Responsible Office: Vice President for Research Committee
Originally Issued: March 1999
Revised: Not Applicable
1.0 PurposeTo recommend biosafety (recombinant DNA, pathogenic microorganisms and their products) policies and to conduct programs which provide assurance that activities at Georgia Health Sciences University do not present unacceptable risks to the health or safety of faculty, staff, students, or visitors and to aid in assuring compliance with federal and state agencies which mandate compliance with specified biosafety guidelines.
2.0 PolicyThe Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) functions: 1) to review and approve activities involving recombinant DNA, pathogenic microorganisms and their products, and 2) to recommend adoption and implementation of programs related to biological hazards. Policies and procedures related to personnel safety, equipment, and operations, are to be addressed along with educational programs designated to promote safety awareness and safe practices. Committee recommendations are forwarded in writing to the Vice President for Research for necessary action.
3.1 The IBC develops, reviews, and updates guidelines describing standard procedures for the use of these biohazards. Changes in guidelines, procedures and policies must receive institutional approval prior to implementation. The areas of concern of the Institutional Biosafety Committee are: 1) recombinant DNA, and 2) pathogenic microorganisms and their products.
3.2 The Institutional Biosafety Committee and its chairperson are appointed by the Vice President for Research for a term of two years. Approximately one-half of the committee will be appointed or reappointed each year. The committee meets as required but no less than once each six months on a date established by the chairperson. A quorum shall be a majority of the membership. The chairperson votes in case of ties. Minutes and other recordings are forwarded to the Vice President for Research.
3.3 Committee membership includes at least the chairperson, two representatives from the local community; the Institutional Biological Safety Officer; and three or more faculty or staff members chosen to provide representation of GHSU academic units involved in research in areas covered by the IBC.
3.4 Meetings of the committee will be called by the chairperson at any time to consider a request by an investigator, or person of similar responsible position, for permission to possess and use recombinant DNA, pathogenic microorganisms or their products, and as may be required by statutory or mandated regulations, to consider changes in policies and operations of the committee, or for any other matter within the scope of the committee. All activities of the committee will be recorded and reported at meetings of the IBC.
3.5 Those requesting the use of recombinant DNA molecules and/or biohazardous materials must submit the completed “Application for Use of Recombinant DNA Molecules and/or Biohazardous Materials to the IBC for approval. The forms are available on the GHSU Environmental Health and Safety website.
The IBC reviews the application within four weeks and notifies the investigator of approval/disapproval in a timely manner. In those projects involving administration of biohazardous materials to animals, the IBC notifies the Committee for Animal Use in Research and Education of approval, or disapproval, when the principal investigator is notified; likewise, the Human Assurance Committee is notified whenever such materials are to be administered to human subjects.
3.6 Special meetings of the IBC will be held to consider an appeal from a principal investigator, or person of similar responsible position in matters where the subcommittee has denied approval for his/her work with biohazardous materials; or any other matter that needs immediate attention or action by the IBC.
3.7 The IBC recommends a mechanism to provide each department with policies, procedures, and guidelines relating to biological hazards. The committee also recommends necessary consultation and educational (training) activities to assist departments in the performance of safe techniques and in procedures for assuring an awareness of IBC review requirements irrespective of funding sources.
3.8 The IBC develops systematic procedures to assure that all activities that take place on the GHSU campus that involve biosafety issues are identified and properly reviewed, irrespective of funding source.
3.9 The IBC reviews monitoring reports related to its area of concern to determine if additional or amended institutional policies, guidelines or procedures are needed.