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Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)

The UTHSC Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) is responsible for reviewing research activities utilizing recombinant DNA (rDNA) and other biohazardous materials to ensure that UTHSC principal investigators and lab personnel utilize appropriate best practices when performing this type of work. All research by UTHSC investigators that utilizes rDNA, as defined in the NIH Guidelines, must be registered with the UTHSC IBC according to policies established by the NIH Office of Biotechnology Activities (OBA).

What is rDNA?

The NIH Guidelines, initially published in 1976, were the first documents to formulate the concept of an IBC as the responsible entity for biosafety issues stemming from rDNA research. Per the NIH Guidelines, rDNA is defined as:

(1) molecules that are constructed outside living cells by joining natural or synthetic DNA segments to DNA molecules that can replicate in a living cell, and (2) DNA molecules that result from the replication of these molecules.

Although the use of non-replicating synthetic nucleic acids, such as siRNA, would not be included in this definition and are considered Exempt by the NIH Guidelines, research utilizing these materials must still be registered with the IBC.

What are biohazardous materials?

Biohazardous materials include all infectious agents or biologically derived infectious materials that present either a risk or a potential risk to the health of humans, animals or the environment. The risk can be direct through infection or indirect through damage to the environment. Biohazardous materials include certain types of recombinant DNA; organisms that are infectious in humans, animals or plants (e.g. parasites, viruses, bacteria, fungi, prions, etc.); and biologically active agents (i.e. toxins, allergens, venoms) that may cause disease in other living organisms or cause significant impact to the environment or community. Biological materials you may not consider to be biohazardous may still be regulated as biohazardous materials.


General Info

The UTHSC IBC is composed of faculty and a minimum of two community members. The faculty members have expertise in the use of the biological materials currently on this campus. The IBC community members represent the community interest in protecting the environment of our university. The role of the IBC has expanded over time, and the committee reviews rDNA research and other forms of research that entail biohazardous risks.

If you have expertise in biosafety, rDNA or infectious agents and would like to serve on the IBC, please contact the UTHSC IBC office.

Do I need IBC approval for my rDNA studies if I have funding from another agency other than the NIH?
Yes. NIH policies require that all work carried on at an institution that receives any NIH funding must be approved by the IBC. If you do not apply for and receive approval, then the NIH funding of all investigators on our campus may be withheld.

How do I register my research involving rDNA?
Step by step instructions to register for IBC approval to conduct rDNA research are available on the Steps to Submit IBC Protocols webpage.

IBC Charter

Membership & Contact Info


Mark A. Miller, PhD
Phone: 901.448.6752


John Denton
Phone: 901.448.2164


Timothy Barton
Vickie Baselski, PhD
Zheng Fan, PhD
David Hamilton, DVM
Jeannie Johnson
Kui Li, PhD
Glen Palmer, PhD
Kaushik Parthasarathi, PhD
Brandt Pence, PhD
Lawrence Pfeffer, PhD
Marko Radic, PhD
Radhakrishna Rao, PhD
Ramesh Ray, PhD
Jennifer Tate, PhD
Thirumalini Vaithianathan, PhD
Bayly Wheeler, PhD
Evelyn Wright-Lewis

Schedules & Deadlines

Meeting Schedule

IBC meetings are scheduled for the first Friday of every month at 3:00pm, unless there is a holiday that conflicts with the meeting.

Protocol Submission Deadlines

The deadline for initial protocol submission is the 2nd Friday of the month. The deadline for revised protocols after they have been pre-reviewed and revised is the 4th Friday of the month.



iMedRIS Login
Login to the electronic system to complete your reviewer assignments, view the meeting agenda, or designate your meeting availability.  LOGIN>>
Board Member Instructions
The IBC Board Member Guide contains iMedRIS information and other helpful info. READ THE GUIDE>>
The Review Process
Information regarding the IBC protocol review process used by the staff and members of the review board. READ THE DOC>>



General Information

These condensed guidelines are provided to assist researchers in determining whether or not their research requires Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) approval. If so, the researcher should submit a registration form to the IBC. This abstract is not all inclusive and if the researcher is not sure if his/her program needs review, he/she should contact the IBC. Also, please see the IBC Classification Cheat Sheet and the complete NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules for further details.

Investigator Responsibilities

Guidelines for RDNA Research
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Getting Started

Getting a UT NetID if you don't have one

All key study personnel (KSP) associated with the project must have a UT NetID (username) and password to access and use iMedRIS (our electronic system). If any KSP associated with your project do not have a UT and iMedRIS account, you will not be able to add them to your project. If you have a UTHSC email account, then you have a UT NetID! Unsure of your status or forgot your password?  Call the HELP desk: 901.448.2222.

Non-UTHSC users: a UT faculty/staff member on your study team will have to sponsor you into the UT system. Review instructions to request a sponsored NetID.

Note: Once you receive your UT NetID and password and your iMedRIS account has been set up, all iMedRIS/IBC correspondence will be sent automatically to your new UT email account. Contact the HELP Desk (901.448.2222) to have your new UT email forwarded to another email account.

Setting up iMedRIS access:

Once you have a UT NetID and password, you can log into iMedRIS; however, you will not have full access needed to begin an application.

To obtain full iMedRIS access:

  1. Log into iMedRIS with your UT NetID and password.
  2. Click the "Logout" button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. NOTE: Logging in and out of iMedRIS will automatically alert the Electronic Research Administration to set up your account.
  3. All iMedRIS/IBC correspondence will be sent automatically to your UT email. Contact the HELP Desk (901.448.2222) to have your new UT email forwarded to another email account.
Biological Safety Cabinet Certification Requests

The Office of Research Safety Affairs certifies biosafety cabinets (BSCs) and provides BSC services. FULL DETAILS>>



iMedRIS Training
The IBC is happy to arrange a group training for your department or one-on-one training for an individual. Email the IBC coordinator or call 901.488.2164 to scheduling a training session.
Safety Training
The Office of Research Safety Affairs provides safety-related training through in-person (Radiation Safety) and on-line (lab safety (Skillsoft), biosafety (CITI) and hazardous materials transportation (Saf-T-Pak)) modules. Contact the Office of Research Safety Affairs (901.448.6114) for more information.
SOP Resources

Be aware that biosafety cabinets must be certified on an annual basis. UTHSC provides BSC certification free of charge to UTHSC investigators (see link below)

Biological Safety Cabinet Certification Requests

Containment practices SOPs

Transport of potentially hazardous biological materials

Biological Spill Response

Needle/Sharps Safety

Safety Labels

Safety Posters

Jul 11, 2024