IBC Guidelines

PURPOSE

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) reports to the UTHealth Executive Vice President for Academic & Chief Academic Officer on matters related to the use of use of infectious agents and/or recombinant and synthetic deoxyribonucleic acid (rDNA) technology in research, clinical and educational activities at UTHealth. The committee is charged with ensuring full compliance with CDC/NIH Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL), NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant and Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules (referred to herein as the NIH Guidelines) and the UTHealth Institutional Biosafety Manual. The most recent version of the BMBL (2009) is available on the CDC’s website (https://www.cdc.gov/biosafety/publications/bmbl5/) and shall apply to all infectious agent research performed at UTHealth. The most recent version of the NIH Guidelines (April 2016) is available at the NIH Office Science Policy (NIH OSP), Biosafety, Biosecurity, and Emerging Biotechnology Policy Division (formerly known as the OBA) website (https://osp.od.nih.gov/biotechnology/nih-guidelines/) and shall apply to all rDNA research performed at UTHealth, regardless of the rDNA research project funding source.

Specific tasks of the committee include:

UTHealth Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) is designated as the monitoring and effector arm of the IBC to ensure the details specified in protocols are feasible and appropriate.

All activities of the committee are coordinated, as necessary, with other institutional components including the Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP), UT Employee Health Services, Center for Laboratory Animal Medicine and Care (CLAMC) and other UTHealth oversight committees, such as the IRB [Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects (CPHS)] and the IACUC [Animal Welfare Committee (AWC)].

COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP

Composition:

The IBC consists of a minimum of five voting members so selected that they collectively have experience and expertise in various infectious agents, rDNA technology, infection control and the capability to assess the safety of rDNA research and to identify any potential risk to public health or the environment. At least two members shall be unaffiliated with UTHealth (except as members of the IBC) and shall represent the interest of the surrounding community with respect to health, safety, and the protection of the environment. At least one member shall be a scientist with expertise in animal containment principles for studies requiring approval by the IBC. At this time there is no recombinant plant research being conducted at UTHealth; however, if this research is proposed to the committee in the future then at least one member will be sought out with expertise in plant, plant pathogen, or plant pest containment principles for review of those studies.

The current UTHealth committee is comprised of the following voting members serving on three-year, staggered terms of appointment: 

Ex Officio Members - the following are designated as members without vote:

* Required members by the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules

 The current list of IBC members can be found online at: https://www.uth.edu/safety/biological-safety/institutional-biosafety-committee.htm