Biohazards - Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)

The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) was established under the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules to provide local review and oversight of nearly all forms of research utilizing recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules. At Iowa State University, the IBC must approve and issue a biohazardous materials use authorization for any teaching or research project that involves:

  • use of recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules, including transgenic animals or plants;
  • use of human or animal pathogens (e.g., bacteria, viruses, prions, parasites);
  • use of soil, seed, plants, plant pathogens (e.g., bacteria, viruses,or  parasites) or other material received under a USDA APHIS compliance agreement or permit;
  • use of biological toxins;
  • administration of experimental biological products to animals;
  • field releases of plant pests received under a USDA APHIS PPQ permit;
  • field releases of genetically modified organisms that are under a USDA APHIS PPQ or BRS permit (e.g., not commercially available GMOs).

The purpose of IBC review of teaching and research projects is to provide for the safe conduct of work involving hazardous biological materials and to ensure compliance with applicable external regulations and Iowa State University policies.

The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) also has responsibility for reviewing the biological and public health safety programs at Iowa State University and for setting policies that comply with federal, state, and local regulations. IBC members are appointed by the Vice President for Research.

The Department of Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) assists PIs with permit applications to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Veterinary Services, Plant Protection and Quarantine and Biotechnology Regulatory Services. EH&S can also assist with permit applications to the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For further information or assistance regarding USDA or CDC permits, the permit application process or any other permit concerns, please contact Environmental Health and Safety (4-5359).