Gryphon Staff Analyze the State of Research on Protecting Workers Against Occupational Exposure to Opioids

Gryphon Staff Analyze the State of Research on Protecting Workers Against Occupational Exposure to Opioids

The nationwide opioid crisis continues to affect not only people who use opioids but also communities at large by increasing the risk of accidental occupational exposure to illicit opioids. In addition, the emergence of highly potent synthetic opioids such as fentanyl and carfentanil increases the need to protect workers who may encounter unknown drug substances during job activities. To support the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Opioids Research Gaps Working Group, Gryphon Scientific examined the state of the literature concerning methods to protect workers against accidental occupational exposure to illicit opioids and have identified unmet research needs concerning personal protective equipment, decontamination methods, and engineering controls. Additional studies are needed to overcome gaps in technical knowledge about personal protective equipment, decontamination, and control methods, and gaps in understanding how these measures are utilized by workers. Increasing our knowledge of how to protect against exposure to illicit opioids has the potential to improve occupational health across communities.

Dual Use Risk Analysis Training Materials for Malaysian Life Scientists

Dual Use Risk Analysis Training Materials for Malaysian Life Scientists

Overview

These dual use case study materials were developed for use in dual use risk analysis training activities, and are free to modify and distribute under a Creative Commons License. Gryphon developed the materials in collaboration with Malaysia’s Science and Technology Research Institute for Defence (STRIDE), adapted from materials originally developed by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  • GRYPHON STAFF | Dr. Gautham Venugopalan
  • PROJECT PARTNERS | Nancy Connell, Hopkins Center for Health Security; Malaysian Science and Technology Research Institute for Defence

Training Materials for Practical Implementation of Laboratory Biosafety, Biosecurity, and Biorisk Management

Training Materials for Practical Implementation of Laboratory Biosafety, Biosecurity, and Biorisk Management

Overview

Experts from Gryphon Scientific, Moroccan Biosafety Association, Batna University I, American University of Beirut, and Royal Scientific Society of Jordan conducted a train-the-trainer event that taught participants active learning concepts and approaches for teaching their colleagues and students about laboratory biosafety and biosecurity. The activities conducted during the training event simultaneously served to train participants to consider practical application of laboratory biosafety and biosecurity concepts, and to illustrate how different types of immersive, interactive activities can be used in training. The focus and materials of the training program built on gaps identified after thorough evaluation of the research landscape, governance on laboratory biosafety and biosecurity, and past and current training and bioengagement activities in Morocco, Jordan, Egypt, Algeria, and Lebanon. The training materials are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) and are posted below.

  • GRYPHON STAFF | Dr. Gautham Venugopalan
  • FORMER GRYPHON STAFF | Dr. Kavita Berger (Director, Board on Life Sciences at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine)
  • TRAINING TEAM | Nisreen Al-Hmoud, Royal Scientific Society of Jordan, Halima Benbouza, Batna University I, Khalid Temsamani, Moroccan Biological Safety Association, Elias Rahal, American University of Beirut

Mock Review Materials

A scenario-based approach to educate scientists on assessing risks and benefits of research.

Table Top Exercises

A scenario-based simulation exercise to train scientists in identifying gaps and vulnerabilities in their laboratories and biorisk management practices for addressing identified gaps and vulnerabilities.

Training Game

An interactive training game for scientists to learn about risks associated with laboratory biosafety and biosecurity.

Sticky Note Exercise

An interactive exercise to encourage identification of core laboratory biosafety and biosecurity concepts.

Middle East and North Africa Community of Practice for Biological and Chemical Safety and Security

Middle East and North Africa Community of Practice for Biological and Chemical Safety and Security

For more than 10 years, laboratory biosafety and biosecurity workshops and training programs have been conducted in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Despite these efforts, best practices and training materials often are not shared among the MENA scientific and health sectors. To address this issue, Gryphon Scientific and the Royal Scientific Society of Jordan are leading an effort to promote information-sharing about best practices and training materials for laboratory safety, biosecurity, and biorisk management in the region through a MENA Region Community of Practice for Biological and Chemical Safety and Security.

Development of Innovative Training Materials on Research Translation to Strengthen Zoonotic Disease Prevention, Detection, and Response Capabilities

Development of Innovative Training Materials on Research Translation to Strengthen Zoonotic Disease Prevention, Detection, and Response Capabilities

Overview

Gryphon Scientific developed and delivered innovative training workshops on applying research to policies and programs in human and animal health, fusing concepts–research translation and One Health–that are rarely addressed together. By engaging a multi-sectoral group of in-country stakeholders from the research, public health, and veterinary sectors, the workshops helped build workforce capabilities in research translation and supported the strengthening of multi-sectoral networks to promote national preparedness for zoonotic disease threats.

Motivation

Research translation plays a critical role in the development of evidence-based policies and programs for preventing, detecting, and responding to infectious diseases. Many infectious disease threats are zoonotic – affecting both humans and animals – so that outbreaks in or interventions targeting one sector have spillover effects on the other sector. A “One Health” approach to combating zoonotic diseases can strengthen prevention of and enable more rapid detection of and response to zoonotic disease threats. One Health is a multi-sectoral, interdisciplinary approach that involves the collaborative effects of multiple sectors and disciplines to achieve the best health for people, animals, and the environment. However, training and other resources addressing the complexity of research translation to health challenges affecting multiple sectors are limited.

Methods

To strengthen zoonotic disease prevention and control capabilities in Egypt and Indonesia, Gryphon Scientific collaborated with in-country partners to develop and deliver innovative training workshops on applying research to policies and programs in human and animal health. We developed a novel framework for research translation in a One Health context to provide a conceptual basis for the training activities, representing the first of its kind to fuse the concepts of research translation and One Health. Using best practices in adult learning methodology and active learning, the project team developed a suite of training materials including case studies based on local research and a systems mapping activity to identify communication pathways supporting research translation. The training materials were piloted in two workshops in Cairo, Egypt and Surabaya, Indonesia with multi-sectoral groups of in-country stakeholders from the research, public health, and veterinary sectors.

Results

The workshops helped build workforce capabilities in research translation and supported the strengthening of multi-sectoral networks in Egypt and Indonesia, thereby promoting national preparedness for zoonotic disease threats. These experiences validated the relevance and utility of the One Health Research Translation Framework in guiding the design of research applications that are locally relevant, beneficial, and effective. Additionally, the workshops demonstrated the value of our training concepts and approach in fostering multi-sectoral collaborations that support effective translation of research to zoonotic disease challenges.

Resources

The training materials and One Health Research Translation Framework are licensed under a Creative Commons license, allowing for free and unlimited distribution for non-commercial use. The materials developed for the Egypt workshop are available in English and Arabic, and the materials developed for the Indonesia workshop are available in Bahasa Indonesia. These materials can be adapted to local disease concerns for other training events or used to develop research translation strategies for specific zoonotic disease issues.