Research Safety

Biological and biomedical research offers tremendous opportunities for improving our understanding of biological mechanisms and processes and for targeting new and more effective therapies for devastating conditions. At the same time, however, this research involving recombinant DNA, infectious agents, and other potentially hazardous biological materials carries inherent safety risks. Working at an appropriate biosafety containment level and with the appropriate safety precautions is essential for mitigating those risks.

As mandated by the NIH Guidelines, Baylor’s Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) is responsible for assessing the biosafety containment level for research involving recombinant DNA and synthetic nucleic acid molecules. The IBC also oversees research with other potentially hazardous biological materials. The IBC currently oversees:

  • Recombinant DNA and synthetic nucleic acid molecules (including human gene transfer studies)
  • Infectious agents
  • Biological toxins
  • Human-derived tissues, fluids, cells
  • Certain animal-derived tissues, fluids, cells
  • Federally-regulated Select Agents, experiments with Dual Use Research of Concern potential, and research requiring BSL3 containment