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The mission of IBMF is to create, hone and validate microbe detection techniques in food, water, crop plants, insects and animals, as well as study insect vectors of plant, animal and human pathogens.


Faculty scientists and graduate research assistants work in a highly specialized microbiology Biosafety Level 2 (BSL2) laboratories in the Henry Bellman Research Center. Such laboratories are required for scientists who work with exotic or potentially high-consequence pathogens. These labs have to be highly attuned to operations with respect to:


  • Biosafety – maintaining the safety of lab personnel and visitors.
  • Biocontainment – ensuring that high-consequence microbes do not escape.
  • Biosecurity – confirming that unauthorized people do not enter the lab.

IBMF BSL2 laboratories have established specialized procedures, equipment and training. The labs are access-controlled via monitored key cards and locked doors and sealed windows to provide biosecurity. People who enter the labs must be trained, registered and escorted at all times. Every person in the lab is equipped with personal protective equipment, or PPE, such as lab coats, disposable gloves, shoe covers and hair nets, and they are trained in the proper order for donning and doffing the equipment and washing before leaving the lab. Scientists working with high-consequence microorganisms use biosafety cabinets and have access to emergency supplies and installations in the case of an accident to ensure the biosafety of all personnel. Finally, the lab is equipped with impermeable work surfaces, autoclaves, biohazard bags and plenty of disinfectants to maintain the biocontainment of organisms handled. Nothing leaves the lab that has not been washed, autoclaved or decontaminated with disinfectant.


The BSL2 laboratories are inspected annually by the Oklahoma State University Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC), and there are regular and surprise visits by inspectors from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the USDA. Auditors look for documentation that there has been comprehensive training of everyone who works in the lab and specific training of visitors. The IBC, CDC and APHIS inspectors will look for documentation of inspection, maintenance and calibration of all equipment, as well as for the written protocols that will be used by the scientists as they handle high-consequence organisms.


Ochoa Corona, F., Apparatus and method for biologic sample rapid collection and recovery device, and convenient storage. Patent No.: US 9423398 B2. 2016.

L. Ma., Cold Plasma Devices for Decontamination of Foodborne Human Pathogens”. PCT/US16/43899, OSU Disclosure 2015-17

Pai, K., C. Timmons, Ramachandran, A., T. Holbrook, L. Ma., S. Madihally, and J. Jacob. 2016. “Cold Plasma Devices for Wound Care and Decontamination”. OSU Invention Disclosure No. 2017-019.


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