IBC Policies and Guidelines

Main Content

Institutional Biosafety Committee Policies and Guidelines

These guidelines describe the responsibilities and procedures for University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) personnel engaged in activities using recombinant DNA and/or microbiological agents that pose a potential health risk to humans.


Supervisors of such activities (i.e., principal investigator, course instructor, and laboratory director) are responsible for the following:
  • Determining whether activities under their direction involve recombinant DNA or microbiological biohazards.
  • Classifying the biohazard risk group and determining the biosafety level at which the activity should be conducted.
  • Registering the activity with and seeking approval from the UMMC Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC).
  • Complying with federal and institutional guidelines for safe handling of biohazard materials.
  • Informing personnel of risk potential and providing them with adequate training to minimize their exposure.
IBC is responsible for the following:
  • Verifying the risk group classification and biosafety level required for activities involving biohazards.
  • Assuring that all supervisors are aware of and comply with laboratory safety practices commensurate with the prescribed level of biosafety, have adequate containment equipment and facilities, and train their personnel.

The UMMC Environmental Health and Safety Department (EHS) is responsible for student, employee, patient and visitor health and safety, and supports the IBC through a Biosafety Officer who provides training, certification and facility inspections designed to prevent exposure incidents and injury, identify and eliminate hazards and establish safe work practices and procedures. EHS staff provides assistance in areas besides biosafety.

Biohazards are divided into two broad categories: recombinant DNA and other microbiological biohazards. Microbiological biohazards include (1) activities that involve propagation or manipulation of microorganisms that are pathogenic in humans, as well as (2) activities that involve handling of tissues or cells that may harbor pathogenic microorganisms.

Addition of personnel

Personnel who join an activity subsequent to IBC registration must be adequately trained by their supervisor and file a Statement of Informed Consentbefore they commence work with biohazards.