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Institutional Biosafety Committee

The University of Maryland Institutional Biosafety Committee was created as a requirement under the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules (NIH Guidelines), which states that "Each institution conducting or sponsoring recombinant DNA research which is covered by the NIH Guidelines is responsible for ensuring that the research is conducted in full conformity with the provisions of the NIH Guidelines. In order to fulfill this responsibility, the institution shall: ... establish an Institutional Biosafety Committee..." The policy of the committee is to work cooperatively with researchers, faculty and staff while assuring compliance with the NIH Guidelines.

The responsibilities of the IBC are derived from those listed in the NIH Guidelines:

  • Reviewing recombinant DNA research conducted at or sponsored by the institution for compliance with the NIH Guidelines and approving those research projects that are found to conform to the NIH Guidelines,
  • Notifying the PI of the results of the IBC's review and approval,
  • Lowering containment levels for certain experiments as specified in Section III-D-2-a of the NIH Guidelines,
  • Setting containment levels that are not set by the NIH Guidelines,
  • Periodically reviewing recombinant DNA research conducted at the institution to ensure compliance with the NIH Guidelines,
  • Adopting emergency plans covering accidental spills and personnel contamination resulting from recombinant DNA research,
  • Reporting any significant problems with or violations of the NIH Guidelines and any significant research related accidents or illnesses to the appropriate institutional official and to the NIH Office of Biotechnology Activities (OBA) within 30 days, and
  • Performing such other functions as may be delegated to the IBC, including review of non-recombinant human pathogens and Select Agents and Toxins according to the current edition of the NIH/CDC publication Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories.

IBC meetings are typically held the second Wednesday of each month. 

Project registrations submitted prior to the 15th of the month will be reviewed at the next month's IBC meeting. 

Amendments to previously approved project registrations, and other minor changes (i.e. room changes, personnel updates) submitted prior to the 25th of the month will be reviewed at the next month's IBC meeting.