safety is a top priority at university
John Reed, Media Relations
Did you know that all research involving potentially infectious
agents or recombinant DNA material is reviewed and approved by the
UNH Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)?
The UNH IBC consists of faculty and staff who are considered experts
in their field as well as two community members not affiliated with
IBC members come from every department on campus dealing with recombinant
DNA or infectious agents. “This means that every department
is represented and can bring their concerns to the table, and we
(IBC) can disseminate information back to the departments,”
said Aaron Margolin, the IBC chair.
According to David Gillum, laboratory safety officer in the Office
of Environmental Health and Safety (OEHS), “The IBC also ensures
that research protocols meet guidelines set forth by the Centers
for Disease Control (CDC), National Institutes of Health (NIH) and
regulatory agencies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration
and the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services.”
The IBC meets regularly to review applications for the use of recombinant
DNA and infectious agents to ensure that personnel are properly
trained and that facilities meet federal guidelines. “The
IBC oversees the administration of protocols developed at UNH to
meet CDC and NIH requirements,” Margolin said.
“The NIH requires all research projects involving recombinant
DNA or infectious agents be reviewed and approved by an IBC,”
said Gillum. The minutes from these meetings are considered public
information and are available for anyone to view.
In addition, the IBC has recently completed an independent survey
to demonstrate biological research accountability at national colleges
and universities. UNH completed this survey in a timely manner as
a good-faith measure to demonstrate community involvement and awareness.
The university was among 400 research universities to participate
in the survey.
The IBC and OEHS encourage faculty and staff to visit the IBC webpage
for more information. This site is available to the public and contains
important information about infectious agents and recombinant DNA
research projects. The site contains links to the UNH Biological
and Chemical Safety Plan, UNH Shipment of Biological Materials Manual,
registration documents for biological research, as well as other
important health and safety issues covering biological material
For more information about the IBC, visit www.unh.edu/ehs/BS/
or contact David Gillum at 2-0197.