Institutional Biosafety Committee

IBC Committee

Kristy Kenyon, Biology, Chair
Lance E. Cadle-Davidson, USDA
Sigrid Carle, Biology
Kristina Ann Blake-Hodek, Cornell University
Nick Metz, OAFA
Kristin Slade, Chemistry

The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) is a committee of faculty and community partners that is responsible for reviewing and approving all research and teaching activities conducted at the Colleges by faculty, staff, students, and/or visiting scientists that involve the use of biohazardous materials (regulated animals and plant pathogens, biological toxins, and recombinant DNA molecules). The purpose of these reviews is to ensure that all activities involving biohazardous materials and the facilities used to conduct such work are in compliance with all external regulations and applicable College policies. Foremost, the IBC’s objective shall be to ensure that such activities meet standards of good biological safety practice emphasizing protection of personnel, the general public, and the environment. To this end, the IBC shall assist principal investigators (PIs) in meeting their responsibilities; impose requirements; and review and approve policies, procedures, programs, and facilities pursuant to the safe use of biological agents, other biological materials, and toxins.

IBC Policies and Application Form

IBC Policies and Procedures (PDF, Word)

For timely review, please submit this form no later than January 1 or July 1 for review at semi-annual IBC meetings. Please submit a signed, paper copy and an electronic version of your application to the Office of Academic and Faculty Affairs (

IBC Application Form (PDF, Word)

The IBC shall function so as to discharge the College’s obligations and responsibilities placed upon the IBC by current governmental requirements, including those described in the National Institutes of Health Guidelines (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Guidelines, the Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA) Regulations, and those other requirements that overlap with or are reviewed by other established committees of the Colleges. The IBC is expected to advise the Colleges and establish policies to guide principal investigators and the Officer of Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) in carrying out the Colleges’ Biosafety Program in the acquisition, use, training, transfer, storage, disposal, and emergency response procedures for all biosafety activities. Upon request, the IBC shall review and comment on proposed external regulations dealing with biosafety.

Biohazardous Agents

  • Infectious/pathogenic agents classified in the following categories: Class 2, 3, and 4 bacterial, fungal, parasitic, viral, rickettsial or chlamydial agents as defined by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or,
  • Regulated agents that have the potential for causing disease in healthy individuals, animals, or plants.
  • Biological toxins include metabolites of living organisms and materials rendered toxic by the metabolic activities of microorganisms (living or dead).

Recombinant DNA Molecules

  • Molecules which are constructed outside living cells by joining natural or synthetic DNA segments to DNA molecules that can replicate in a living cell or,
  • DNA molecules that result from the replication of those described in “A” above.

All activities involving the use of biohazardous materials must be reviewed and approved by the IBC either prior to or concurrently with the start of the activities depending on the classification of the agent or the containment level required. The IBC may approve research protocols with or without modifications, or withhold approval of all or any portion of a protocol. Approval may be granted for no more than two years after review at a convened meeting of a quorum of the IBC (i.e., four or more members) with the affirmative vote of a majority of those present. Any changes in agents, protocols or project personnel must be communicated to and reviewed by the IBC on an annual basis. All biosafety protocols shall be available for review by any member of the IBC. The IBC shall maintain records of research protocol reviews, minutes of meetings, including records of attendance and IBC deliberations. All deliberations of the IBC shall meet Hobart and William Smith Colleges confidentiality guidelines. In accordance with the NIH Guidelines, no member of an IBC may be involved (except to provide information requested by the IBC) in the review or approval of a project in which she/he has been or expects to be engaged or has a direct financial interest.

Additional Resources