Elizabeth R. Griffin

Research Foundation

Safer Together

The Elizabeth R. Griffin

Research Foundation:

The Elizabeth R. Griffin Research Foundation, Inc. (the Foundation) is a non-profit organization which is involved worldwide in promoting safe and responsible practices for handling biological materials in institutions such as hospitals, public health agencies, and research laboratories. The Foundation works to support the expansion of safe, secure, responsible laboratory capacity in under-resourced countries where diseases emerge/re-emerge. The Elizabeth R. Griffin Research Foundation, Inc. was formed in loving memory of Beth Griffin, whose vibrant, young life as a researcher was prematurely ended after contracting the rare macaque-born B virus (previously known as Herpes B Virus) from an ocular exposure to Macaque monkey secretions while doing research.

Safer Together . . .

We know that many researchers and laboratory workers stand on the front line in trying to solve the riddles of some of the most complex diseases that confront human and animal populations throughout the world. Protecting lives and economies, these research endeavors are of paramount importance.  Such highly specialized research elevates the need for high professional knowledge and standards in biological safety, biosecurity, and occupational health to assure safety of the researchers, support staffs, and the communities that host the research facilities.

The Foundation collaborates with a number of science-based organizations to focus on prevention through high-quality biosafety training, research involving zoonotic diseases, and support for occupational health awareness and improvement.

The Foundation operates in partnership with key professional organizations and institutions to build a safety net for laboratory workers through life-saving connections within their countries, institutions as well as through linking with appropriate professionals. Lessons learned from Beth’s death can help institutions develop effective systems, foster life-saving attitudes among employees/researchers and administration, build in flexibility to address out-of-the-ordinary circumstances, create excellence through transformative training and continuous improvement, and establish important relationships with supervisors, occupational health professionals, and other experts/institutions which can effectively address potentially lethal exposures.

Since January 2000, the Foundation has funded over $800,000.00US in professional research and biosafety training grants and has provided over $40,000.00US worth of educational materials to institutions and organizations involved in laboratory animal research. In addition, the Foundation has also funded over $80,000.00US in undergraduate and graduate research internships and externships.

The Foundation collaborates with a number of science-based organizations to focus on prevention through high-quality biosafety training, research involving zoonotic diseases, and support for occupational health awareness and improvement.

Since 2008, the Foundation began fostering in the United States the development of occupational health systems specific to institutions handling biological materials, and has now expanded its reach into Sub-Saharan Africa at the invitation of Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. The Foundation is currently involved in facilitating the development of local, practical, sustainable biosafety and biosecurity processes in under-resourced countries, beginning with Kenya. As a result, Kenya has created a vision of building biosafety systems in hospitals, public health and research laboratories, championed by the Ministry of Labor for Occupational Health, in cooperation of the Ministries of Health and Public Health. The Foundation is working to develop a model that can be used in other under-resourced countries.