Vanderbilt University Institutional Biosafety Committee (VU IBC)

Vanderbilt University Institutional Biosafety Committee (VU IBC)

An Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) is required at institutions that receive funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for research involving recombinant DNA molecules. All recombinant DNA research at Vanderbilt, regardless of funding source, must be conducted in accordance with the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules and must be registered with the VU IBC.  Please note that additional institutional approvals are required for studies involving animals or human subjects.

The VU IBC is further charged with reviewing and approving research conducted with microorganisms pathogenic to humans, plants, or animals. This review is conducted pursuant to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health (CDC/NIH) publication, Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (currently in 6th edition, June 2020).

The VU IBC will also provide guidance to the Vanderbilt University research community regarding proper acquisition, handling, transfer, and disposal of potentially hazardous or regulated biological materials.

Meeting Schedule & Deadline for Submission

The Vanderbilt University Institutional Biosafety Committee (VU IBC) meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month except during the months of November and December due to the holidays. VU IBC registration documentation to be considered for review must be submitted to the Biosafety Section of OCRS no later than the first Monday of the month.

Committee Members

Faculty (voting)
Julián Hillyer (Chair) Biological Sciences
Barbara Fingleton Cancer Biology
Ethan Lippmann Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Lisa McCawley Biomedical Engineering
Chris Breuer Biochemistry
Jenny Schafer Research Assistant Professor, Cell and Developmental Biology (Core Rep)
Administrative (voting)
Sheya Jones Biological Safety Officer, Assistant Director Biosafety
Lori Rolando Medical Director, Occupational Health Clinic
Katherine Shuster Veterinarian, Division of Animal Care
Jeanne Wallace Director, Division of Animal Care (alternate)
Non-Institutional Members (voting)
Robert Loedding Retired, Community Member
Thomas C. Lennon Retired, Community Member
Ex Officio (non-voting)
Bettye Ridley Senior Safety Officer, Biosafety
Richard DiTullio Safety Officer, Biosafety
Erica Teasley Safety Officer, Biosafety
Chris Svitek Safety Officer, Biosafety
Ruth Nagareda Administrative Compliance Officer
Padma Raghavan Vice Provost for Research
Kevin Warren Senior Director, OCRS
Andrea George Director, Vanderbilt University EH&S

Committee Charge

The Vanderbilt University Institutional Biosafety Committee is charged to consider policies and procedures pertaining to the safe handling, transport, use, and disposal of biological materials, including recombinant DNA molecules, and to recommend the adoption of appropriate new or revised policies to the University administration through the Office of Clinical and Research Safety; to review for compliance with the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules all recombinant DNA research and to approve research that is in conformity with the Guidelines; to register and review research utilizing Risk Group 2 or higher biological agents and to approve research that contains adequate safeguards to protect the health and safety of laboratory personnel, students, staff, and visitors; to interpret guidelines and/or regulations of the U.S. Public Health Service, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and others pertaining to biological materials, and to provide technical assistance to the Office of Clinical and Research Safety on these matters; to review proposed or enacted legislation impacting the Vanderbilt University community and to inform Departments, Schools, and Colleges of this legislation and its potential implications; in conjunction with the Office of Research and Clinical Safety, assists Colleges, Schools, and Departments with safety committees or programs related to the safe handling, transport, use, and disposal of biological materials; and to render advice in consideration for space and facilities for research involving biological materials, including recombinant DNA molecules.