Biological Safety Officer (BSO)
Brian S. Ranger is the director of Biological Safety and biosafety officer at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, the UT Institute of Agriculture and the UT Graduate School of Medicine. He and his staff work closely with the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC), principal investigators, staff and students to ensure the safe and responsible management of biological hazards as well as compliance with applicable federal, state, and local regulations and guidelines.
Ranger first came to the UT as an undergraduate student in 1992. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in biology and master’s degree in microbiology, he served as research associate for Pamela Small in the Department of Microbiology. During that time, he investigated the physiology and molecular pathogenesis of Mycobacterium ulcerans, the causative agent of Buruli ulcer, as well as other closely related environmental mycobacterial species. Ranger is a contributing author to original research published in Infection & Immunity and Public Library of Science Neglected Tropical Diseases.
Ranger joined the Office of Research and Engagement in 2006 as a biological safety specialist and was appointed director of Biological Safety in 2008. He is an active member of the American Biological Safety Association (ABSA) and the Southeastern Biological Safety Association (SEBSA). Ranger is a Specialist in Microbiology (SM: Biological Safety) through the American Society for Microbiology’s National Registry of Certified Microbiologists (NRCM) and a Certified Biological Safety Specialist (CBSP) through ABSA.
Biological Safety Specialist
Linda R. Hamilton, MPH, is the Biosafety Specialist for the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Institute of Agriculture, and Graduate School of Medicine. Linda’s first experience with the research community at UT was as a freshman work-study student assigned to Dr. David Bemis’ lab in Walter’s Life Sciences Bldg. Under the mentorship of Dr. Bemis, Linda completed her undergraduate degree with a double major in microbiology and medical technology (Medical Technology Program at UT Medical Center). After five years working as a medical technologist, Linda returned to UT to pursue a Master of Public Health degree with a concentration in Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety. During this time, she worked as a student sub-contractor to ORNL in the Industrial Hygiene department working on hazard communication compliance. Completion of the degree required an internship which Linda completed at the Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa, Inc.) in Alcoa, TN. Linda was hired at Alcoa where she worked for 10 years in air pollution control compliance and 5 years in health and safety compliance. Linda returned to the clinical lab environment at Molecular Pathology Laboratory Network in Maryville, TN in 2007 as a cytogenetics technologist and worked there until coming home to UT in the Environmental, Health, and Safety Department as a Laboratory Safety Specialist in 2014.
Administrative Specialist III
Jessica D. Woofter, BGS, CAP, provides services for the Offices of Biosafety at the University of Tennessee. She has more than twenty years combined experience of working in corporate offices, universities, hotels, and financial institutions. Prior to moving to her position at UT in 2011, she worked as a Financial Associate for Tulane University. In 2014, she completed her Bachelor of General Studies in Business and Writing from Georgia Southern University and completed her Certification as an Administrative Professional through the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP).