Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)
Use the menu on the left or bottom of the screen for more information.
The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) is responsible for the review of University research or teaching activities involving recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules, potentially hazardous infectious agents, and potentially hazardous biologically-derived toxins as described in the University of Minnesota Board of Regents Policy.
IBC Collaboration with University Health and Safety (UHS)
University Health and Safety (UHS) collaborates with the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) to promote biosafety within the University research community. The Biosafety and Occupational Health Department (BOHD) of UHS assists the IBC in oversight of research and teaching activities involving recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid (r/sNA) molecules and other potentially hazardous biological agents:
- Biosafety specialists from the BOHD perform lab inspections to evaluate the physical containment conditions before final IBC approval is granted.
- BOHD sets standards for waste disposal and decontamination of potentially hazardous biological agents.
- BOHD provides the on-line biosafety training required for research and teaching activities subject to IBC oversight.
- BOHD provides representation on the IBC for the Biological Safety Officer position and the associated duties described in the NIH Guidelines.
- BOHD investigates and reports to the IBC on laboratory incidents related to research and teaching activities subject to IBC oversight.
- BOHD provides occupational health and safety review of IBC applications through a contracted provider.
For more information on the Biosafety and Occupational Health Department of UHS, please visit the BOHD website.
Agents Definitions for IBC Oversight
Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules (r/sNA mol)
Activities involving any of: (i) molecules that a) are constructed by joining nucleic acid molecules and b) that can replicate in a living cell (i.e. recombinant nucleic acids); (ii) nucleic acid molecules that are chemically or by other means synthesized or amplified, including those that are chemically or otherwise modified but can base pair with naturally occurring nucleic acid molecules (i.e., synthetic nucleic acids); (iii) molecules that result from the replication of those described in (i) or (ii). In the context of the NIH Guidelines, both non-exempt and exempt research are subject to UMN IBC review. Included in these activities is the generation, acquisition, or purchase and use of pre-made, engineered organisms, cells or agents using r/sNA molecules (i.e., animals, plants, fungi, cell lines or cells – of any domain of life, and viruses). Some of these activities may pose a minimal biosafety risk by nature, but still require IBC review and approval.
Potentially Hazardous Biologically-derived toxin
IBC approval is required for the use of unfractionated mixtures and purified preparations of biological toxins having high acute toxicity (i.e., a mammalian LD50 of less than or equivalent to 100 micrograms/kg body weight) or significant potential for serious subacute or chronic toxicity (e.g., carcinogenicity). Please note that experiments involving genes or r/sNA mol sequences coding for any toxin molecules must have IBC approval.
Potentially Hazardous Infectious Agent
Potentially hazardous infectious agents include those agents that are known to cause human disease in healthy humans and/or have been classified by the NIH Guidelines (see Appendix B) into Risk Groups 2, 3, or 4. Risk Group classification does not account for instances in which an individual may have increased susceptibility to agents. Those agents not listed in Risk Groups 2, 3, and 4, are not automatically or implicitly classified in Risk Group 1, and a risk assessment must be conducted based on the known and potential properties of the agents and their relationship to agents that are listed. Potentially hazardous infectious agents also include those that may impact animals, plants or the environment but are not generally considered infectious to humans (i.e., USDA High Consequence Livestock Pathogens, some regulated agents of the USDA/APHIS Plant Pest and Disease Programs, or other animal or plant pathogens).
Examples of agents within our oversight include:
- Created or pre-made, engineered organisms/cells/agents
- Potentially hazardous biological agents that may impact animals or the environment but are not generally considered infectious to humans
Agents that are not within our oversight:
- Chemical agents
Agents that are NIH guidelines-exempt but require our approval:
- Escherichia coli K-12 host-vector systems
- Bacillus subtilis or Bacillus licheniformis host-vector systems
- The purchase or transfer of transgenic rodents
Meeting Dates & Application Submission Deadlines
Deadlines are important to meet for a timely review of your submission. See our guidelines on meeting deadlines.