Institutional Biosafety Committee

About the Institutional Biosafety Committee

The Swarthmore IBC is the institutional body responsible for oversight of activities involving biohazardous materials as required by the National Institutes of Health Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules (NIH Guidelines) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL).

All RESEACHERS must secure IBC approval for their activities with recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules (r/sNA) or biohazardous materials by submitting a Memorandum of Understanding and Agreement (MUA) with the IBC. The MUA is filed through an electronic submission site (IRBManager) and covers r/sNA or biohazardous materials. Research at Biosafety Level -3 requires a separate application.

Examples of r/sNA or Biohazardous materials that requires IBC review when used in research:

  • transgenic plants or animals
  • infectious organisms (bacteria, fungi, parasites, prions, rickettsias, viruses, yeasts, etc.) which can cause disease in humans and animals
  • human or non-human-primate materials (body fluids, tissues, cell lines, etc.)
  • biotoxins
  • select agents
  • investigational live, recombinant, synthetic or attenuated virus strains
  • plant pathogens
  • mammalian cell culture

Activities not requiring IBC Approval