The National Biosafety and Biocontainment Training Program Graduates Honored

The National Biosafety and Biocontainment Training Program (NBBTP) was proud to honor three alumni upon their successful completion of the program on March 30, 2021. NBBTP/IRTA is a partnership between the NIH Division of Occupational Health and Safety (DOHS) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). In 2020, the NBBTP became part of the NIH Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA) program.

NBBTP/IRTA alumni serve in diverse support and leadership roles such as biosafety officers and responsible officials for select agent research as well as international biosafety consultants and policy advocates. The Class of 2020 alumni are outstanding examples of the dedication of the fellows to complete the multi-faceted and rigorous program to advance occupational safety and health as well as biosafety principles.

Haley L. DeMers, PhD, earned her Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from University of California, Davis, and her doctorate in Cell and Molecular Biology with an emphasis on Microbiology from the University of Nevada, Reno. As a doctoral student, her research focused on the development of an antibody-based rapid diagnostic for Ebola virus and characterization of the capsular polysaccharide of Burkholderia pseudomallei as a diagnostic biomarker of melioidosis. Haley has continued her service to NIH as Biosafety Laboratory Manager at Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton, MT.

Kenneth Shenge, PhD, MPH, RBP (ABSA), earned his Bachelor of Agriculture degree from Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria and his doctorate in Molecular Plant Pathology from the Sokoine University of Agriculture in Tanzania on a German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) scholarship. During his doctorate research, he focused on resistance mechanisms in tomato to bacterial spot and bacterial speck, pathogen-host interactions in the pathosystems, and epidemiology of the tomato diseases in Tanzania. Dr. Shenge's interest in understanding the intersection of food safety, agriculture, and public health led to pursuit of a Master of Public Health degree at the University of Arizona with a focus on Applied Epidemiology. Ken is now Deputy Biosecurity Manager at USAMRIID at Ft. Detrick in Frederick, MD.

Andrea R. Vogel, PhD, earned a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences with a concentration in Cellular and Molecular Biology and a Master of Science in Biological Sciences from Binghamton University. She earned a doctorate in Genetics from North Carolina State University where she used prairie voles as a model system for spectrum disorders such as autism. Her research included aspects of behavior, genetics, and neurobiology, centering around the vasopressin 1a receptor in the ventral pallidum and retrosplenial cortex. Andrea is now Safety and Health Specialist III for the Duke University Health System in Durham, NC.

For more information about the NBBTP/IRTA, contact