Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)
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The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) reviews research and teaching activities involving recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules, infectious agents, biologically-derived toxins, or other potentially hazardous biological agents. Here is a full overview of who we are and what we do.
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
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).
Principal investigators (PIs) should follow these steps to complete and submit application documents within eProtocol. This includes creating new protocols or amendments as well as completing required annual continuing reviews.
Meeting Dates & Application Submission Deadlines
Deadlines are important to meet for a timely review of your submission. See our guidelines on meeting deadlines.
Types of Applications
Learn about the various types of applications.
This is a step-by-step walkthrough of each section and subsection of the application. These guidelines help to complete an application with minimal submission errors.