Who We Are

The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) is the NIH-required review board for all research involving recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules. A brochure (PDF) containing IBC information also is available for download and printing. 

Brief History of the IBC

The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) was first registered with the USG in June 1991. A decade later, the IBC was organizationally placed under the Office of Research Protections, and the committee was provided admistrative support with the establishment of Institutional Biosafety support staff positions. Currently, two full-time personnel staff the Institutional Biosafety Division to provide support for the committee and research community. The Institutional Biosafety Committee falls under the office of Pitt Research.

The IBC is charged with the following responsibilities:

  • Review of ALL research proposals involving recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules
  • Notifying the Principal Investigator of the outcome of review and committee recommendation(s)
  • Determination of reducing ("Downgrade Request") or increasing the biosafety containment levels (BSL)
  • Conducting periodic reviews ensuring compliance with the NIH Guidelines
  • Approving emergency plans covering accidental spills and/or personnel contamination developed and recommended by University Biosafety Officer(s) and the Department of Environmental Health and Safety
  • Reporting significant problems or violations of the NIH Guidelines to the appropriate federal agencies
  • The IBC may not authorize research experiments involving recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules that are not covered by the NIH Guidelines until the NIH establishes the standard of containment
  • Performance of other functions as deemed necessary

Page updated 01 March 2023; updated IBC Brochure