Duke Infectious Disease Response Training (DIDRT)

George Mason University’s Safety, Emergency, & Enterprise Risk Management (SEERM) department is partnering with Duke University on a training grant funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). The training provided is focused on engaging emergency response personnel in a critical evaluation of hazards that they may encounter and practices that they can observe to protect themselves and our communities in the wide variety of situations in which they may find themselves.

The Duke Infectious Disease Response Training (DIDRT) five-university consortium is funded by the NIH/NIEHS Worker Training Program (WTP) to create a nationwide network for Ebola biosafety and infectious disease response training.  Through a network of five training partners (Duke University, George Mason University, Colorado State University, The University of Chicago, and University of Louisville) the DIDRT program consortium provides training in occupational settings that carry the potential for increased exposure to contaminated materials or infected individuals with a focus on hands-on learning.

Training Curriculum

DIDRT training uses adult learning technics and hands-on activities and exercises to train participants on how to properly protect themselves from infection in a potential exposure situation.  Each training course is divided into three sections:

  1. Review of infectious diseases, routes of exposure, control measures, exposure protocols, and infectious materials management;
  2. Hands-on personal protective equipment donning and doffing procedures; and,
  3. A simulated drill that focuses on organizational procedures and application of information learned during DIDRT training.

Training is tailored to each organization and utilizes organizational exposure control plans and response procedures when possible.  Ideally, training will be held in the participant’s work environment to simulate realistic conditions.   Training may be held at George Mason University at the discretion of the participating organization.  Training requires approximately two months lead time to schedule, adapt, and deliver to each audience.

All participants are required to register on line and take a pre-course evaluation prior to attending training.  Upon completion of an exit exam, participants will receive an electronic DIDRT Training Certificate and will have access to additional infectious disease on-line training modules.

Register for Training

Schedule Training for Your Department:

If you are interested in conducting a DIDRT training course for your department or organization please contact safety@gmu.edu or call 703-993-8448.

Register for Scheduled Training:

To register for a scheduled training program please visit http://didrt.dhvi.duke.edu/. In order to register please set up an account using the following instructions. If registering with a mobile phone: After clicking the above link, mobile phone users must scroll down and select “Desktop” from the bottom of the page before attempting to follow the below instructions.

  1. Select Register Here on the right hand side of the page to create a new account.
  2. Fill in the fields, select agree, and then click Create Account at the bottom of the page.
  3. Once your account is created, login to the DIDRT Learning Management System http://didrt.dhvi.duke.edu/.
  4. Select Course Catalog from the menu bar.
  5. Choose Catalog: GMU RBL – On Site.
  6. Select Catalog Operations Level.
  7. Select your discipline (i.e., First Responder, Healthcare/Laboratory, or Air Travel Transport).
  8. Select Enroll.
  9. Select the course date and time that you desire.
  10. Click Continue.

Participant Instructions

Participants who have registered for training are reminded to do the following:

  1. Register for training through the http://didrt.dhvi.duke.edu/.
  2. Complete the DIDRT pre-course exam:
    1. Log into the DIDRT Learning Management System http://didrt.dhvi.duke.edu/.
    2. Select the Go icon next to the course in which you are enrolled.
    3. Select the Go icon next to the Pre-Course Assessment to take the pre-course exam.
    4. Answer each question and click Submit.
    5. Once you have completed the exam, click Next.
  3. Bring your DIDRT Learning Management System (LMS) credentials (i.e., username and password) to your DIDRT training session. You will be required to log into the LMS in order to complete your training.
  4. Wear comfortable clothing and footwear.
  5. If training is being held on university property, please leave all conceal carry fire arms in your vehicle unless you are a law enforcement officer.

If training is being held on university property, please leave all conceal carry fire arms in your vehicle unless you are a law enforcement officer.

Trainer Biographies



Diann Stedman, MS

Diann Stedman, MS:

Diann Stedman is a safety professional with 12 years of experience managing safety programs and staff. She currently serves as the Biosafety Manager, Responsible Official and Assistant Radiation Safety Officer for George Mason University and is a member of the Environmental Health and Safety spill response team. In her role as Biosafety Manager, Ms. Stedman oversees biosafety and biosecurity for over 200 laboratories on multiple campuses across Northern Virginia. Ms. Stedman was involved in the design and construction phases of the Biomedical Research Laboratory, a high containment facility on George Mason University’s Science and Technology campus, and has served as the Responsible Official of the select agent program since the facility received its certificate of registration in 2012.

