The purpose of Texas A&M University's Institutional Biosafety Committee is to ensure that the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules are adhered to at Texas A&M. Recombinant DNA molecules are defined by NIH guidelines as either:

  • molecules that are constructed outside living cells by joining natural or synthetic DNA segments to DNA molecules that can replicate in a living cell;
  • molecules that result from the replication of those described in (a) above.

See the section "Definition of Recombinant DNA Molecules" for further detail. The Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) requires that all use of recombinant DNA at the university be registered with the IBC, even if the use seems to be simple and insignificant. In many cases this process will be as simple as filling out a form indicating that the type of recombinant work being carried out in your lab is exempt from NIH guidelines.

Therefore, all projects conducted by TEES researchers involving any of the agents/materials listed below, must be approved by the Texas A&M Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) prior to initiation:

  • Pathogens and potential pathogens of humans, animals or plants;
  • Materials potentially containing human pathogens (including human blood, tissue, and cell lines; non-human primate blood, tissue, and cell lines);
  • Recombinant DNA (and RNA) including creation or use of transgenic plants and animals;
  • Select agents and toxins (see http://www.cdc.gov/od/sap/docs/salist.pdf ) including strains and amounts exempted from the select agent regulations;
  • Any material requiring a CDC import license or a USDA permit.

IBC Authority and Responsibilities
All institutions that receive NIH funding for research involving recombinant DNA molecules must follow the NIH guidelines. Failure to adhere to these guidelines can result in suspension or termination of NIH funding, or to a requirement for NIH approval of any or all recombinant DNA projects at the institution. The IBC is therefore responsible for establishing and implementing policies that provide for the safe conduct of recombinant DNA research and that ensure compliance with NIH guidelines. IBC responsibilities are fully specified in Section IV-B-2-b of the NIH guidelines.

PI Responsibilities
The principal investigator is responsible for registering all recombinant DNA work ongoing in their laboratory and for ensuring proper laboratory techniques and practices are followed. In addition, it is the responsibility of the PI to ensure proper training for all laboratory staff and to update the IBC whenever new recombinant DNA research projects are initiated or recombinant DNA protocols are changed. PI/PD responsibilities are fully specified in Section IV-B-7 of the NIH guidelines.

The Office of Biosafety engages with research programs and ensures that policies and guidelines established by the Institutional Biosafety Committee are carried out in compliance with federal, state, and university regulations. The office is led by the biological safety officer and responsible official.

The office also:

  • Provides guidance and outreach through ongoing training;
  • Consults and monitors Risk Group 3 (RG3) and select biological agent activities;
  • Conducts orientation for students, faculty, and staff regarding the use of biohazardous materials;
  • Develops and implements ongoing monitoring and inspections of Biosafety Level 2 and 3 laboratories;
  • Consults with laboratory directors and/or principal investigators on all matters related to laboratory biosafety and compliance;
  • Conducts risk analyses of research operations with biohazardous agents and/or activities, and identifies appropriate mitigation measures to reduce or eliminate identified risk factors;
  • Assesses and analyzes potential safety and health risks of research projects that involve biological materials, and determines effective engineering or administrative controls to mitigate against these risks;
  • Develops, implements and oversees Texas A&M policies related to research involving hazardous materials, Select Agents or recombinant DNA.

More information concerning the Texas A&M IBC approval process, as well as, all applicable forms and mandatory training can be found at the following link: http://biosafety.tamu.edu/

  Research Compliance  

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