Institutional Biosafety Committee

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 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, 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 biological agents
  • 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:

Charge to the IBC

The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) serves as required under the NIH Guidelines and as tasked by UWM to evaluate the ethical and compliant use of recombinant and synthetic nucleic acid molecules, biological agents, and biological toxins. The committee consists of university and community representatives. University representatives will remain in the majority, with most being tenured or tenure-track research faculty from departments that actively utilize the materials outlined above in their research. The current membership roster is outlined on the UWM IBC Page. The IBC is a university committee, reporting to the Associate Director of Research Compliance, Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities Planning and Management (and Institutional Official, or IO).

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.

Annual training will be provided to the IBC by the UWM Biological Safety Program through online and face-to-face training sessions. Additional training opportunities will be made available throughout the year. All members will complete an online CITI Program IBC member training annually to review federal guidelines and procedures as they pertain to the IBC, and annually review this manual. The Biosafety Program will maintain record of training.

Instructions for Biosafety Protocol Submissions:

  1. Log into I-Manager.
  2. Complete the form and prepare all related documents for submission.
  3. Submit completed biosafety protocols through I-Manager.
  4. Attend the protocol review (if requested) on the meeting date.
  5. Complete any changes (if necessary) to secure approval. Protocols ARE NOT approved until all changes have been made and the approval letter has been sent.
  6. Maintain a signed original copy of the protocol and the approval letter in your research space(s).


UWM IBC Guidance Manual 

Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories, 5th Edition

NIH OSP NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules (April 2016)

UWM Safety and Health Pages

Current Membership

UWM Faculty/ Staff

Dean Nardelli, Ph.D. IBC Chair

[Vacant] Biological Safety Officer and IBC Coordinator

Bradley De Pons, MLS(ASCP)

Gyaneshwar Prasad, Ph.D.

Suzanne Joneson, Ph.D.

Elizabeth Muslin, Ph.D. 

Hayley Ericksen, PhD, ATC, LAT

James Fay

Jennifer Nemke

Community Members

Bret D. Berglund, CHMM

Diane Lindsley, Ph.D.

Ex-Officio Non-Voting Members

Melissa Spadanuda, MBA, CIP– Associate Director of Research Compliance

IBC Registration and Renewal Forms

Annual Renewals, Protocol Modifications, and Personnel Changes are to be submitted through I-Manager as well.

Helpful Links

NIH Guidelines FAQs

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