Risk assessment and management of viral vector constructs - Course for biosafety officers (BSO)

Curriculum Biosafety - An initiative of the FOEN, the FOPH, the SUVA and the SECB

Risk assessment and management of viral vector constructs - Course for biosafety officers (BSO)

The demands on the BSO are high: they are the contact person for all questions of biosafety internally vis-à-vis colleagues and the management and externally vis-à-vis the authorities. BSOs ideally have a higher professional education, if possible with a university degree, comprehensive laboratory experience and knowledge of all biosafety issues. They have negotiating skills and assertiveness.

Biosafety has the purpose of protecting humans and the environment through the handling of genetically modified, pathogenic or alien organisms. 

Since 1999, the Containment Ordinance and the Ordinance on the Protection of Workers against Risks from Microorganisms have regulated the handling of organisms, in particular genetically modified and pathogenic organisms. These ordinances require, among other things, that a person responsible for biological safety be designated for such activities, the so-called Biosafety Officer (BSO).

Course language

  • English

Taking into account the respective safety level, the organisms used and the technical equipment, a biosafety officer (BSO) is responsible for drawing up an operational concept for the biological safety laboratory based on the legal foundations, in cooperation with the bodies involved. He/she is responsible for information, awareness raising, further training and advice on biological safety for the staff working on the premises.

  • Future or active Biosafety Officers (BSO)

Advanced subject-specific training  Risk Vectors

Day 1: 05.11.2025

  • Risk assessment of bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi, plants and animals and risk groups of organisms
  • Risk assessment of genetic modifications and classification of activities
  • Discussion of case studies with actual examples that were handed in to the federal authorities including how the authorities deal with these
  • Influence of the risk assessment to risk management.

Day 2: 06.11.2025

  • General overview of viral vectors and criteria for risk assessment
  • AAV- and adenoviral vectors
  • Lentiviral vectors
  • Rabies and pseudorabies vectors as well as questions of the participants of vectors that have not been discussed.

These vectors were chosen according to the frequency they are used in Swiss research laboratories.

Jenal & Partners Biosafety Consulting, Ursula Jenal

Number of participants

  • Course is limited to 20 participants.


  • CHF 750
  • The price includes course documentation, refreshments during breaks and lunch.
  • Networking and exchange of experiences during breaks and lunch are important for the learning process, therefore they are organized by sanu and are part of the course.


  • At the end of the course you will receive a certificate of participation.

Registration deadline

  • 16 October 2025
  • Due to the limited number of participants, registrations will be considered in the order in which they are received. 
  • At the latest two weeks before the course starts, you will receive a confirmation, further information about the course and the invoice.


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