problems have been swept up in the gain-of-function research debate and garnered the attention of Congress.Patterns, people, practicesIn an announcement today, the CDC said Monroe will spearhead lab safety and science initiatives across the agency and will coordinate critical lab policies and operations. The statement said his leadership and research background make him an ideal choice for the position.Most recently, Monroe had been deputy director of the CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases. He had also led the CDC’s Division of High-Consequence Pathogens and its Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases. He was a lab scientist for 17 years, when he played a key role in classifying astroviruses and developing and implementing real-time polymerase chain reaction assays to detect and characterize noroviruses.In the CDC statement, Monroe said his three main priorities over the next 60 days focus on “patterns, people, and practices.” For example, he said his office will examine lab incidents at the CDC to identify any common themes that have a broader impact on lab safety. He added that the agency will recruit and retain the best people to fill key roles in the new office and that a high priority is to identify best practices in lab science and safety that can be used throughout the agency.The CDC said Monroe has already instituted several new measures in his acting role, including gathering lab leaders across Department of Health and Human Services agencies, holding a forum for CDC lab staff on rapid incident notification, and rolling out a pilot project involving an electronic tablet-based checklist for procedure documentation and quality management.Pulpit to promote lab workMonroe told CIDRAP News that he took on the position, not only to ensure quality and safety for all CDC lab operations, but also to have a lab voice represented at the highest level of the agency. “This is the first time there’s been a dedicated lab position in the office of the director,” he said. “It’s a pulpit for me to advocate for the importance of lab work.”He said there will always be some inherent risk with lab work, but each procedure will be scrutinized to ensure that it’s done in the safest manner possible, such as with nonpathogenic strains, when possible. Monroe noted that steps have already been taken to simplify incident reporting so that bench scientists don’t need to guess how to handle them and that supervisors clearly know whom to notify.Monroe said one of his goals is to get employees to also report all incidents, including small ones, as well as “near-misses,” which will help guide lab policies across all CDC labs. Also, he said his job is to ensure that safety policies are known and followed with a high level of consistency at all of the CDC’s 150 labs, which employ 2,000 scientists.Other specifics he mentioned include updating lab safety training procedures, forging collaborations with other government labs to examine the root causes of safety problems, and adding new scrutiny and review of pathogen inactivation procedures.Assembling an office staff that shares a passion for lab safety and lab work will help build a stronger CDC culture of lab safety, Monroe said. One of the external committee’s findings was that the CDC needs its own branded culture of lab safety.Though changing the culture will take time, he said he’s optimistic, with strong commitment to lab safety coming from the top and enhanced empowerment coming from the lab staff ranks.See also:Sep 15 CDC press releaselast_img read more

IWG to service Mecca instant win games suite

first_img StumbleUpon Share Rank Group bingo subsidiary Mecca has moved to strengthen its online games portfolio by confirming a partnership with IWG, a specialist developer of instant win games content.Agreeing on partnership terms, IWG will exclusively service Mecca’s entire online instant win suite, with popular titles including Slingo and Cashbuster.Instant win specialist IWG has provided a full online instant win service to lotteries for over 15 years, producing more than 250 high-quality instant win games. It is now offering this service to commercial brands and platforms in the wider online gaming industry.Rhydian Fisher, CEO at IWG, was pleased to announce his firm’s partnership with Mecca stating ;  “Online instant win content is a hot topic at the moment and Mecca realise the importance of providing this type of game to their customers. We all know how successful this content is in the lottery space, but the dominance of mobile as a channel means now is the perfect time to bring instant win content to the commercial sector.”“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Mecca to create this entirely new tab. They’re a huge brand and have some really exciting plans for the future. They are also extremely well placed, both in terms of players and experience, to ensure this is the huge success they expect it to be.”Colin Cole-Johnson, Director of Digital & Cross Channel Services at Rank Group, added: “This is an exciting new development for Mecca’s players. Scratch cards have been around for years, but they haven’t really changed and IWG’s online instant win content is far more immersive and engaging.“We’re going to be promoting this new suite heavily and I’m sure that our players will love the range of games that we’ll be launching shortly.” Rank Group extends support for Carers Trust July 28, 2020 Government denies casinos a July reopening July 10, 2020 Related Articles John O’Reilly – Erratic orders have placed UK casinos on life support August 4, 2020 Submit Sharelast_img read more

Mick McCarthy apologises and says ‘f*** off’ caught on TV wasn’t aimed at anyone

first_img1 Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy has apologised after his use of bad language during Sunday’s derby draw with Norwich was captured by television cameras.McCarthy was pictured swearing after Ipswich captain Luke Chambers put the visitors ahead 89 minutes into the Sky Bet Championship clash at Carrow Road. Timm Klose would then equalise for Norwich in stoppage time and the game finished 1-1.The Town manager told Ipswich’s official website: “It was a big moment for us, coming so late in the game. You can get carried away in situations like that.“To be honest I forgot the cameras were there and can capture every word now. You don’t think about that during the game. For those who were offended by my language, I apologise.“I’d like to reiterate though that my comments were not aimed at anyone. It was just a reaction to the goal and what it meant at that time.” Micky McCarthy was caught on camera using offensive language last_img read more