Skip to main content.

Institutional Biosafety Committee

UMass Dartmouth is committed to ensuring the safe storage, handling, and disposal of potentially harmful biohazardous materials used for research and/or instructional purposes. The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) is a university-wide review body responsible for the review, approval, and oversight of activities involving biohazardous material conducted at or by UMass Dartmouth. The IBC ensures research is conducted in compliance with the NIH Guidelines, Federal, State, and Local laws and regulations. 

The biohazardous materials which the IBC currently oversees include:

  1. Large-scale cultures and whole organisms:
    • Large-scale cultures or volumes exceeding 10 liters of culture.
    • Whole animals or whole plants, including transgenic varieties.
    • Organisms, which if released, could have a significant impact on the environment (i.e., exotic plants, non-indigenous plant pathogens or regulated insects) or are export controlled.
  2. Biohazardous materials and biological samples:
    • Biohazardous materials, nanomaterials, biological agents (infectious, parasitic, pathogenic, or of unknown pathogenicity), or genetically engineered/modified microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa, yeast, algae, etc.); including: storage or concentration of any materials which pose zoonotic disease concerns.
    • Biological specimens (blood or blood components, cellular materials, tissues, feces, saliva, urine, or byproduct) known or suspected to be contaminated with an infectious or biohazardous agent.
    • Biological toxins, synthesized toxins, bioactive derivatives, or subunits of toxins and Federal Select Agents and Toxins.
  3. Genetic manipulation and host-vector systems:
    • Nucleic acid molecules (DNA, sDNA, rDNA, RNA, or sRNA) and prions or prion-like proteins.
    • Manipulation of genetic material via cloning, editing, synthesis, transformation, recombination, or mutagenesis.
    • Host-vector systems, including non-pathogenic prokaryotes or lower eukaryotic hosts, employing Risk Group 2, 3, 4, or other restricted agents.
    • Xenotransplantation or transfer of genetic material into humans, whole animals, or plants, or microorganisms.
  4. Other:
    • Soil seed, spores, plant pathogens (bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasite), or any other material received under an agreement or permit.
    • Necropsy of animals not under the care of the University Veterinarian, necropsy of animals with unknown health status and/or animals reasonably suspected or known to be infectious.
    • Except for general surveillance, arthropods that serve as vectors of disease to humans, animals, or plants and arthropods considered an environmental hazard.
    • Studies which pose a Dual Use Research of Concern.
    • Export controlled biological agents and biopharmaceuticals.
    • Other work as deemed necessary for review by the Biological Safety Officer, IBC, or sponsor.


Convened IBC meetings are scheduled for the first week of each month. Studies involving BSL2 materials require review by the convened IBC. Investigators are advised to submit registrations at least 2 weeks prior to meeting dates to facilitate thorough review and prevent any delays.

The IBC communicates and coordinates the review and approval of research projects with the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) and the Institutional Review Board (IRB), as necessary. The IBC also identifies biosafety education and training to all faculty, staff, and students involved in the use of such materials, as necessary.

Back to top of screen