The Open Philanthropy Project awarded two grants totaling $706,750 over three years to Dan Grushkin and Todd Kuiken, Ph.D., to evaluate and support the creation of biosafety and biosecurity practices in DIYbio labs. This includes a grant of $454,025 to Genspace, where Mr. Grushkin is Executive Director, and a grant of $252,725 to North Carolina State University, where Dr. Kuiken is a Senior Research Scholar.
The project includes two parts:
- Visiting numerous DIYbio labs and gathering information on the kinds of experiments they’re doing and the safety and security provisions they have in place.
- Creating a biosafety and biosecurity pilot program in three DIYbio labs. This will involve hiring three early-career biosafety officers to work in these labs for a year and figure out how to apply standard biosafety procedures and biosecurity provisions in the DIY lab context. The goals of this activity are to improve safety and security standards in the participating labs and to establish three biosafety and biosecurity experts with a specialization in DIY labs. The three officers will also develop a list of biosafety and biosecurity best practices for DIY labs and co-author a shareable manual that can be used by others.
This grant falls within Open Philanthropy's work on biosecurity and pandemic preparedness.