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Laboratory safety, especially biosafety, is a critical component of research activities conducted in the Biological Sciences Division at the University of Chicago (UC), including infectious diseases research conducted in UC laboratories located either in Hyde Park or at the Howard T. Ricketts Biocontainment Laboratory, a regional biocontainment lab located on the campus of Argonne National Laboratories. Standard operating procedures and research-related protocols are developed with safety as a primary objective. Whenever possible, we incorporate empirical data into our risk assessment process to optimize safety while at the same time minimizing procedures that might potentially disrupt or unnecessarily complicate primary research activities. Unfortunately, empirical biosafety data is, in many cases, unavailable. My group is interested in exploring these basic research-related biosafety questions. To this end, we have established an applied biosafety research program which is included as part of a post-doctoral fellowship program designed to train post-graduate level scientists (Ph.D., M.D., D.V.M.) on how to manage biosafety programs at major academic, government, or industry-related research institutes.