FAQ

What type of research requires submission of an IBC application?

The IBC reviews research involving biohazardous material. Biohazardous material is anything of biologic origin that is potentially hazardous to humans, animals, plants and/or the environment. Typically, the use of microorganisms capable of causing disease in healthy adult humans, animals or plants would require IBC approval. Certain recombinant/synthetic nucleic acids molecule use would also require IBC approval.

It is best to contact the biosafety officer to discuss any research involving biohazards or potential biohazards.

How do I get rid of biohazardous waste including sharps?

Red bag waste is considered biohazardous and must either be autoclaved on site or hauled away by MSU’s medical waste vendor. Sharps waste also requires specific handling. For more information, contact the biosafety officer or click the Sharps Quick Link.

What kind of permit do I need to do ship or receive biohazardous material?

If you are receiving an animal agriculture pathogen, then you will require a VS permit for transport through the US and also to use in your lab.

Certain human pathogens require a permit from the CDC.

Select agents require registration from the CDC/USDA.

Genetically engineered organisms that are considered “regulated” would require a USDA BRS permit.

A USDA PPQ permit is required for certain plants and plant pests.

For more information, contact the biosafety officer or click Permits Quick Link.

What is the Exposure Control Plan (ECP) and how does it differ from my lab biosafety manual?

The ECP is one part of the lab biosafety manual and is required when working with human/nonhuman primate material such as blood, tissues and/or cell lines. It describes the extra precautions needed when working with this kind of material. The lab biosafety manual describes the biological hazard present in the lab, the risks associated with the biological hazard, signs and symptoms and how to mitigate the risk of exposure through engineering controls, work practices and personal protective equipment.

What kind of training do my students and I need to work with biohazardous material?

Anyone who is named on an IBC application is required to take Biosafety: Principles & Practices. Any work with human or nonhuman primate material such as blood or cell lines requires Bloodborne Pathogens. More information is available on the Training page.

What about new technologies such as CRISPR-Cas9? Does its use require an IBC application?

Zinc finger nucleases, transcription activator-like effector nucleases and CRISPR-Cas9 systems can be used to modify the genome. If the technology involves a plasmid, a host to clone the plasmid, a viral vector for inserting the CRISPR-Cas9 system, a host to produce the viral vectors and changes to the intended target’s genome, then at a minimum, the biosafety officer should be consulted.