Biosafety

Spring 2022 - IBC Meetings

Date(s): February 9; March 9; and April 20, 2022 from 9-10 AM

NOTES:  

  1.  Any IBC meetings held during the Spring 2022 semester will be held via a Zoom meeting.   
  2.  Meetings will be canceled if no projects are received by Monday at noon prior to the meeting dates noted above.

Overview

Biosafety, as defined by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is the discipline addressing the safe handling and containment of infectious microorganisms and hazardous biological materials. There are four biosafety level (BSL) risk groups– BSL1, BSL2, BSL3, and BSL4. The higher the level, the more risk associated with that biological agent. Therefore, each level has specific containment guidelines to ensure those working with the biological hazard are kept safe. See RIT Biosafety Level Table in the links at the bottom of this webpage.

The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) has an Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) to oversee all biohazards and infectious agent projects regardless of the source of funding and/or if they conducted on campus or sponsored by RIT. This committee is comprised of individuals from applicable disciplines on campus as well as required non-RIT individuals with appropriate expertise. This committee ensures the implementation of policies and manages potential hazards related to biological materials at RIT.

IBC Mission

The mission of the Institutional Biosafety Committee is to:

  1. Ensure that all recombinant DNA research activities at the Rochester Institute of Technology comply with Department of Health and Human Services/Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institutes of Health Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules ( “NIH Guidelines”)
  2. Ensure that protocols for all research undertaken at RIT, which use or produce biohazardous organisms, comply with the applicable NIH guidelines.  These protocols must be reviewed and IBC-committee approved to ensure that personnel, the environment and public safety are properly protected.
  3. Per the CDC/NIH  “Biosafety Microbiological Laboratories”  Appendix H—Working with Human, NHP and Other Mammalian Cells and Tissues: Human and other primate cells should be handled using BSL-2 practices and containment. All work should be performed in a biosafety cabinet and all material decontaminated by autoclaving or disinfection before discarding.

Biosafety Project Initiation

Principal Investigators (PIs) must contact the RIT IBC to gain approval prior to commencing any research and/or teaching that deals with recombinant DNA or hazardous biological materials. See process steps noted below.

Principal Investigator - Project Approval Process Steps
  • PIs needs to contact the RIT IBC prior to commencing work with biohazardous materials.
  • PIs needs to complete the Project Registration Form and separately provide a detailed standard operating procedure (SOP) IBC Safety SOP Template that includes details for accident/spill management.
  • The completed registration form and SOP are assigned to a committee member or they can be reviewed by the committee as a whole.
  • Lab inspections will be conducted by the RIT EH&S Department to review the project and lab practices. All inspection findings must be closed prior to the IBC final review.
  • IBC committee will discuss the results of the lab inspection and the registration form to assign an official BioSafety Level.  (NOTE: Currently, only Biosafety Level 1 and 2 work is permitted at RIT.)
  • IBC Chair/Designee will forward any further questions, concerns, suggestions to the PI based on the evaluation thus far.  IBC committee will evaulate the PI's response.
  • Once questions, concerns or suggestions have been satisfied, IBC Chair/Designee will send an approval  letter to the PI for the specific project that was reviewed.  A project specific number will be assigned to each project upon approval. The IBC Chair will also establish an expiration date for each project.
  • PIs will need to reapply with the IBC Chair or IBC if:
    • there are changes to a formerly IBC approved project (i.e. changes in cell lines, lab location(s) or co-participants).   Note changes on the original Word Document version of the PIs project form in red prior to submitting to the IBC Chair;
    • other noteworthy changes include those which would result in an increased potential for exposure to the biological materials (submit to ibc@rit.edu); or
    • the expiration date has elapsed.

IBC Meeting Minutes

Biosafety Committee Responsibilities

The IBC is composed of various members with specific responsibilities with regard to biosafety requirements at RIT. The following provides a general description of the committee membership.

Vice President for Research
Oversees the Rochester Institute of Technology Institutional Biosafety Committee.

IBC Chair
The IBC Chair has overall responsibility for the functioning of the committee.

Biological Safety Officer
The responsibilities of the Biological Safety Officer (BSO) include but are not limited to performing periodic inspections, developing emergency plans, and providing technical advice.

Program Coordinator
The duties of the Program Coordinator include but are not limited to maintaining records of IBC documentation, providing clerical support to the IBC Chair and BSO, and retaining a non-voting position with the IBC. Contact the coordinator for IBC meeting information if interested in attending.

Individual Users
Individual Users are faculty, research assistants, technicians, and students who have contact with any biologically hazardous material. Before beginning work users shall have been instructed in the handling and use of biologically hazardous materials and biosafety principles. Documentation of this instruction shall be kept on file with project documentation.

Any questions? Contact the IBC by email @ ibc@rit.edu or call the EH&S Department at (585) 475-2040.

Training Requirements

Ensure that users of hazardous biological material are provided with the necessary information, materials, and training that will enable them to work in a safe manner. All project participants must complete the appropriate EH&S training based on the specific needs of the project. (i.e. Biosafety Awareness, Lab Safety, Gas Cylinder, Bloodborne Pathogens, etc.)

  • Bloodborne pathogens training note: Only those working directly with bloodborne pathogen concerns and/or human tissue, blood, cells, cell lines, feces, urine, unfixed tissues or organs need to take this training and be offered Hep B vaccination. Most students from the US will have had this already. If the vaccination was received previously it does not need to be readministered. This vaccination consists of 3 shots given over a 6 month period. A person will not be fully vaccinated until all 3 shots have been received. (If a student does not know their status, does not have access to the information and/or is concerned, they would need to obtain a titer to detemine if the vaccination is needed or not.)