A nationally certified biosafety expert, Angela Birnbaum leads a national working group that will launch a collaborative research program on COVID-19 among National Primate Research Centers (NPRCs). The group will work to develop vaccines and evaluate treatments against the disease using a non-human primate model. It will release research findings to scientists and collaborators in real-time to accelerate progress to find successful treatments and preventions against the disease.
Tulane research facilities at the School of Medicine, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the National Primate Research Center are continuously on the forefront of solving global issues. As director of the Office of Biosafety, Birnbaum ensures that the university’s state-of-the-art laboratories are also exemplary in their biosafety practices.
The Office of Biosafety provides resources to Tulane labs where researchers work with various biological materials. The goal is to minimize the health risks of research that involves biohazard materials, like recombinant DNA, biological toxins and infectious agents.
Birnbaum also serves as the national co-chair of the Biological Select Agent Toxin Community Advisory Committee, which helps to guide federal regulators who oversee programs that use high risk select agents and toxins.
An international expert in her field, Birnbaum travels across the world to help other research facilities establish their own vital safety regulations, which can prevent the spread of diseases to healthcare workers and biomedical researchers. This summer, she took part in the Department of State and Defense Threat Reduction Middle East/North Africa tour with a group coordinated by Sandia National Laboratories.