About Us

The Canadian Association for Biological Safety/L’Association Canadienne Pour La Sécurité Biologique (CABS-ACSB) was formed in the 1990's as the Canadian affiliate of the American Biological Safety Association (ABSA). CABS-ACSB aims to establish a Canadian network of individuals interested in a wide variety of biological safety issues and to enhance the knowledge and understanding of biological safety.

CABS-ACSB is registered (since June 1990) as a not-for-profit corporation. Corporations Canada (https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cd-dgc.nsf/eng/home) provides a means to search for Directors, Annual Filings and Certificates of Continuance.

CABS-ACSB is also registered with Volunteer Canada (Membership ID 103918) (https://volunteer.ca/)

President's Message

Welcome to CABS-ACSB, past and new member! First off, I would like to thank everyone for your support and commitment to CABS-ACSB. Our membership continues to amaze me with their vast knowledge and experience in biosafety and biosecurity.

As an association, we are committed to strive to serve our members and provide training opportunities, provide expert-based webinars, professional development and training courses, and networking opportunities, such as the Canadian Biosafety Symposium, Pre-symposium course, and the International High Containment Operations and Maintenance Workshop.

CABS-ACSB continues to deliver a successful professional designation program, the Registered Biological Safety Officers designation, which is recognized nationally among safety professionals. With out continued collaboration with Canadian College of Microbiologist (CCM), this year, CABS-ACSB continues to work towards establishing the next level for a professional designation, the Certified Biosafety Professional program. Currently, we are developing the competency requirements for this program with CCM and developing examination questions with the help from subject experts sourced from CCM and CABS-ACSB membership. This new certification program will recognize a level of competence in the field of Biosafety beyond the Registered Biological Safety Officers program, which will include a proctored examination through CCM.

CABS-ACSB and its members continue to aim to increase awareness and spread knowledge about the biosafety and biosecurity profession in Canada.

On behalf of the executive of CABS-ACSB, we would like to thank the membership for your continued hard work, dedication, and support to CABS-ACSB and the biosafety/biosecurity profession.

I invite each of you to stay engaged and continue sharing your expertise and talent, and make your voices heard! Looking forward to working with you in 2024!

Best regards,
Andrea Smida, President CABS-ACSB

Our Mission

The Canadian Association for Biological Safety (CABS - ACSB) has adopted and, as a condition of obtaining and continuing their membership in this association, every member of CABS – ACSB accepts the Code of Ethics. In accepting the Code of Ethics, each member of CABS – ACSB pledges to subscribe not only to the letter but the spirit of the Code in all their professional activities.

Code of Ethics

To support and develop the profession of biosafety and biosecurity in Canada, and to share our expertise nationally and internationally.


The purpose of the Code of Ethics is to provide guidelines to ensure that members of CABS – ACSB adhere to high ethical standards of practice. The ethical relationships of members of CABS – ACSB are defined to ensure that their conduct will:

  • Provide sound judgement in pursuance of their professional duties;
  • Maintain the highest standards of integrity and professional competence; and,
  • Uphold the honour and prestige of the association.

Professional Responsibilities

Directors shall:

  1. Not use membership lists for any purpose other than contacting the membership about matters relating to CABS – ACSB business as outlined in the By-laws of CABS – ACSB.
  2. Not permit the use of membership lists by members or any other organization or person, unless authorized by the board, and that use is for the purpose of contacting membership about matters relating to CABS – ACSB business as outlined in the By-laws of CABS – ACSB.
  3. Be bound by the membership responsibilities outlined below.

Members shall:

  1. Protect and promote the biosafety, biosecurity and health of humans, animals, property and the environment above any consideration of self-interest.
  2. Engage only in activities that maintain and enhance the quality of their professional service. This would include activities on List servers, social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in, etc. and any other communication tools that may become available in the future.
  3. Avoid circumstances where compromise of professional conduct or conflict of interest may arise, including engagement in marketing and advertising products and/or services pertaining to Biological Safety unless authorized by the board. This includes presentations by members at CABS – ACSB sponsored events.
  4. Membership lists are not to be used for commercial or marketing purposes; the membership list is restricted to CABS-ACSB business.
  5. Be objective in the application of recognised scientific methods and in the interpretation of findings.
  6. Recognize and respect the original work, integrity and ability of their peers.
  7. Recognize their professional limitations and level of competence as well as the special skills of others in related professions.
  8. Continue professional development throughout their career and support and encourage fellow Association members to develop professionally.
  9. Protect the confidentiality of all professionally acquired information and disclose such information only when properly authorized or when legally obligated to do so.
  10. Represent their qualifications and experience accurately and not knowingly make false or misleading statements.

Breach of Ethics

A member who breaches the Code of Ethics may have their membership cancelled without further legal challenge.

CABS-ACSB Executive

Left to right: Eric Bouchard, Andrea Smida, Tom Walus, Corrie Duchesne, Meghan Allen, and Tony Sambol (Canadian Biosafety Symposium 2023)

The executive is the governing body of the Canadian Association for Biological Safety (CABS-ACSB). The executive consists of the President, Past President, President Elect, Treasurer, Secretary, Communications Officer, and Elections/Nominations Officer.

