The role of the Skidmore College Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) is to provide advice and recommendations to the research community by reviewing bio-agent use protocols and approving procedures that will provide for the safe conduct of teaching and research while ensuring compliance with local, state and federal requirements. Members of the IBC are selected for their area of expertise and from the areas of the college that generate the majority of protocol applications. There is also the need to have members that are from the surrounding community. This ensures an unbiased "outside" view point that could be overlooked if the membership consisted only of Skidmore staff. The IBC chair will consult with members to answer questions generated from the protocol review.
The IBC can approve or disapprove protocols, stop further research in noncompliant laboratories, make recommendations for corrective action for protocols and is the link between the college and regulatory agencies. Principal Investigators must register their bio-use protocols with the IBC for approval and review. This includes the use of RG-1 and RG-2 organisms, recombinant DNA, and unfixed human blood, body fluid or tissues. The IBC has an overlapping role with other college committees, i.e., biohazardous materials used in human subjects (IRB) and in Skidmore College Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).
For activities specific to the teaching lab environment, the American Society of Microbiology (ASM) has prepared a Guideline for Biosafety in the Teaching Laboratory. Skidmore College has proactively decided to establish biosafety rules in the teaching setting and the IBC to oversee implementation of the ASM guidelines. The goals are to:
- be sure that all biosafety guidelines are in place to maintain a safe environment for our faculty and students;
- maintain accurate records that can be used in grant writing and project design;
- provide college and local first response authorities with accurate data concerning potentially hazardous sites should emergencies arise in any building.
For activities specific to the research lab environment, both NIH, https://osp.od.nih.gov/wp-content/uploads/NIH_Guidelines.html, and CDC http://www.cdc.gov/biosafety/publications/bmbl5/index.htm provide guideline when working with biohazardous materials. All submitted research protocol must be in adherence with these established guidelines.
Please note that it is the goal of the IBC to make the process of registering biohazardous teaching or research activity simple and straightforward.