Institutional Biosafety Committee
An Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) is required at institutions that receive funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for research involving recombinant DNA molecules. All recombinant DNA/synthetic nucleic acid research at University of Florida (UF), regardless of funding source, must be conducted in accordance with the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules and must be registered with the UF IBC. The UF IBC also reviews and approves registrations for the possession and use of BSL-3 pathogens and USDA/HHS Select Agents.
The UF IBC is registered with the NIH as the IBC record for all covered research conducted by the University of Florida at the main Gainesville campus, as well as all remote research sites. For off-campus research sites, other than Jacksonville, the UF IBC is augmented with local community members. A separate IBC is registered for UF Health Jacksonville. It is composed of some members of the main campus IBC plus community members from Jacksonville.
The IBC works in conjunction with the University of Florida Biological Safety Office to establish, monitor, and enforce policies or procedures for work with biohazardous materials. The IBC is authorized to inspect research facilities; register, review, and approve research protocols; and to take actions to enforce safe research practices or halt research activities in the event of unsafe practices that endanger worker, community, or environmental health.
The IBC meets every month, currently on the third Wednesday of the month, for review and approval of protocols and to discuss other business relevant to the charter of the IBC. Additional Wednesday meetings, most often on the first Wednesday, are scheduled as necessary. The regular schedule is linked in the bar above.
To ensure that all recombinant DNA/synthetic nucleic acid research conducted at the University of Florida or sponsored by the University of Florida is conducted in compliance with the National Institutes of Health Recombinant DNA Guidelines, and to review and approve research that is in conformity with the Guidelines;
To ensure that research protocols involving BSL3 agents and USDA/HHS Select Agents, including but not limited to recombinant DNA/synthetic nucleic acid, are reviewed and found to comply with all national, state, and local requirements;
To interpret guidelines and/or regulations pertaining to biological materials, and provide technical assistance to the University of Florida (UF) Biological Safety Office and University Community on these matters, such as the safe handling, transport, use, and disposal of biological materials, including recombinant DNA/synthetic nucleic acid molecules.
Gainesville (Main) Campus: Membership consists of two community members (non-UF), a non-doctoral member, the University Biosafety Officer, and other members with expertise in biosafety, plant science, animal science, virology, bacteriology, pathology, and human gene therapy.
Off-campus: For research being conducted by UF faculty at research sites other than the Gainesville campus or in Jacksonville, two community members will be included in the IBC roster only during review of projects for their community.
Jacksonville Campus: The university created an IBC to review research being conducted in Jacksonville. Its rules are the same as for the main campus IBC. The Jacksonville IBC membership roster is a subset of the main campus roster, with the addition of two community members from Jacksonville.
Procedure for IBC Protocol Registration and Review
- Principal Investigators must submit a registration form for all protocols requiring IBC review to the Biological Safety Office. Click here.
- The Biological Safety Office staff will work with investigators to ensure that the protocol is complete, clear, and accurate before being forwarded to the IBC chair for assignment to committee review. The IBC chair will assign a content expert reviewer, who will present the project at the next IBC meeting.
- Experiments involving deliberate transfer of rDNA into human subjects also require Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval as well. Depending on the nature of the study (e.g., UF investigational product, industry-sponsored clinical trial), this may be the UF IRB or an external IRB. IRB approval cannot be granted until IBC approval has been finalized. Transfer of rDNA into human subjects studies also requires the submission of the following.
- a study protocol
- informed consent
- investigator brochure
- Experiments involving animal work must also be approved by the University of Florida Institutional Animal Use and Care Committee (IACUC). IACUC protocols will not receive final IACUC approval until IBC approval is obtained. Biological Safety Office staff advise the IACUC staff of approved, denied, or tabled projects and ensure concordance of material between the IBC and IACUC submissions.
- Experiments involving Select Agents as defined by the USDA or CDC must be registered with the CDC or USDA. These protocols must be submitted to the Biological Safety Office to begin the CDC/USDA registration process and to obtain approval from the IBC.