About the IBC
The Weill Cornell Medicine Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) is a faculty-led committee of experts in biosafety-related fields established under the NIH Guidelines. The IBC ensures that all research conducted at Weill Cornell Medicine (WCM) complies with applicable Federal, State and local health, safety standards and Institutional policies. The IBC provides review and oversight on research involving:
- Recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules and,
- Biological agents classified as Risk Group 2, 3, and 4 in the NIH Guidelines,
- Research involving select agents as listed by the USDA/CDC,
- Use of investigational biological products or biologics, including human gene products and therapies in human subjects.
The primary focus of the IBC is to assess risk posed by the use of biological agents able to cause disease and possible risk of exposure to others or the environment, and to define appropriate containment conditions based on those risks. Biological agents must be handled according to the practices and procedures defined by the Biosafety Level requirements as outlined in the EHS Research Biosafety Manual. The Biosafety Level is determined by a thorough risk assessment which considers the risk group of the agent as well as other use characteristics. In consultation with the Principal Investigator, the IBC will determine the Biosafety Level to be used in the laboratory and/or clinical environment. The IBC has the final authority to set the Biosafety Level to be used when handling a particular biological agent.
The IBC is responsible for ensuring that research involving these agents is conducted in a manner that protects the researchers, laboratory workers, human research subjects, the public and the environment. The IBC is authorized to inspect research facilities, approve research practices and procedures, and to take actions, such as enforcement of cessation of research activities, in the event of an unsafe workplace situation.
Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) supports the IBC in carrying out the WCM’s Biosafety Program in the acquisition, use, training, transfer, storage, disposal and emergency response procedures for all biosafety activities.
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