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2013 Biosafety Heroes Awards

We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2013 Biosafety Heroes Awards: Drs. Lela Bakanidze and Mahama Touré.
A brief summary of the achievements the awards recognize follows. For photos, and information on past winners, please see the IFBA web site . We congratulate Drs. Bakanidze and Touré, and thank them for their efforts to strengthen biosafety and biosecurity in their countries and regions.
Mahama Touré
Dr Mahama Touré acquired knowledge of biosafety and biosecurity in his work with the African Biosafety Association, which he serves as treasurer. In order to better pass on that knowledge to colleagues and students in his own country he founded the “Association de Biosécurité en Côte d’Ivoire (ABCI)”, with members from many national institutions, which he serves as president. Dr. Touré succeeded in introducing biosafety and biosecurity into the curricula of the University of Alassane Ouattara Côte d’Ivoire. He did all this in a country which has had significant political instability and funding challenges. He continues to advocate for projects to improve biosafety in Côte d’Ivoire.
Lela Bakanidze
Dr. Lela Bakanidze has worked in the fields of biosafety and biosecurity for more than 30 years. She worked first at the Georgian Anti-Plague Station, which later became the Georgian National Center for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC), where she served as a member and later as Head of the Biosafety Regime Commission (equivalent to a Biosafety Committee). She contributed to preparing Georgian biosafety regulations and its list of select agents. She was the first Registered Biosafety Professional (RBP) in the South Caucasus, was actively involved in founding the Biosafety Association for Central Asia and the Caucasus and organizing it conferences, and was the first president of the Georgian Biosafety Association. She has translated the WHO Laboratory Biosafety Manual into Georgian. She is Georgia’s representative to the Biological and Toxin Weapon’s Convention Experts meetings. In January 2012 Dr. Bakanidze moved to the Georgian Agrarian University, where she holds the positions of professor and biosafety nonproliferation programs manager. There she included a course on biosafety/biosecurity into the university’s Life Sciences Master’s Program syllabus. She has in been involved in a wide variety of other biosafety-related activities, and has been a tireless advocate for biosafety in Georgia. She is the author of 2 monographs and more than 80 publications.
A special thanks to my fellow members of the IFBA Biosafety Heroes Working Group:

  • • Ben Fontes,  USA
  • • Rika Sjoekri, Indonesia
  • • Valerie Wilson, Trinidad& Tobago
  • • Rhizlane Selka, Morocco
  • • Ai Ee Ling, Singapore
  • • Albert Bunyasi, Kenya
  • • Bassam Hayek, ,Jordan
  • • Paul Okemo,  Kenya
  • • Aamer Ikram (previous awardee), Pakistan

Thanks also to all those who sent in nominations.

Primary Contacts

To send feedback, suggestions or register as a member please contact:

African Biological Safety Association

Fairlane House off Mbagathi Road

P.O Box 35749-00200, Nairobi, Kenya

Tel: +254-714283195, +254-020-5256052 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.