Biological Safety Overview

Spring 2018 Biosafety Training Sessions Now Available!

“Protecting Researchers and the University Community”

The University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee is committed to protecting the health and safety of its faculty, staff, students, visitors and the environment  by facilitating a biological safety program that promotes safe microbiological practices and procedures, provides training and recommendations for the proper use of containment equipment and facilities, and oversee research protocols in microbiology, tissue culture, recombinant DNA, molecular biology, synthetic biology, and biotechnology. As an academic institution that recieves NIH funding, we ensure that the research community adheres with the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules. The Biological Safety Program utilizes the standard practices set forth in the “Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories” (BMBL) to ensure safe, productive work environments with the cooperation of our campus laboratory and research partners.

Download our Biosafety Program Brochure to learn more about our program.

Services rendered by the biological safety program include:

  • Biosafety Manual
  • Biosafety Training
  • Institutional Biosafety Committee Forms and Policies
  • Biological Waste Handling Information
  • Shipment of Biological Materials

If you are working with any of the following, you are required to have a biosafety protocol filed and approved by the IBC as part of university and federal policies:

  • Recombinant (transgenic) or synthetic DNA/ RNA materials, including human gene therapy, proteins, and enzymes of infectious biological agents
  • Microbes and disease causing agents including bacteria, viruses, fungi, prions, protozoa, parasites, and their structural components
  • Large scale propagation consisting of a volume greater than 10L or more in one vessel
  • Human cells and cell culture, organs or tissues, or biological samples
  • Non-human cells and cell culture, organ or tissues, or biological samples that are infectious, potentially infectious, or recombinant
  • Animals (vertebrate and/ or invertebrate) that are recombinant (transgenic), exotic, and/ or grown in association with pathogens and/ or recombinant materials
  • Plants that are recombinant (transgenic), exotic, and/ or grown in association with pathogenic or recombinant microbes and/ or pathogenic or recombinant small animals (insects, etc.)
  • Biological toxins (this does not include toxic chemicals or antibiotics)

The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) is responsible for assessing risks and potential environmental impacts associated with activities involving biohazardous materials and making recommendations for the safe conduct of such studies. It also functions on behalf of the institution to ensure that campus activities involving biohazardous materials are performed in compliance with current policies and guidelines set forth by UWMState of WisconsinCenters For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other regulatory agencies.To learn more about the IBC, visit the UWM IBC Page.

If you would like additional information on the campus biological safety program please contact the Biological Safety Officer, Danielle Rintala, at 414-588-4261.


The following are the materials made available to the UWM campus and to the general public to learn more about the UWM biosafety program and best practices.

July 2017 Newsletter

August 2017 Newsletter

September 2017 Newsletter

October 2017 Newsletter

December 2017 NIH Guidelines Newsletter