Andrea Smida – President

Andrea Smida is currently an Occupational Hygienist with the Government of Saskatchewan for the past year. She has also served as the Biosafety Officer at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) for 15 years. Andrea is currently a Registered Biological Safety Officer through CABS-ACSB and a Registered Biological Safety Professional through the American Biological Safety Association (ABSA). Andrea holds a Bachelor's of Science degree in Biology (2000) and a Master's of Science degree in Toxicology (2004) from the University of Saskatchewan. Andrea has been active member on CABS and ABSA since 2008. She sat on the CABS Executive for the past 4 years, and currently sits as the CABS-ACSB President, and is eager to work hard to make CABS-ACSB the national voice for Biosafety professionals in Canada and help in the development of a national biosafety professional registration and certification program.

Tom Walus – Past President and Treasurer

Tom Walus graduated from the University of Winnipeg and did his medical laboratory training at Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg. He worked at HSC for over 20 years as a senior technologist responsible for mycobacteria and as the clinical instructor. He left Winnipeg for 2.5 years to go to Saskatoon to be the laboratory manager for clinical microbiology with the Saskatoon Health Region. He returned to Winnipeg to work at St. Boniface General Hospital as the clinical instructor. In 2014 he worked at the International Centre for Infectious Diseases as the program manager for biosafety. His current position is biosafety and biosecurity officer for Diagnostic Services Manitoba. Tom has been and continues to be involved in many professional societies. From bench to boardroom, from classroom to teacher…he has seen just about everything!

President Elect

Position open

Eric Bouchard - Communications Officer

Drawing on over 10 years’ experience in technical service delivery, teaching and laboratory management, Eric Bouchard has served as biosafety officer for four institutions across western Canada and currently serves Shared Health Manitoba in that capacity. Eric holds a bachelor’s degree in Microbiology and Biochemistry from the Université de Saint-Boniface (2012), and a Master’s degree in Biochemistry and Medical Genetics from the University of Manitoba (2016). He has been an active member of CABS since 2016 and is looking forward to giving back to the Canadian biosafety community as a member of the CABS executive.

Corrie Duchesne – Social Media Officer

Corrie is currently the Science Lab and Biosafety Officer for Canadore College in Northern Ontario, where she oversees the daily operations of the laboratories for several science programs, as well as the overall management of the Biosafety program for the college . Corrie completed a diploma in Biotechnology from Canadore College, a Bachelor of Science – Specialization in Biology from Nipissing University, an Adult Educator certificate from Canadore College and a Professional Certificate in Public Health from the University of Alberta, and is a Registered Biological Safety Officer with CABS-ACSB. Corrie has been working in the post secondary educational sector for 15 years as a technologist, BSO and part-time instructor, and has a passion for safety in the labs! Prior to that Corrie worked as a Lab Analyst conducting water and wastewater chemical and microbiological analysis.

Meghan Allen - Secretary

Meghan Allen is currently the Biological, Chemical and Occupational Health and Safety Lead at the Canadian Light Source. Meghan completed her Bachelor of Science in Agriculture at the University of Saskatchewan in 2009, majoring in Food Science and Applied Microbiology. Meghan spent several years working within the food industry in Quality Management and Research and Development and has spent the last 5 years at the Canadian Light Source, with a higher focus on biological safety, which she enjoys very much. She is excited to be part of the CABS executive and looks forward to serving the biosafety community.

Anthony R Sambol - Elections Officer

Mr. Anthony Sambol is an Assistant Director of the Nebraska Public Health Laboratory (NPHL) and has an appointment as an Assistant Professor in the College of Medicine, Department of Pathology and Microbiology, University of Nebraska Medical Center. Mr. Sambol is currently the Responsible Official for the University’s Tier 1 Biological Select Agent and Toxin program that is regulated by the CDC. Anthony’s prior duties included serving as the Manager of the Biosecurity and Special Pathogens Laboratory sections in the NPHL. As the Manager of the Biosecurity Laboratory, Anthony was responsible for overseeing and establishing the NPHL’s Laboratory Response Network (LRN-B) testing capability for agents of bioterrorism, as well as overseeing the LRN Chemical Terrorism Preparedness Laboratory (LRN-C). Anthony was also the Laboratory Program Advisor for the NPHL, and as such he was also involved in the establishment of a statewide laboratory network to improve Nebraska’s public health infrastructure. Anthony received both a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Arts degree in Biology from the University of Nebraska. Prior to joining the NPHL in the fall of 1999, Anthony was employed in a variety of positions. These included working as a medical technologist in a diagnostic virology and infectious disease serology laboratory, a research scientist for an animal vaccine laboratory, and as a teacher of science courses at local community colleges. Anthony is listed as an author or co-author on more than 20 publications and 2 book chapters.

Past Presidents

  • Stephen Thiereault
  • Stephane Bourget
  • Lois Sowden-Plunkett (2008/09 to September 2014)
  • Andrea Smida (September 2014 to 2017)
  • Tom Walus (September 2017 to September 2022)


A pdf containing our CABS-ACSB Bylaws is available for download by clicking CABS-ACSB Bylaws PDF

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