Gryphon Scientific Receives a Major Grant to Address Critical Knowledge Gaps in Biosafety

Gryphon Scientific was awarded a major, three-year grant by Open Philanthropy to conduct critical research in biosafety. The massive growth in the power of biology to understand and manipulate life will continue to benefit mankind but has not been matched by a growth in scholarship to understand how to ensure that such work is done safely – major funding for biosafety research has been scarce for decades. This first-in-kind grant will be used to address critical knowledge gaps and foster the establishment of a community of researchers focused on transforming biosafety into an evidence-based practice, through several seminal studies across disciplines in biosafety:

    • Failure analysis: Replicating accidents with modern plastic labware to determine how likely these vessels are to release potentially infectious material, and how much or the material is released in droplets or aerosols. Existing data in this field uses laboratory glassware, which is no longer widely used.
    • Safety best practices: Ensuring that innovative systems already deployed to improve safety are widely disseminated so that the entire biomedical enterprise can become safer.
    • Human reliability: Investigating how, why, and how often laboratory workers make mistakes, through controlled experiments in academic and clinical laboratories and via observation in teaching and training laboratories. This research will engage academics in the United States and clinical labs throughout low and middle income countries.

Through these studies, we will foster a worldwide community conducting applied biosafety research. To that end, the studies will be multidisciplinary, spanning traditional engineering, political science, and life science research in academe and in clinical settings, demonstrating that researchers from many backgrounds can contribute.

Data from this research will transform how we think about biosafety, ensuring that our investments in the life sciences continue to be of overwhelming benefit to mankind and not be completely undone by one careless minute.