Institutional Biosafety Committee

Purpose

The committee promotes a safe campus environment by developing specific policies and procedures that reduce risks to the University of Nevada, Reno community associated with biological agents in accordance with guidelines established by the National Institutes of Health, OSHA, and appropriate state and local authorities.

Committee Issues

  • Biological agents inventory and reporting
  • Memorandum of understanding and agreement review and approval
  • Current and ongoing biosafety issues

Major Regulatory Drivers

  • NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules
  • CDC/USDA Select Agent Regulations
  • OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard
  • Washoe County Health District Biohazardous Waste Regulations

Member Demographics

  • No. of Members: 9
  • No. of Academic Faculty: 3
  • No. of Administrative Faculty: 3
  • No. of Non-UNR Community Members: 3
  • Meeting Frequency: Every other month

Committee Minutes

Contact EH&S for IBC meeting minutes.

Committee Contacts

William Courchesne
Institutional Biosafety Committee Chair
Associate Professor, Microbiology
University of Nevada, Reno
(775) 784-4113
wcourchesne@medicine.nevada.edu

Ben Owens, CIH, CBSP
Assistant Director, Laboratory Safety
University of Nevada, Reno
(775) 327-5196
bowens@unr.edu

Institutional Biosafety Committee meeting schedule

IBC meetings are held every other month in the Applied Research Facility (ARF) 213 conference room. Researchers submitting a Memorandum of Understanding and Agreement (MOUA – aka. “Biological use protocol”) or MOUA amendment for review must provide the submittal at least 10 business day BEFORE the upcoming IBC meeting. Protocols received after this deadline will be evaluated at the next scheduled IBC meeting.

The schedule for the 2019-2020 academic year is as follows:

  • September 4, 2019 at 10:30 a.m.
  • November 13, 2019 at 10:30 a.m.
  • January 15, 2020 at 10:30 a.m.
  • March 11, 2020 at 10:30 a.m.
  • May 13, 2020 at 10:30 a.m.
  • July 15, 2020 at 10:30 a.m.

Please note that the date of an IBC meeting may change slightly if the need arises. The schedule of IBC meetings for the upcoming academic year will be posted at the beginning of each fall semester.

Submitting a biological use protocol (MOUA) or an MOUA amendment

Effective September 2019, EH&S will begin using SafetyStratus to submit, track and follow up with the submissions of biological use protocols (also known as Memorandum of Understanding and Agreements “MOUAs”). Previously, new protocols were requested as Microsoft Word or PDF documents, and follow-up/communication with the PI regarding their biological use protocol was conducted manually. In an effort to increase the efficiency of this process, we have chosen the SafetyStratus application as our new management system. Specifically, biological use protocols will be tracked in the “IBC module”.

Beginning September 2019, all new MOUAs and MOUA amendments will be submitted using the new SafetyStratus system. We recommend adding SafetyStratus.com as a trusted domain so that messages aren’t inadvertently filtered as spam.

The most up-to-date information regarding the SafetyStratus implementation can be found on this web page. How-to text and video tutorials are available to PIs learning to navigate the new submission system. See the helpful resources below for video tutorials and instructions.

To submit an initial/renewal MOUA or an MOUA amendment

Upon entering the SafetyStratus application (using the Single Sign On [SSO] authentication for University of Nevada, Reno users or logging in with an e-mail for non-University users), a PI will be able to:

  1. Submit a new MOUA application
  2. Submit an amendment to an existing MOUA
  3. Submit a renewal MOUA for an existing MOUA that is set to expire

To submit an amendment to an existing MOUA

For PIs with existing protocols that were approved prior to September 2019, they do not need to do anything until the current MOUA expires or until an amendment is needed. Individuals who would like to submit an amendment, please contact Kristin Eliasen at keliasen@unr.edu for assistance.

We expect the implementation of this program to be smooth, but there may be functionality that is not operating as intended. Please notify Kristin Eliasen at keliasen@unr.edu if you are having difficulty using the system, if you believe there is a software bug that we need to fix, or if you have any questions about the submission and review of MOUAs or amendments. We appreciate your help and patience as we move forward with the new software implementation.

Helpful Resources

Video tutorial for PIs submitting a MOUA or an MOUA amendment

Below are links to third party web/multimedia content. If you experience any issues accessing this content, please contact Kristin Eliasen at keliasen@unr.edu.

Instructions for completing a MOUA or an MOUA amendment

View step-by-step instructions for Safety Stratus.

The freezer farm maps for Fleischmann Agriculture 229 and Howard Medical Sciences 140 can be downloaded by clicking the appropriate link below.