Biosafety Heroes Program

The IFBA’s Biosafety Heroes program identifies and celebrates extraordinary individuals who make significant contributions to help others in the field of biorisk management. Biosafety Heroes serve as role models, showing others that everyone is important in the global fight against infectious diseases.

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.

Selection Criteria:
  • Nominees are selected on their uniqueness, the specific accomplishments they have 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/biosecurity funds are limited, and/or where the importance of biosafety and biosecurity is not fully appreciated.
    • have not yet been recognized with other biosafety or biosecurity awards.
  • Nominations are welcome for people at all stages in their careers.
Selection Mechanism:
  • Nominations can be made by anyone. They should be emailed to Vishnu Kandasamy, International Federation of Biosafety Associations at
    • The deadline for nominations for the 2023 awards is 20 December 2023.
    • Nominations are welcome at any time. Once received they will be considered for at least one year.
  • Winners are chosen by a selection committee based on the criteria outlined above.

View the IFBA Biosafety Heroes Flyer 2023 here

The following outstanding individuals who, through recognition by an international panel of their peers, have been awarded the distinction of being named IFBA’s 2022 Biosafety Heroes.

2022 IFBA Biosafety Hero

In 2013, Professor Ts. Lim Yang Mooi attended the advanced training in biorisk management organised by the US Biosecurity Engagement Program. She received the International Federation Biosafety Association Professional Certification both in Biorisk Management and Biosecurity, and Registered Biosafety Professional from Malaysian Biosafety and Biosecurity Association (MBBA) in 2017. As the Second President for the MBBA (2015-2018), she successfully organised the Malaysian Advanced Biosafety Officer Training workshop (MABOT) for three consecutive times in 2015, 2017 and 2019, and revised the MABOT training programme for research institutes, universities and government agencies. She then established a team of trainers and resource persons for MBBA that continue the effort to conduct biosafety and biosecurity trainings in Malaysia, as well as in Southeast Asia. She was the Assistant Secretary (2017 -2019) and the current treasurer (2021 – 2023) for the Asia Pacific Biosafety Association (APBA). Since 2013, she has trained 80 MABOT trainees, conducted 16 workshops on biorisk management and biosecurity with more than 450 local participants and 250 international participants. She received the professional certificate as HRDC certified training on 14 March 2021.

Lim Yang Mooi

Deputy Director, Institute of Postgraduate Studies & Research
Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman
IFBA Certified Professional
Kajang Selangor, Malaysia

2022 IFBA Biosafety Hero

As the former young County Medical Laboratory Coordinator in Turkana County, Kenya, Mr. Marcomic has advocated for local and global biosafety and biosecurity implementation leading to his IFBA professional certification in Biorisk Management and Biosecurity. He has transformed and reinvigorated the biorisk management system in Turkana County and was instrumental in ISO 15189 and ISO 35001 implementation and accreditation across many laboratories despite emanating from a resource-limited setting. Throughout his lean leadership and management, Mr. Marcomic has provided an enabling environment for sustainable biosafety development at all levels and by all actors to bolster biosafety and biosecurity systems. He has successfully conducted and facilitated more than 100 biosafety and biosecurity trainings locally and globally, physically onsite, and virtually, translating to more than 3,000 participants benefitting from his readily shared knowledge and expertise.

Mr. Marcomic continues to collaborate with many partners, associations, counties, non-profit organisations, institutions and firms with a mission to bridge the biosafety and biosecurity knowledge gap, consequently creating a safe work environment. His passion and commitment to the academic arena, led to his involvement in developing a new undergraduate biosafety and biosecurity degree curriculum at Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) aimed at bringing on board the youth and other progressive students to the dynamics of biorisk management. His ongoing activities have demonstrated that even in a resource-limited setting, biosafety and biosecurity can be strengthened by galvanising and catalysing sustainable, impactful, cost-effective and staff-led innovations.

James Marcomic Maragia

Senior Medical Laboratory Officer, Ministry of Health
IFBA Certified Professional
Turkana County, Kenya

Past recipients of the Biosafety Hero Award
  • 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)
  • 2017 – Diah Iskandriati (Indonesia), Faizatul Lela Jafar (Malaysia)
  • 2018 – Deo B. Ndumu (Uganda)
  • 2019 – Abeer Elsayed Abdelaziz Mohamed (Egypt), Olga Burduniuc (Moldova)
  • 2020 – Selmania Abderrahmen (Algeria), Nasir Ahmed Stanikzai (Afghanistan) – 10th Anniversary
  • 2021 – Dan Dano Ibrahim (Niger)
  • 2022 – Lim Yang Mooi (Malaysia), James Marcomic Maragia (Kenya)