Institutional Biosafety Committee


The Whittier College Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) was established as the local review body responsible for oversight of all research activities – including teaching laboratories – involving the use of hazardous biological material and recombinant or synthetic nucleic acids, as required and outlined in the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules (NIH Guidelines) and the CDC/NIH Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL).

The IBC is a faculty-led committee appointed by the Whittier College Faculty Executive Council (FEC) and consists of experts in various fields, including biosafety, human gene therapy, infectious disease, recombinant DNA, animal containment, plant containment, and occupational health.  The committee will consist of a minimum of three faculty and/or administrative/staff members, including the Biosafety Officer, plus two members from the city of Whittier who are unaffiliated with Whittier College.  The IBC is responsible for establishing, monitoring, and enforcing policies and procedures involving hazardous biological materials and recombinant/synthetic nucleic acids to meet applicable federal, state, local and institutional regulations and guidelines.

What needs review by the IBC?

The IBC reviews and approves protocols for academic research and teaching laboratories involving the following materials:

  • Recombinant/synthetic nucleic acid molecules, as covered by the NIH Guidelines
  • Infectious agents that can cause disease in healthy humans and/or significant environmental or agricultural impacts, as covered by the BMBL
  • Select agents and select toxins, as covered by the CDC DSAT regulations
  • Human and nonhuman primate materials, as covered by the Cal/OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen Standard
  • Genetically-modified animals and whole plants, as covered by the NIH Guidelines

At its discretion, the IBC may also review protocols involving animals or animal specimens known to be reservoirs/vectors of zoonotic diseases. 

To be approved for doing research involving a biohazard, you must complete the Biological Use Authorization (BUA) Form and the Laboratory Personnel Check List (for each research assistant).

If there is an accident in your laboratory involving a biohazard, you must fill out the Post Exposure Response Form.