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Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)

The IBC provides an environment in which scientific research at Rensselaer can advance in a safe, informed and ethical manner.

Rensselaer is responsible, under federal law (section III of the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules), for the approval and supervision of the appropriate performance of all research and teaching activities that involve recombinant DNA research.

It is accepted and recognized, at all academic institutions, that the IBC reviews and supervises all research that involves the following materials:

  • Recombinant DNA or recombinant RNA molecules
  • Plasmids and transposons
  • Viruses and viral vectors
  • Human and non-human primate cells, tissues and fluids
  • Prions
  • Bacteria
  • Yeast
  • Fungi
  • Toxins
  • All pathogens and select agents

These research areas are reviewed and regulated without regard to the source of funding.

NOTICE: A new NIH policy has taken effect with regard to the HeLa cell line and its derivatives, specifically relating to genome information. An NIH announcement regarding the policy can be found here: http://www.nih.gov/news/health/aug2013/nih-07.htm. While this new policy does not at all restrict use of HeLa cells, it does restrict use of any genomic sequence data from these cells. For complete details, please visit the NCBI HeLa Cell Genome Sequencing Studies website.

Direct all inquiries to ibc@rpi.edu

Biosafety Overview

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute IBC Form

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What Must be Registered

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Recombinant DNA

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  • Oversight of research experiments that involve recombinant DNA and RNA molecules.
  • Pre-approval of all recombinant genetic experimental protocols prior to approval by the RPI Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), Institutional Stem Cell Research Oversight Committee (ISCRO)  or Institutional Review Board (IRB).
  • Supervision and approval of all research involving biological, chemical or other toxins and carcinogens.
  • Supervision and approval of all research involving select biological agents, organisms and pathogens.
  • Participation, with RPI Public Safety and other relevant agencies, in the preparation of procedures to be implemented following accidents or terrorist incidents involving biological, chemical or radiation agents.
  • Summary for RPI administration of selected ethical issues and associated scientific facts relevant to current or future RPI research  (for example., the research use of embryonic stem cells).
  • Liaison with relevant institutional, community, state and federal agencies and authorities to prepare for possible pandemics and biological terrorist incidents that might impact RPI.

Basic IBC Review and Approval Procedure

  • Proposed research protocols must be submitted by the Principal Investigator for review.
  • The biosafety level of the research is classified according to federal guidelines; this classification determines the criteria for safe performance of the proposed work.
  • The proposed procedures are reviewed to ensure that the work will be performed with appropriate personnel training, required facility safeguards and adequate biosafety procedures.

Questions and Forms Submission

Direct all inquiries to ibc@rpi.edu.

RPI Researchers Should Know

  • Rensselaer has a functioning IBC that is responsible for ensuring the performance of safe and appropriate research procedures.
  • The IBC reports to the Associate Vice President for Research, who is the Rensselaer Institutional Official (IO) of record.
  • IBC oversight of all research performed by Rensselaer faculty, staff and students is mandated by the NIH Office of Biotechnology Activities (OBA) and, in certain cases, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • Rensselaer provides occupational health guidance and care for all researchers and staff.

Responsibilities of Principal Investigators

The Principal Investigator is responsible for full compliance with the policies, practices and procedures set forth under federal guidelines and by the University. This responsibility extends to all aspects of biological safety involving the environment and all individuals who enter or work in the Principal Investigator's laboratory or collaborate in carrying out the research. Although the Principal Investigator may choose to delegate aspects of the biological safety program to other laboratory personnel or faculty in his/her laboratory, the Principal Investigator retains ultimate responsibility and is accountable for all activities occurring in his/her laboratory.

IACUC Committee Members

Glenn M. Monastersky, Ph.D., Chair, IBC (518) 276-2877; monasg@rpi.edu

Institutional Official (IO)

Wolf von Maltzahn, Ph.D., Associate Vice President for Research (518) 276-4873; vonmaw@rpi.edu

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