Ms. Stedman contributed significantly to the design of the institutions high containment biomedical research facility, development of the biosafety, security, and incident response plans and operating procedures for the containment suite. One of her proudest achievements is the training program at the facility which incorporates classroom and hands-on training for laboratory and incident response procedures, interactive annual refresher training, and drills and exercises to test plans and procedures.

In her role as Assistant Radiation Safety Officer, Ms. Stedman supports the Radiation Safety Officer to assure compliance with state regulatory requirements. She was instrumental in the development of the University’s Radiation Protection Plan and radiation safety training program. In addition to her work responsibilities, Ms. Stedman serves as Co-Principal Investigator and trainer for the Duke Infectious Disease Response Training (DIDRT) consortium, providing infectious disease and pandemic preparedness training to first responders, transportation workers, and healthcare workers in the region.

Ms. Stedman earned her Master of Science degree in microbiology and immunology from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she studied the molecular biology of intracellular parasites and completed her thesis on the development of a regulated expression system in Trypanosoma cruzi. Prior to work at Mason, Ms. Stedman was employed as a research assistant at Yale University and taught biology 101 and anatomy and physiology at Gateway Community College, New Haven, CT.



Julie Zobel, PhD

Julie Zobel, PhD:

Dr. Zobel is currently the Assistant Vice President for Safety, Emergency, and Enterprise Risk Management. She began working in the area of safety and compliance for Mason in 2000 as the university Biological Safety Officer, Chemical Hygiene Officer, and Assistant Radiation Safety Officer. She was quickly promoted through the ranks to Director of Laboratory Safety. In 2007, her role expanded as she worked with university officials to establish the university’s first Environmental Health and Safety Office (EHS). Her role was expanded again in 2015 when she became responsible for the Office of Risk Management (ORM).  EHS and ORM functional areas include emergency management, environmental compliance, fire safety, laboratory safety, occupational health, occupational safety, and traditional risk management with regard to insurance and claims management, as well as enterprise risk management.

Dr. Zobel earned dual Bachelor degrees in Hazardous Materials/Environmental Management and Civil Engineering from the University of Findlay and the University of Akron, respectively. She earned a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering with an emphasis in Environmental Engineering from the University of Akron where her thesis project focused on investigating a consortium of bacteria for their ability to degrade total petroleum hydrocarbons in soil. In addition, she earned her doctorate in Biodefense from George Mason University and her doctoral research and dissertation addressed the role of naturally occurring Bacillus anthracis in biological incident preparedness and response. She is a Certified Hazardous Materials Manager at the master’s level, a Registered Biosafety Professional through the American Biological Safety Association, and a member of Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honors society.



David Farris, PhD, CEM

David Farris, PhD, CEM:

David joined George Mason University as Chemical Hygiene Officer in August 2004. In this role, he was instrumental in developing laboratory safety program and created emergency response plans in accordance with federal and state environmental regulations. David’s role evolved and he became responsible for managing and developing safety programs in a broader sense for the university specifically in the areas of occupational safety and environmental compliance where he established the university’s first Environmental Management System. In 2008, David became Director of Emergency Preparedness and Response. Since then, fire safety and occupational safety were added to his portfolio in 2010 and 2014 respectively. David focuses on ensuring that emergency plans are designed, implemented and practiced, as well as the development and implementation of fire safety and occupational safety strategies at Mason. David is currently serving at the Executive Director for Safety and Emergency Management. He continues to support emergency, safety, and fire safety programs and provides administrative leadership to the office of Safety, Emergency, and Enterprise Risk Management.

Prior to working at Mason, David was at Clean Harbors Environmental Services. During David’s tenure at Clean Harbors he served as a lead field chemist, regional manager, technical service specialist, sales representative, and project manager in the areas of business development, environmental compliance, emergency response, environmental remediation, and industrial services.

David graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology, received a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Mason’s School of Management in May 2007, and received his Ph.D. in Education - Higher Education Administration from George Mason University’s College of Education and Human Development. David is Certified Emergency Manager, a credential awarded by the International Association of Emergency Managers.