The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) is a University-wide group Committee responsible for reviewing and approving recombinant DNA research and biohazard research projects. The IBC has overall oversight responsibility for the Biosafety Program at UTMB and the GNL. The group has significant community representation.
The committee sets containment levels in accordance with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Guidelines and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It also periodically reviews previously approved research projects for changes which would necessitate increasing or decreasing the Biological Safety Levels.
Specifically, the IBC evaluates research projects that use recombinant DNA, agents that are infectious to humans, animals and plants, other potentially infectious materials, select agents and biological toxins, human materials including blood, cells, unfixed human tissues and other body fluids, xenotransplant and gene transfer clinical studies. The IBC ensures that research personnel have adequate occupational health monitoring, training on safe work practices, exposure control emergencies and use of personal protective equipment.
Although the IBC carries out these functions pursuant to requirements set forth by federal, state, and local agencies, UTMB requires that the IBC’s scope of responsibility is more comprehensive, reaching almost all laboratory work involving biological materials. The UTMB IBC is appointed by the Executive Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs at the University of Texas System in Austin, Texas, to oversee recombinant DNA research, biosafety, and biosecurity in the research programs at the University.