Institutional Biosafety Committee

IBC Overview

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) is a committee comprised of faculty, staff, and community members who oversee biological research at UWM involving recombinant and synthetic nucleic acid molecules in accordance with the National Institutes of Health Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant and Synthetic Nucleic Acids. In addition to overseeing research involving recombinant DNA or synthetic nucleic acids, the IBC reviews the use of the following:

  • Use of any biological agent of a risk group 2 or higher level
  • Select agents and toxins
  • Dual Use Research of Concern (DURC)
  • Stem cell research
  • Nanotechnology involving biological agents.
  • Human cells/ tissues.
  • Teaching activities that involve any of these materials.

It is required that the IBC maintains a membership of a minimum of five individuals, with expertise covering knowledge of recombinant DNA and synthetic nucleic acid molecules, a plant expert, an animal expert, the biological safety officer, the campus veterinarian, the campus physician, and at least two members that are from the community, not affiliated with UWM. A current record of membership is reported annually to the NIH Office of Science Policy (OSP) by the biological safety officer.

In addition to scrutiny of recombinant DNA proposals, the IBC and Biological Safety Program assist all faculty and staff in observing safe biological laboratory practices, and endeavor to assure that all biohazardous research is carried out in secure facilities in compliance with all appropriate regulations. The IBC assesses all research elements and determines whether an investigator has adequately addressed safety issues and/or complied with regulations. If necessary, it may require an investigator to take additional safety precautions.

The IBC convenes as necessary (once a month) to review rDNA research and investigations that involve biohazardous materials. To facilitate the review process, investigators should submit their biosafety protocol to the biological safety program with sufficient lead time, minimally one month before the meeting date, no less than two weeks before the scheduled meeting. Materials received less than two weeks before a scheduled IBC meeting will not be considered until the following meeting.

For more information about the IBC, a meeting schedule, and request for meeting minutes, please contact the Biological Safety Officer.

Charge to the IBC

The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) serves as required under the NIH Recombinant DNA Guidelines. The committee consists of university and community representatives. University representatives will remain in the majority.

The IBC will support and critically evaluate University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee biological safety activities intended to protect the health and safety of the university community, visitors and neighbors, ensure compliance with regulations and guidelines and implement the Department of University Safety and Assurances guidelines. As part of fulfilling its charge, the IBC will:

  • Review protocols that involve biological materials for safety, regulatory compliance, and protection of human health and the environment. The review will include protocols involving recombinant DNA that are not specifically exempted under the NIH guidelines, gene transfer, biological agents of Risk Group 2 or higher as defined in the latest edition of “CDC/NIH Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL)”, or biologically derived toxins. The review will include protocols regardless of funding source. Protocol approvals will be subject to periodic renewal.
  • Collaborate with other committees, including but not limited to the Animal Care and Use Committee, Institutional Review Board, and the Chemical Safety Committee to assure that biological safety issues are properly addressed. Periodically review criteria for mutual referral of protocols.
  • In conjunction with the Biological Safety Program, adopt guidelines that guide and support the work of the Biological Safety Program and promote high standards of safety, regulatory compliance and protection of human health and the environment in work involving biological materials.
  • Review proposed regulatory changes and prepare comments to agencies as judged appropriate
  • Provide a forum for the campus community to raise concerns regarding the safe use and handling of biological materials and advise the chancellor in the resolution of disputes regarding biological safety issues.

The IBC will provide recommendations for the suspension of work being performed when: 

  • It is determined to be a potential threat to human safety and health or is in violation of the NIH Guidelines.
  • the research threatens UW-Milwaukee accreditations, registrations, or memberships.
  • Has the potential to jeopardize the UW-Milwaukee’s eligibility for present and/or future research funding.

Spring 2018 IBC Meeting Schedule

Date: February 9, 2018 1:00-3:00 PM in Engelmann Hall Room 242/248

  • Deadline for submissions is January 26, 2018.

Date: March 9, 2018 1:00-3:00 PM in Engelmann Hall Room 242/248

  • Deadline for submissions is February 23, 2018

Date: April 13, 2018 1:00-3:00 PM in Engelmann Hall Room 242/248

  • Deadline for submissions is March 30, 2018

Date: May 11, 2018 1:00-3:00 PM in Engelmann Hall Room 242/248

  • Deadline for submissions is April 27, 2018

Current Membership

UWM Faculty/ Staff

Julie Oliver, Ph.D, IBC Chair

Danielle Rintala– Biological Safety Officer and IBC Coordinator

Osvaldo Jhonatan Sepulveda-Villet, Ph.D.

Ching-Liu Wu, M.S

Bradley De Pons, MLS(ASCP)

Gyaneshwar Prasad, Ph.D.

Dean Nardelli, Ph.D.

Todd Miller, Ph.D.

Community Members

Bret D. Berglund

Amber Enderle

Diane Lindsley, Ph.D.

Ex-Officio Non-Voting Members

Beryl R. Forman, D.V.M.- Campus Veterinarian

Melissa Spadanuda– Associate Director of Research Compliance

Helpful Links

IBC Guidance Manual– This outlines the procedures followed by the IBC and information about protocol submission, review, and non-compliance.

IBC Protocol Registration Forms– This page has the various registration forms.

NIH Section III Summary Guidance– This is recommended to review prior to completing a protocol submission for IBC.

NIH Guidelines FAQs

Animal Activities Table– provides guidance for animal research that falls under the NIH Guidelines.