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Research Compliance - Biosafety

The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) is responsible for reviewing all research conducted at SDSU involving recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules and biohazards. Biohazards requiring an IBC protocol include all human source material (blood, tissue, cell lines, etc.), human pathogens and, in some cases, animal and exotic plant pathogens.

Investigators must submit a protocol to the IBC if they are:

  • Creating recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules¬†(vector plus gene)
  • Inserting recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules into cell lines/tissue cultures, whole animals, humans, or plants
  • Using or creating transgenic or knock-out animals
  • Using a microorganism that is pathogenic to humans (including immunocompromised individuals), plants, or animals (based on wild-type organism)
  • Using or collecting human or non-human primate materials (body fluids, tissues, cells and established cell lines, etc.)

An IBC protocol is a comprehensive risk assessment of work involving biohazards or recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules. IBC protocols are intended to ensure compliance with federal regulations outlined in the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules. There are six categories of experiments described by the NIH Guidelines. It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator to understand under which category, and specifically which section, of the NIH Guidelines his/her research belongs.

Compliance with the NIH Guidelines ensures that dangerous organisms are not created by genetic engineering, and that all research involving biohazards is conducted in a manner that minimizes risk to personnel, the community, and the environment.