Name of Committee: Institutional Biosafety Committee

Mission Statement: The IBC and the Department of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) have been charged with the planning and implementation of the campus Safety Programs. Membership is appointed by the Vice President for Research and is comprised of the Chair and members representing the community and a variety of university interests as well as members who are knowledgeable in microbiology and infectious disease, chemistry, occupational health and safety, recombinant DNA technology, animal experimentation, public health, law, and UAB policy. The Committee is structured to ensure that collective experience and expertise exists to evaluate the occupational risks associated with the wide variety of research conducted at UAB. The Committee has the authority to impose disciplinary measures in cases where there is violation of UAB's established practices and procedures.

Chair Name: Dr. Suzanne Michalek

Committee Contact Person: Donna S. Williamson, Director of Research Safety Committees

Phone number: 934-4752
Email address:

Top 3 FAQ

1. What projects need to be reviewed and approved by the UAB IBC?

NIH mandates that all non-exempt recombinant projects, regardless of funding agency, be reviewed and approved by the IBC prior to initiation. At UAB, all projects that involve the use of Risk Group/Biosafety 2 or higher agents must also be reviewed and approved by the IBC prior to work with these agents. Visit CDC for safety level information for various agents.

2. Is my recombinant work exempt or non-exempt?
Visit NIH Guidelines to determine if your work is exempt or non-exempt. If your work involves animals, this table will help to determine if it must be reviewed and approved by the IBC. Research categorized here is exempt. If it is still not clear how to classify your work, please contact Donna Williamson for help.

3. What are my responsibilities under the NIH Guidelines as a PI?
This NIH brochure outlines your responsibilities as a PI. Basically, PIs are responsible for full compliance with the NIH Guidelines during the conduct of research involving recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules. Your responsibilities start well in advance of the actual work and cover all aspects of the proposed project. Most nonexempt work performed at UAB requires IBC review and approval prior to project initiation. After approval, any modifications must be communicated to and approved by the IBC. You must immediately report any significant problems pertaining to the operation and implementation of containment practices and procedures, violations of the NIH Guidelines, or any significant research-related accidents or illnesses to the IBC, NIH OBA, and other Institutional authorities as appropriate.

4. What is the deadline to have a project reviewed by the IBC?
Completed registration documents and a summary that includes the methodologies proposed in the protocol must be received by EHS by the last working day of the month, in order to be included in the next month's IBC review.

Did You Know?

The Institutional Biosafety Committee is comprised of members from the UAB Research Community, Occupational Health and Safety, as well as representatives from the local community each with expertise in biosafety, biosecurity, bacteriology, virology, public health, and/or animal containment. The Committee reports to the Vice President for Research and meets monthly to review and discuss proposed research activities, review training, facilities and facility modification, standard operating procedures, trends in biosafety and biosecurity, etc. If you have questions about the Committee or have topics of interest for the Committee, please contact Donna S. Williamson at

Forms or Guides

Project Registration Form google drive 16x16
Biosafety Manual
Appendix A: IBC Roles & Responsibilities


Applying for a Grant
NIH Guidelines
Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories
Animal experiments covered under NIH guidelines
Is my project exempt from the NIH Guidelines?

Meeting Dates:

The currently scheduled meeting dates for 2020 are:

IBC Meeting Date

Submission Deadline

January 27

December 30, 2019

February 24

January 31, 2020

March 30

February 28

April 27

March 31

May 18

April 30

June 29

May 29

July 27

June 30

August 31

July 31

September 28

August 31

October 26

September 30

December 7
(Nov and Dec combined)

October 30

December 28
(if needed)

November 30