ALMERA: Training in ‚in situ gamma spectrometry' 2.-6 Nov. 2015
Spiez Laboratory is a member of the ALMERA (Analytical Laboratories for the Measurement of Environmental Radioactivity) network that has been run by the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) since 1995. The laboratories nominated in ALMERA have undertaken to maintain operational readiness and high quality standards through inter laboratory tests, proficiency tests, training sessions, the provision of reference material and the elaboration of standardised methods.
Spiez Laboratory enjoys a good reputation in ALMERA and was therefore asked to offer a basic course on in situ gamma spectrometry. This course will now be held in November in the form of a joint project of Spiez Laboratory (FOCP), the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) and the NBC EOD Centre of Competence. From about 80 applicants the IAEA has selected 25 participants from 23 countries who will be introduced to the incident-based metering technology of in situ gamma spectrometry at the NBC Centre in Spiez from 2 to 6 November by 15 instructors and speakers from the three organisations involved. The course programme will include various theory sessions as well as practical field exercises.
Proficiency Tests of the OPCW – top marks for Spiez Laboratory
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is responsible for compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention and has at its disposal a worldwide network of designated laboratories for the analysis of authentic samples. To evaluate existing laboratories and to designate new laboratories the OPCW conducts two Proficiency Tests every year. Spiez Laboratory, an OPCW designated laboratory since 1998, once again successfully completed the latest Proficiency Tests. Spiez Laboratory is thus one of only five laboratories in the world that have been able to permanently maintain their designation status. Furthermore, of the five top laboratories Spiez Laboratory received the best overall performance ratings.
Annual Report 2014
In our latest annual report you’ll find reports our international missions in Jordan (Integrated field exercise of the CTBTO) and in Guinea (Ebola diagnostics with the European Mobile Laboratory). We also provide detailed information on the use of high resolution mass spectrometry for verification analysis. This technology has become an indispensable tool for our Analytical Chemistry Group.
Research project on Ebola Vaccine
Spiez Laboratory takes part in a major research project on VSV-ZEBOV, one of the most promising Ebola vaccine candidates. This new round of research will build on the clinical trials which are currently under way at Geneva University Hospitals (HUG). Work will focus on carrying out detailed genetic and molecular analyses of samples taken from trial volunteers in order to acquire a fuller understanding of how the human immune system responds to the experimental vaccine.
The project is coordinated by Geneva University. Spiez is participating in the study, as it is the only facility in Switzerland equipped to handle and manipulate highly pathogenic agents like the Ebola virus. Specialists working in the Spiez biocontainment laboratory will study to what extent serum taken from trial volunteers who have been given the VSV-ZEBOV vaccine manages to neutralise the Ebola virus. As such, Spiez is one of only a handful of laboratories with the necessary capabilities to carry out such a procedure.