University Biohazard and Institutional Biosafety Committee

University Biohazard and Institutional Biosafety Committees

The University Biohazard Committee (UBC) is a subcommittee of the Division of Research and Graduate Studies Committee on Hazardous and Radioactive Materials (CHARM).  Its purpose is to review biohazard issues and develop policies and procedures to address issues of biosafety.  Meetings are called as necessary.  The committee consists of the Manager Laboratory and Radiation Safety, the Director of BSL 3 Facility and the representatives of various University departments which are users of biological materials.

The UBC, with the addition of community members, will become the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) required by NIH guidelines.  The IBC is responsible for monitoring and ensuring compliance as well as review and approval of all research projects that involve recombinant DNA materials not exempted by NIH.  The committee will meet as needed at the call of the Manager of Laboratory and Radiation Safety.

The responsibilities of the Biohazards Committee include:

  1. Oversee the registration of biohazardous material and/or biological agents (except rDNA work) to determine if precautions are adequate to protect personnel and the environment and recommend measures necessary for the safely working with such agents.
  2. Reviewing research proposals and teaching programs involving biohazardous material, except recombinant DNA work, to ascertain if the safety precautions proposed are adequate to protect personnel and the environment, and make recommendations for the safe conduct of such studies.
  3. Review and/or propose policy and procedures for maintaining safe work environments and for compliance with federal, state, and local regulations involving the procurement, use, containment, decontamination, disinfection and/or disposal of biological agents or biohazardous materials.
  4. Provide consultation on emergency response for the disinfection and disposal of biohazardous agents.
  5. Recommending and overseeing training programs on the policy and procedures developed in b. above.
  6. Reviewing accident reports and medical surveillance programs aimed at eliminating laboratory acquired infections.
  7. Proposing policy and procedure as well as providing consultation on emergency response planning involving the proper handling, disinfection and disposal of biohazardous agents.

The Biohazards Committee works closely with and serves as a resource to the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).  The IBC is responsible for monitoring recombinant DNA work.  The IACUC is responsible for reviewing the care and use of vertebrate animals which are used in research at the University.

The responsibilities of the Institutional Biosafety Committee include:

  1. Review of ALL research proposals involving recombinant DNA.
  2. Conducting periodic review to ensure compliance.
  3. Proscribing emergency plans covering accidental spills and personnel contamination by recombinant agents, as developed and recommended by the Biosafety Office.
  4. Reporting significant problems or violations of the NIH guidelines.