This section of the website is devoted to biological safety topics and resources related to studies involving animals. This information is not intended to place obstacles in the way of conducting studies. Rather, it is intended to assist lab and research personnel with designing procedures in a manner that will reduce the risk of occupationally-acquired infections, cross-contamination, and environmental release.
Please check this page frequently as more information will be added to serve the ongoing needs of the University community. If you have any questions, please contact the Biosafety Office.
UT Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) Compliance
All research activities that involve the use of live animals must be registered, reviewed and approved by UT’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) before the work is initiated.
The UT Office of Laboratory Animal Care (OLAC) can also provide assistance for planning future projects involving animals.
Sharps in Animal Research and Teaching Environments
This document outlines the biosafety practices which apply to all UT animal-related activities under the purview of the UT Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) and Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).
Recombinant DNA Molecule Use
Recombinant DNA molecules are defined as “molecules that are constructed outside living cells by joining natural or synthetic DNA segments to DNA molecules that can replicate in a living cell, or molecules that result from the replication of those previously described.”
All research activities (unless classified as exempt based on current NIH Guidelines) that involve in the use of recombinant DNA molecules must be registered, reviewed and approved by the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC).
Relative to animal use, studies involving animals in conjunction with recombinant DNA molecules are not likely to be classified as exempt. However, the purchase or transfer of transgenic rodents for experiments requiring BSL-1 containment are exempt.
- Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) Registration Form [PDF]
- NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules [PDF]
For further assistance regarding the committee review process, please contact the Biosafety Officer or John Sanseverino, IBC Chair at (865) 974-8080.
Permits and Transportation Regulations
Biological materials permits and transportation requirements have a broader application to the University environment than you might think.
There are a number of ways that biological materials can be introduced or removed from research facilities. When conducting studies, it is common to exchange research materials with other collaborators. It is also common for research personnel to visit collaborating institutions to learn new techniques. Faculty and research personnel can join or leave the University, and take materials with them.
Permit requirements are intended to ensure that biological materials that may bear an infectious disease or environmental impact risk are not inadvertently released, and to minimize the potential for clandestine use of such materials.
Transportation regulations apply to biological materials that are moved in commerce that meet the definition of a diagnostic specimen or infectious substance. Specific packaging, paperwork and training are required in some instances.
Please contact the Biosafety Officer for assistance before you send any biological materials by way of a commercial courier (i.e., FedEx, UPS)!
Additional note: Do not attempt to transport undeclared biological materials (or items that resemble these) in your carry-on or checked luggage while flying!