Institutional Biosafety Committee

The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) is responsible for overseeing research involving potentially biohazardous materials. They have been charged with protecting faculty, staff, students, research participants, visitors, the general public and the environment from exposures (or potential exposures) to biological hazards. Furthermore, the committee will ensure that all research activity involving biohazardous materials and the facilities used to undertake such activity are in compliance with federal, state and local laws, regulations and guidelines.

Useful Links

IBC Members

Dr. Jackie Coomes - IBC Chair, Interim Vice Provost

Dr. Andrea Castillo - IBC Member, Associate Professor of Biology

Dr. Nicholas Burgis - IBC Member, Professor of Chemistry

John Shields - IBC Member, Safety Officer III

Buck Somes - External IBC Member, CEO GenPrime

External member 2

Research Subject to IBC Oversight

Research involving any of the following is subject to IBC notification and may require IBC approval before the project can begin:

  • Recombinant DNA molecules (e.g. plasmids and viral vectors) or synthetic nucleic acids
  • Genetically modified organisms (plants, animals, eukaryotes, bacteria, archaea)
  • Potentially infectious material
  • Biotoxins
  • Material from humans or nonhuman primates (e.g. blood, tissues, cell lines)
  • Field research involving animals or animal tissues known to be reservoirs of zoonotic disease.

If your research falls into any of these categories, please fill out the IBC Research Submission form.

Contact Dr. Bowman or Charlene Alspach if you have questions about whether your research is subject to IBC oversight.

Training Requirements

There are training requirements for anyone working with biohazardous materials.

  • PIs, EWU staff members, and graduate students must take the CITI training course Training for Investigators, Staff and Students Handling Biohazards.
  • Undergraduate students must take the CITI training course Biohazards and Biosafety for Students.

Project Review Process

Projects that meet the criteria are reviewed by a committee member to determine if they require committee notification or full committee review.

Submission forms are distributed to committee members with a note telling them if the project is for notification or review.

  • Any committee member can request a full review of a project if they have questions or concerns.

The assigned committee member will contact researchers to let them know if they can begin their project of if it requires committee review.

Research Submission Forms must be turned in at least three weeks before the project is due to start to allow time for review and discussion.