The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) advises on matters relating to the safe handling, transport, use, and disposal of biological materials, including recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules, on the Urbana-Champaign campus. The committee reports to the Vice Chancellor of Research and Innovation and is co-chaired by Romana Nowak and Mary Kraft. Questions? email email@example.com or call 217.333.2755.
All work with materials requiring registration must be approved by the IBC prior to initiation.
The following materials require registration with the IBC:
*The IBC Interim Biosafety Guidelines that were instituted during the COVID-19 pandemic for those handling primary human and non-human materials has been lifted as of June 13, 2023.
The university is responsible for ensuring that all recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid research, irrespective of funding source, is conducted "in full conformity with the provisions of the NIH Guidelines." To ensure compliance with the guidelines, campus policy requires that all recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid work must be registered with the IBC. Work cannot begin on projects involving recombinant or synthetic nucleic acids until the Principal Investigator (PI) receives a notice from the Division of Research Safety and/or the IBC allowing the initiation of work. NIH penalties for university/PI noncompliance may result in: (i) suspension, limitation, or termination of NIH funds for recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid research at the university, or (ii) a requirement for prior NIH approval of any or all recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid projects at the university.
All materials, facilities and personnel are found at the registration level and must be assigned to an individual project, even if you only have one project. Individual projects under that registration are submitted for review and receive approval dates.
Each PI will be assigned one IBC registration number that will not change. Projects are identified by a period after the registration number. For example, If a PI is given a registration number of IBC-555 then the first project submitted for review will be IBC-555.1. As additional projects are added, they will be numbered in sequential order e.g. IBC-555.1, IBC-555.2, IBC-555.3. If IBC-555.2 is completed, this number will not be reused and the next project will be numbered IBC-555.4.
The IBC meets once per month as per the following schedule. Complete project information must be submitted by 5 p.m. on the submission deadline date before the meeting at which your project will be reviewed.
December 15, 2023
January 9, 2024
January 19, 2024
February 13, 2024
February 16, 2024
March 12, 2024
March 15, 2024
April 9, 2024
April 19, 2024
May 14, 2024
May 17, 2024
June 11, 2024
June 14, 2024
July 9, 2024
Once a project is submitted for review, you will receive an email confirming receipt. In most cases,* the project will be assigned to a panel of faculty reviewers who will review the project to verify your risk assessment for the proposed work. Once submitted for review, the project will be locked. The next step is the question and answer period where the reviewers will ask questions directly in the project. When the review period is complete, the PI and the personnel on the project will be notified via email that their responses to questions are due by a specific date for before the upcoming IBC meeting. Simultaneously, the DRS research safety professional overseeing the project review will determine if any BL-2 or ABL-2 audits are required. All rooms where work will be performed at Biosafety Level 2 or Animal Biosafety Level 2 must be audited before work can begin in that space and will be audited annually thereafter through the laboratory audit program.
Approvals will not be issued until all questions and audit findings have been addressed and all required training completed.
*Some lower risk projects (e.g,. Recombinant DNA projects requiring Biosafety Level 1 containment) may qualify for review by a DRS research safety professional. In these situations, the review process may be expedited. However, the best approach is to plan for the timeline outlined above and in the Submission Deadline/Meeting Schedule section.
An IBC project is valid for 5 years. DRS will send reminders to review and update if no changes have been made for 12 months. Major updates/amendments may require to be re-reviewed by the IBC however the approval date will not change.
NIH requires training when performing experiments with recombinant or synthetic nucleic acids including transgenic plants and animals (including knockouts). This training requirement will be met by completion of the NIH Guidelines Overview module.
Basic training requirements for all laboratories are outlined on the Safety Training Checklist webpage as part of a required Laboratory Safety Plan. This includes the on-line training module, Laboratory Safety.
Additional training and information specific to work at Biosafety level 2 should include:
Review of the following DRS Guidance documents for all equipment being used in the laboratory:
Review of the following DRS Guidance documents for all applicable waste generated in the laboratory:
Some scientific and technological advances that provide great benefits to society can also be used maliciously. Research yielding new technologies or information with the potential for both benevolent and malevolent applications is referred to as "dual use research". This small subset of life sciences research with the highest potential for yielding knowledge, products, or technology that could be directly misapplied to threaten public health or national security is referred to as "Dual Use Research of Concern (DURC)."
The United States Government Policy for Institutional Oversight of Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern outlines the criteria for what qualifies as DURC. A list of the 15 agents and toxins and descriptions of the 7 experimental effects for potential DURC research are found here.
To better understand the DURC requirements and when research meets the DURC criteria, the NIH-Office of Sciences Policy provides an overview and case study approach for research that requires oversight of life sciences DURC.
A one time online training entitled DURC Policy Overview is required to be taken by the following campus personnel;
To comply with the US government DURC policy, a campus Institutional Review Entity (IRE) has been established to review research for DURC which is coordinated through the IBC.
It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator to identify research involving one or more of the agents and toxins on the DURC list and notify the IRE-IBC for review of its DURC potential. The formal review starts with the PI submission of the DURC Review Application which is submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org in conjunction with the IBC registration to determine whether or not the project meets the DURC definition. For research that is determined to be DURC, a subcommittee will work with the PI to draft a risk mitigation plan to be submitted to the applicable US government funding agency.