Senior Biosafety Officer, Select Agent Alternate Responsible Official
Allen Helm received his Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he investigated chromosome rearrangements in Salmonella and was a teaching assistant for both lecture and laboratory classes relating to microbial genetics. He trained as a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Microbiology-Immunology at Northwestern University, studying Neisseria gonorrhoeae physiology and pathogenesis. In 2009 he joined the Biosafety Program at the University of Chicago (UC) as a GLRCE Biosafety Fellow under the guidance of Dr. Joe Kanabrocki.
In 2010 he became a Biosafety Officer at UC. He interacts regularly with UC faculty and staff to assist them with biosafety concerns and performs biosafety laboratory inspections at the request of the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC). He represents the Office of Biological Safety as an initial reviewer of IBC protocols and is a voting member of the IBC and the Select Agent IBC, which oversee research with recombinant DNA and/or pathogenic microorganisms at the Hyde Park campus and the H.T. Ricketts Laboratory on the Argonne National Laboratory campus, respectively. He also conducts IBC-mandated training for investigators working with recombinant or synthetic DNA, pathogenic microorganisms, and other possible biohazards.
He is an active member of the American Society for Microbiology, the American Biological Safety Association, and the Midwest Area Biosafety Network.