Updated February 22, 2016

The EHS Biosafety Program (BSP) provides comprehensive biological safety services and guidance for the MIT community.  We collaborate with MIT Principal Investigators (PIs), students, and research staff to ensure the safe and responsible conduct of life sciences research.  We also provide expertise and advice regarding biological hazards that may be encountered in non-laboratory settings.

Within our research community, we work to protect researchers, the public, and the environment by providing direction, resources, and training regarding the safe handling of hazardous biological materials in the laboratory.  We also support the MIT biological research community in maintaining compliance with applicable local, state, and federal regulations and in meeting the biological safety and security requirements of granting agencies.  Most safety and compliance requirements are addressed by registration of biological research with the MIT Committee on the Assessment of Biohazards and Embryonic Stem Cell Research Oversight (CAB/ESCRO).  This committee is managed by BSP.

Outside the laboratory, BSP provides training or guidance to MIT employees who may come into contact with potentially hazardous biological materials such as human blood or body fluids, sewage, or mold.  We also work to ensure safe environments for our community by supporting efforts to maintain healthy pool water and indoor air quality.

Services and Responsibilities:

      For the research community

  • Assist PIs in performing risk assessments for biological research
  • Review laboratory practices and provide guidance on best practices for safe handling of biological materials
  • Manage the Biological Research Registration (BRR) process for the CAB/ESCRO and provide preliminary review of protocols for submission
  • Provide guidance on selection of personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Recommend disinfectants and methods for decontamination and disposal of biohazardous material or waste
  • Provide guidance on regulations pertaining to biological research such as the NIH Guidelines and Dual Use Research of Concern
  • Administer the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen Program
  • Conduct safety and compliance training for all individuals involved in biological research
  • Provide resources for transport or shipment of biological materials
  • Register laboratories to use regulated materials such as select toxins or DEA controlled substances
  • Provide recommendations and training for correct use of biosafety equipment such as biosafety cabinets and autoclaves
  • Administer the  autoclave validation program
  • Participate in laboratory design processes and provide guidance for designs to meet research needs
  • Provide biosafety signage and labels


     For the entire MIT community

  • Conduct safety and compliance training for all individuals that may come into contact with biological materials
  • Administer the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen Program
  • Assist with indoor air quality investigations that involve mold
  • Provide guidance for decontamination and remediation of items contaminated with biological materials
  • Work to maintain clear hazard communication for those entering biological research laboratories
  • Oversee pool water quality testing for biological contaminants
  • Collaborate with MIT Occupational Medicine and Employee Health to monitor infections and injuries on campus and introduce preventative measures where possible


Who We Are:

The BSP team consists of general biologists, microbiologists, and environmental biologists who draw upon many years of experience in biological research and biosafety to best serve the MIT community.




Areas of expertise/programs



Marissa M. Cardwell, Ph.D.

Deputy Director


CAB/ESCRO Policies & Procedures

Dual Use Research of Concern

Select Agents & Toxins

Regulatory Compliance



Center for Innovation in Product Development

Center for Transport & Logistics

Engineering Systems Division

Kavli Institute

MIT Museum

Music & Theater Arts

Office of the Arts

Program In Art Culture & Technology


SMART (Singapore-MIT Alliance for Reseach & Technology)


Nicolas Paquin, Ph.D.

Assistant to the Deputy Director





Carolyn S. Stahl, RS, CBSP

Senior Officer


OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens

Indoor Air Quality (Mold)

Biosafety Training

Import/Export, Transport & Shipping of Biological Materials



Bates Accelerator

Chemical Engineering

Continuum Electro Mechanical Lab

Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL)



Industrial Performance Center

Institute for Soldier Nanotechnology

Koch Institute

Leaders for Global Operations


MIT Energy Initiative

MIT Police

Microsystems Technology Lab

Nuclear Reactor Lab


Real Estate

School of Humanities, Arts & Social Science

Sociotechnical Systems Research Center

Synthetic Biology Center


Michele Miele




DEA Controlled Substances



Clinical Research Center

Division of Student Life
Edgerton Center

Electrical Engineering & Computer Science

Institute for Medical Engineering & Science

Lincoln Laboratory

MIT-SUTD Collaboration

Research Laboratory of Electronics


Lorena Altamirano



Toxins of Biological Origin

Select Toxins

Autoclave Use & Validation

Infection Control

Brain & Cognitive Science


Earth, Atmospheric & Planetary Science

Lab for Nuclear Science

Laboratory for Information & Decision Systems


McGovern Institute for Brain Research

Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering:  LMP

Mechanical Engineering:  Sea Grant

Media Lab

MIT Medical

Physics of Living Systems

Picower Center for Learning & Memory

Simons Center for the Social Brain

Wallace Observatory


Damon Baptista

Assistant Officer


Pool Water Quality



Biological Engineering

Biotechnology Process Engineering Center (CGR)

Center for Biomedical Engineering

Center for Environmental Health Science

Center for Materials Science & Engineering

Civil & Environmental Engineering

Division of Comparative Medicine

Materials Processing Center

Materials Science & Engineering Department

Nuclear Science & Engineering

Plasma Science & Fusion Center

Property Office