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UW-Madison announces biological safety officer

July 30, 2009 By Chris Barncard

Jim Turk has been named biological safety officer in the Environment, Health and Safety Department at UW–Madison.

Turk, who was serving as interim biological safety officer until his permanent appointment July 1, has spent nearly half of his 10 years at the university working in Environment, Health and Safety assessing biological safety and occupational health. His most recent posting was in the Graduate School, serving as quality assurance program manager in the Office of Research Policy.

The Office of Biological Safety — which ensures that laboratory practices are in compliance with local, state and federal guidelines as well as practices prescribed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Institutes for Health — is adding seven staff members, Turk says.

“We’re trying for a department that is more efficient and responsive, because we’re following a moving target,” he says. “Regulations are always changing, and we have to stay on top of them.”

Turk earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science from UW–Madison in 1998 and a master’s in biotechnology in 2007.