The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) for the University of Tennessee was initially established in accordance with guidelines set forth by the National Institutes of Health Office of Biological Activities (OBA) regarding research involving recombinant nucleic acid molecules. Additionally, the IBC provides the policies and guidelines to researchers under which studies may be conducted in order to maintain compliance with local, state, and federal requirements (e.g. NIH, CDC, OSHA, USDA, etc.). The current scope of the IBC covers research involving:
- recombinant and synthetic nucleic acid molecules, including development of transgenic plants or animals and viral vector-mediated gene transfer;
- infectious agents, including:
- agents capable of causing disease in healthy (immunocompetent) human adults (i.e. agents classified as Risk Group 2 or higher);
- agents capable of causing disease in healthy animals which require a USDA APHIS permit and/or special containment criteria;
- plant pathogens that are listed as USDA APHIS Select Agents, those that have been quarantined or regionally restricted by USDA Plant Protection & Quarantine, and/or those that pose a high risk to local flora ;
- biological toxins;
- human derived materials (blood, body fluids, tissues, cells, etc.);
- field procedures with a high risk for infectious disease transmission;
- venomous animals and/or toxic plants;
- novel nanoparticles for delivery of biologically active agents (i.e., nucleic acids, peptides, proteins).
Investigators whose work involves any of these categories are required to file an Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) Registration [PDF] with the committee prior to the initiation of any new project. Approval of registrations allow the work outlined within to be conducted for up to three years, barring major changes to the scope of the experiments, and providing the investigator completes the required IBC Registration Update Form [PDF].