The Cornell IBC is the institutional body responsible for oversight of activities involving biohazardous materials as required by the National Institutes of Health Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules (NIH Guidelines) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL).
All RESEACHERS must secure IBC approval for their activities with recombinant or synthetic mucleic acid molecules (r/sNA) or biohazardous materials by submitting a Memorandum of Understanding and Agreement (MUA) with the IBC. The MUA is filed through an electronic submission site (e-MUA) and covers r/sNA or biohazardous materials. Research at Biosafety Level -3 requires a separate application.
Uses of r/sNA or Biohazardous materials (list is not inclusive):
- transgenic plants or animals
- infectious organisms (bacteria, fungi, parasites, prions, rickettsias, viruses, yeasts, etc.) which can cause disease in humans and animals
- human or non-human-primate materials (body fluids, tissues, cell lines, etc.)
- select agents
- investigational live, recombinant, synthetic or attenuated virus strains
- plant pathogens
- mammalian cell culture
Attention: As of March 2013, the NIH/OBA has amended the NIH Guidelines to include oversight of recombinant and synthetic nucleic acid molecules. A FAQ from the NIH detailing the changes is available; http://oba.od.nih.gov/oba/faqs/Synthetic_FAQs_March_2013.pdf. The IBC application has been modified to accommodate these changes.
All ongoing and newly proposed experiments that are subject to the revised NIH Guidelines must be registered by the Principal Investigator (PI) to the Cornell Institutional Biosafety Office (IBC). Failure to do so could jeopardize current and future NIH funding for research involving r/sNA materials at Cornell. Contact Debra Dwyer at 255-7219.
Please see below for the next steps that apply to you:
- If the use of synthetic nucleic acids contained in cells, organisms, or viruses is already described in your current approved MUA with the IBC, no action is required on your part. Please review your current MUA to make sure that the work with synthetic nucleic acids is adequately described.
- If the use of synthetic nucleic acids contained in cells, organisms, or viruses is not described in your current approved MUA, you must submit an amendment to your current approved MUA by March 5, 2013.
- If you do not have a current approved MUA (application) with the IBC, you must submit a new MUA to the IBC by March 5, 2013.
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