Biological Safety at UWM

Protecting Researchers, the University Community, and the Environment

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; providing training and recommendations for the proper use of containment equipment and facilities; and overseeing research protocols in microbiology, tissue culture, recombinant DNA, molecular biology, synthetic biology, and biotechnology.

Teaching and research programs handling the following biohazardous materials are subject to the Biosafety Program guidelines:

  • Microorganisms and infectious agents such as: bacteria, archaea, viruses, fungi, protozoa, helminths, arthropods, prions
  • Recombinant (transgenic) DNA or synthetic nucleic acids
  • Biological toxins – toxins originating from bacteria, plants, animals, and/or fungi (not including toxic chemicals or antibiotics)
  • Stem cell research
  • Animals (vertebrate or invertebrate) that are transgenic (recombinant), invasive/exotic, and/or grown in association with pathogens and/or recombinant materials
  • Plants that are transgenic (recombinant), invasive/exotic, and/or grown in association with plant pathogens, recombinant microbes, and/or pathogenic or recombinant invertebrates (e.g. insects) that cause plant disease
  • Nanotechnology involving biological agents
  • Human cells, tissues, organs, bodily fluids, or other biological samples – including primary and established cell lines
  • Non-human primate cells, tissues organs, and bodily fluids
  • Non-human cells and cell culture, organs, tissues, or other biological samples that are infectious, potentially infectious, or recombinant
  • Other animal cells and tissues
  • Large-scale propagation consisting of a volume greater than 10L

If you would like additional information on the campus biological safety program, explore the links below or contact us at

Biological Safety Resources
Biosafety Manual
Biosafety Lab Visits
Initial Report of Biological Exposure, Release Events, & Near Misses
Decontamination & Disposal
Institutional Biosafety Committee