Institutional Biosafety Committee


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 Minutes

Contact EH&S for IBC meeting minutes.

View the IBC workflow schematic

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 Contacts

William Courchesne, Ph.D.
Institutional Biosafety Committee Chair
Associate Professor, Microbiology
University of Nevada, Reno
Phone: (775) 784-4113

Ben Owens, CIH, CBSP
Assistant Director, Laboratory Safety
University of Nevada, Reno
Phone: (775) 327-5196

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.

Submit the MOUA and MOUA amendment as a word document to Kristin Eliasen (

  • The MOUA submittal must include the front page signed by the submitter and the department chair; this can be scanned and sent electronically or can be sent via the interdepartmental campus mail to Kristin Eliasen at Mail Stop 0328. An updated laboratory map must also be included with the MOUA submission. Researchers with biological agents stored in the Fleischmann Agriculture 229 or Howard Medical Sciences 140 freezer farms will also need to include a map of these spaces with the MOUA submittal. The most up-to-date versions of these maps are provided in the links below.
  • The MOUA amendment submittal must be signed by the submitter.

The schedule for the 2018-2019 academic year is as follows:

  • September 12, 2018 at 10:30 a.m.
  • November 14, 2018 at 10:30 a.m.
  • January 16, 2019 at 10:30 a.m.
  • March 13, 2019 at 10:30 a.m.
  • May 8, 2019 at 10:30 a.m.
  • July 10, 2019 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.

MOUA Forms

Also note that there are different types of MOUA forms; the links to the different MOUA forms and MOUA amendment form are provided below.

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

View the IBC workflow schematic