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Environmental Health and Safety

Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)

The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) provides local review and oversight for research involving recombinant or synthetic nucleic acids and other biological hazards. 

The IBC recently discontinued the use of Topaz for IBC protocols. A new IBC protocol management system has been launched and is being implemented in phases. In the new system, a separate protocol application form will be required for each type of biological material requiring IBC review and approval. During the current phase, only recombinant DNA and Risk Group 2 (RG2) agent protocols should be submitted for IBC review. The new system displays links to create other protocol types, but do not create a protocol for any biological material except recombinant DNA and RG2 agents. During subsequent implementation phases, this website will be updated when you may create IBC protocols for research involving other types of biological materials. Once all application forms have been launched, the IBC will return to its expanded scope and review all research projects involving the biological materials listed below. If you plan to conduct a new research project involving RG3 agents, human-derived materials or biological toxins, please contact the Biosafety Officer (BSO) for further guidance. Thank you for your patience during this transition period.

NOTE:  All IBC protocols previously approved in Topaz will remain active until the protocol expires. Please do not create a protocol in the new system unless the protocol is for a new project involving recombinant DNA or RG2 agents or an existing recombinant DNA project that is due for renewal or requires an amendment. Updates to lab personnel on a protocol do not require a new protocol submission.

If you have any questions about the new IBC protocol management system, please contact the BSO at


Biological Materials Requiring IBC Review and Approval

Research involving the following materials requires IBC review and approval of a protocol application prior to conducting experiments:

  • Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acids
  • Human, Animal or Plant Pathogens
  • Human-Derived Materials
  • HHS/USDA Select Agents or Biological Toxins

The IBC Charter includes additional information about the committee’s policies and procedures:

Protocols must be submitted on or before the submission deadline for the scheduled meeting. There is no expedited approval for experiments requiring review by the full committee.

The IBC meeting dates may be updated if necessary for quorum attendance.

Meeting Date Submission Deadline
February 14, 2024 (Wednesday) January 26, 2024 (Friday)
April 10, 2024 (Wednesday) March 20, 2024 (Wednesday)
June 26, 2024* (Wednesday) June 7, 2024 (Friday)
August 14, 2024 (Wednesday) July 26, 2024 (Friday)
October 9, 2024 (Wednesday) September 20, 2024 (Friday)
December 4, 2024* (Wednesday) November 15, 2024 (Friday)
  • Location: Virtual Meeting via Microsoft Teams
  • * In-person meetings.  Location: Benson 303 (Conference Room)
  • Start Time: 3 p.m.

Public Notice on IBC Meetings and Minutes [pdf]

  • The laboratory must have submitted a corrective action plan for all deficiencies identified during their most recent lab safety inspection
  • All personnel included on the protocol must be up-to-date on required Biosafety Training
  • Any biosafety cabinet used for the project must have an updated annual certification
  • All personnel included on the protocol must have completed any required occupational health services

Biosafety Guidance for COVID-19 Research

If you will be conducting COVID-19 research, please review the following guidance resources. You may contact Sherika Smith or Mark Robbins if you have any questions.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.