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Biosafety Heroes

Biosafety Heroes

The IFBA has created a Biosafety Heroes program to identify and celebrate extraordinary individuals who make significant contributions to help others in the field of biosafety and biosecurity. IFBA Biosafety Heroes are exceptional and inspiring individuals honored by the global biosafety community as having made a difference for the better. Biosafety Heroes serve as role models, showing others that each individual is important and can contribute to the global fight against infectious diseases.

Who are our Heroes?

Nominees are selected on their uniqueness, the specific accomplishments they achieved that are truly remarkable, and the impact their work has had on others. Preference is given to individuals who:

  • operate in an environment where biosafety funds are limited, and/or where the importance of biosafety is not fully appreciated.
  • have not yet been recognized with other biosafety awards.


The following are the outstanding individuals who, through
recognition by an international panel of their peers, have been
awarded the distinction of being named IFBA’s 2017 Biosafety

Diah Iskandriati

Research Scientist and Biosafety Officer
Primate Research Center, Bogor Agricultural University
Bogor, Indonesia

Dr. Diah Iskandriati

Dr. Diah Iskandriati first became interested in biosafety as a visiting scientist at the University of Washington in 1992. Upon returning to Indonesia she transferred what she had learned there to the Primate Research Center at Bogor Agricultural University (PRC-IPB), and later throughout Indonesia. She began advocating for biosafety at her own center by educating her peers and introducing new safety procedures and guidelines on a voluntary basis, at a time when there was no national biosafety legislation or guidelines, and biosafety awareness and appreciation were low. Eventually her work earned the recognition of institute management, and in 2003 she was officially appointed as Biosafety Officer. She played an instrumental role in implementing biorisk management at the PRC-IPB, which helped it become the first Indonesian animal facility with AAALAC accreditation. She then began to develop an institute-wide biorisk management framework that extended beyond her own center. In 2006 she was involved in designing what became the first ABSL-3 facility in Indonesia. Dr. Iskandriati next began to advocate for biosafety beyond her home institute, over the years training more than one thousand people in biorisk management, including scientists, health care workers, and others from both private and government institutes. A number of those people went on to become trainers themselves, and to implement biosafety programs at their own institutes. She has played various roles in the Indonesia Biorisk Association (IBA), where she currently serves as Secretary. Within the IBA she participated in drafting the Code of Conduct of the biosecurity guidelines of the Indonesian Academy of Science, and she and her team have advocated for creating a national certification scheme under the National Standardization Body of Indonesia, based on the CWA15793 Biorisk Management standard. Currently Dr. Iskandriati, together with IBA and national authorities, is campaigning for certification to be made mandatory for all laboratories working with high risk biological agents in Indonesia. She also actively contributes to regional biosafety, and currently serves as Secretary of the Asia-Pacific Biosafety Association. As both a leader and a team member she effectively and enthusiastically champions biosafety in Indonesia and the wider region.


Faizatul Lela Jafar 

Scientific Officer (Biosafety Officer), Institutional Biosafety
& Biosecurity Committee (IBBC) Department of Medical
Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine University of Malaya,
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

IFBA Certified Professional (Biorisk Management, Biosecurity)

Faizatula Lela Jafar

Faizatula Lela Jafar has passionately advocated for biorisk management at the institutional, national, and international levels. At the international level, she assisted with the development and implementation of the IFBA Professional Certification program, and was among the first candidates to earn Professional Certification in both Biorisk Management and Biosecurity in Southeast Asia. She is actively involved as a resource person and trainer for the Professional Certification in Biosecurity, and has coordinated numerous training and certification sessions, benefiting more than 300 biosafety professionals from Malaysia and the ASEAN region. At a national level, she serves as Assistant Secretary for the Malaysia Biosafety & Biosecurity Association, and was a part of the committee that developed the Malaysia Laboratory Biosafety and Biosecurity Policy and Guidelines under the Ministry of Health. She was also an editor of the document, and participated in awareness–raising activities to distribute information related to it to the community. As the Biosafety Officer of an Institution under the Institutional Biosafety and Biosecurity Committee she was involved in developing, establishing, and implementing the biorisk management program at her university, as well as a Biosafety and Biosecurity Manual and Code of Conduct. Despite many challenges, she has worked tirelessly to improve the safety and security of institute personnel and communities in Malaysia and throughout Southeast Asia.

 View our past recipients of the Biosafety Hero Award here

2011 - Aamer Ikram (Pakistan), Indrawati Sendwo (Indonesia), Namazbek Abdikerimov (Kyrgyz Republic), Jean Gratz (Tanzania)
2012 - Siripan Wongwanich (Thailand), Edith Tria (Philippines), Dinara Turegeldieva (Kazakhstan)
2013 - Lela Bakanidze (Georgia), Mahama Touré (Ivory Coast)
2014 - José Alberto Díaz‐Quiñonez (Mexico), Atef ElGendy (Egypt)
2015 - T.S. Saraswathy (Malaysia), Albert Bunyasi (Kenya), Leila Macedo (Brazil)
• 2016 - Miguel Martin N. Moreno II (Philippines), Doris Bota (Kenya), Harshad Vinayakrao Murugkar (India)
2017 - Diah Iskandriati (Indonesia), Faizatul Lela Jafar (Malaysia)

Selection mechanism:

  1. Nominations can be made by anyone. They should be emailed to the IFBA Secretariat at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • Nominations are welcome at any time. Once received they will be considered for at least one year.
  2. Winners are chosen by a selection committee (chaired by Michael Weaver, Kazakhstan) based on the criteria outlined above. 

Download the IFBA Biosafety Heroes Nomination form here


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International Federation of Biosafety Associations
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