Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)

The West Texas A&M University Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) is responsible for the review of research and teaching activities that involve biological agents, toxins, or recombinant DNA (rDNA). This review process ensures that all University activities comply with government regulations set forth by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The IBC shall consist of University faculty and community representatives as set forth by the NIH Guidelines and will meet monthly or on an as-needed basis to review faculty research proposals that involve biological agents, toxins, or rDNA and biosafety issues at the University. Other than compliance with federal agencies, the main goal of the IBC is to minimize risks to faculty, staff, students, facilities, the community, and the environment while using rDNA and biohazardous materials. The IBC also ensures compliance with laws and regulations regarding the receipt, use, storage, and transfer/shipping of biohazardous materials. The IBC policies outline the processes that must be followed when obtaining, using, storing, transferring, or destroying biohazardous or potentially biohazardous materials and all IBC policies should be used in conjunction with other pertinent University policies and procedures.

Research or teaching of any type involving any of the agents listed below must be approved by the West Texas A&M University Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) prior to initiation:

  • Pathogens and potential pathogens of humans, animals, or plants that are classified by the American Tissue Culture Collection (ATCC) as Biosafety Level 2 (BSL-2) or higher and/or listed by the American Biological Safety Association (ABSA) as Risk Group 2 or higher (based on the NIH Guidelines and/or BMBL).
  • Human-derived materials that contain or potentially contain human pathogens (including human blood and blood components and unfixed tissue).
  • Non-human primate-derived materials that contain or potentially contain human pathogens (including non-human primate blood and blood components and unfixed tissues).
  • Use of all cell lines, whether human or non-human primate, that are classified as BSL-2 or higher by the ATCC and/or as Risk Group 2 or higher by the ABSA (based on the NIH Guidelines and BMBL).
  • Recombinant DNA and recombinant RNA including the creation or use of transgenic plants and animals.
  • Select agents and toxins including strains and amounts exempted from the select agent regulations.
  • Any material(s) (pathogenic or nonpathogenic) requiring a CDC import license or a USDA permit.

The Principal Investigator (PI), Course Instructor (CI), or Course Coordinator (CC) is responsible for completing all applicable parts of the IBC Proposal Application document that pertains to the respective research and teaching areas. Each PI, CI, or CC is also responsible for notifying the IBC when any information submitted in this document changes, such as personnel, laboratory location, classroom location, procedures, funding, etc. If such changes occur the PI, CI, or CC will be required to fill out an Amendment Form preferably prior to the changes taking place, or immediately upon the change being made. Protocols are approved for the duration of three (3) years with annual renewals required.


See the following links for forms required to submit your IBC Proposal Application, Amendment Form, Annual Renewal Form, and Adverse Event Form.

All BSL-1 and BSL-2 laboratories and teaching areas on WTAMU property will be inspected at least once per calendar year by the WTAMU Biological Safety Officer. See the following links for appropriate inspection checklists:

If you need submission assistance or have submission questions, please contact Academic and Research Environmental Health and Safety (AR-EHS): WTAMU Box 60217, Canyon, TX 79016; (806) 651-2740;, or a member of the IBC.


View Institutional Biosafety Committee Members


Institutional Biosafety Committee Responsibilities

From NIH Guidelines Section IV-B-2-b:

  • "Review recombinant DNA research conducted at or sponsored by the institution for compliance with the NIH Guidelines.....and approving those research projects that are found to conform with the NIH Guidelines."
  • "Notify the Principal Investigator of the results of the Institutional Biosafety Committee's review and approval."
  • "Periodically reviewing recombinant DNA research conducted at the institution to ensure compliance with the NIH Guidelines."
  • "Adopting emergency plans covering accidental spills and personnel contamination resulting from recombinant DNA research."
  • "Reporting any significant problems with or violations of the NIH Guidelines and any significant research-related accidents or illnesses to the appropriate institutional official and the NIH/OBA....."

IBC Federal Mandates for the Institution

Per NIH Guidelines

  • "As a condition for NIH funding....institutions shall ensure that research conducted at or sponsored by the institution, irrespective of the source of funding, shall comply with the NIH Guidelines." (Section 1-D)
  • "(The institution must) establish and implement policies that provide for the safe conduct of ....research and to ensure compliance with the NIH Guidelines." (Section IV-B-1-a)

Per Select Agent Rule (42 CFR Part 73)

  • "An entity may not possess or use....receive from..., or transfer within the United States, a select agent or toxin unless such activities are accordance with the provision of this law." (Part 73.3)
  • "(it is the responsibility of the Institution to) provide information and training at the time of an individual’s initial assignment to a work area where select agents or toxins are present.....(and) provide refresher training annually." (Part 73.13)

Required Training