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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, which will be referred to as the “NIH Guidelines” throughout this document. In addition to overseeing research involving recombinant DNA or synthetic nucleic acids, the IBC reviews the use of the following:

  • Use of any biological agents, including bacteria, archaea, viruses, fungi, protozoa, helminths, arthropods
  • Biological toxins- toxins originating from bacteria, plants, animals, and/ or fungi
  • Stem cell research
  • Use of animals as models for studying biohazardous agents
  • Plant pathogens, invasive and exotic plant species
  • Arthropods
  • Nanotechnology involving biological agents
  • Human cells, tissues, organs, and bodily fluids- including use of primary and established cell lines
  • Non-human primate cells, tissues organs, and bodily fluids
  • Other animal cells and tissues
  • Teaching activities that involve any of the materials listed above

Additionally, when appropriate, the IBC may provide input to committees reviewing materials that fall under the Federal Select Agent Program or the Dual Use Research of Concern Program.

It is required under the NIH Guidelines 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, and at least two members that are from the community, not affiliated with UWM. Large-scale or BSL-3 research requires the additional membership of a Biological Safety Officer (BSO). At UWM, the biological safety officer always sits on the IBC and currently serves as the IBC coordinator. A current record of membership is reported annually to the NIH Office of Science Policy (OSP) by the biological safety officer.

In addition to evaluation of biological research, the IBC and Biological Safety Program provide guidance and support to the research community of UWM by evaluating best practices and developing guidance documents for research facilities to follow in their own research. The IBC reserves the right to determine the BSL for researchers work and to recommend the suspension of research if it is deemed unsafe or dangerous to the research personnel in the lab, the UWM community, or the environment, or if the research jeopardizes the UWM research community’s NIH funding status if deemed in violation of the NIH Guidelines.

The IBC convenes as necessary (typically once a month) to review submitted protocols and to discuss biosafety business. In accordance with the State of Wisconsin Open Meetings Law, all meetings will be announced on the UWM Report to the public and all materials will be made upon request to the UWM records custodian. For more information about the IBC, a meeting schedule, and request for meeting minutes, please contact the UWM Biosafety Program at: uwm-biosafety@uwm.edu.

IManager for Biosafety Protocol Guidance

Working on a new submission? The following dates are now available to stop in to Engelmann Hall 242/248 between 11:00 AM CST and 12:00 PM CST and get assistance using the new software. First come, first serve!

July 15, 24

August: 12, 20

September: 4, 23

October 2, 14, 28

November 6, 25