Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules or Biohazardous Materials

UPDATED 7/7/2020: Owing to the heightened risk of COVID-19 transmission, the Provost and Vice Provost for Research have stated that “we must reduce laboratory research and other nonessential research activities.” Therefore, although the IBC is moving forward with reviewing and approving protocols, amendments, and renewals, these approvals do NOT supersede the Provost’s directive.

Cornell University has been cleared by the state to restart research activities in a staged, limited manner. As directed by the Provost and Vice Provost for Research, initial stages will involve research related to health and disease, agriculture/food, national defense, and research in support of other essential businesses. Before research can resume, buildings must be cleared, sufficient protective equipment must be available for all personnel, and individual lab plans must receive departmental and college approvals. Please note that only individuals whose research work requires them to be on-site should be working on campus. Please reference the Cornell Research and Operations Reactivation Committee’s guide for the safe restart of the university's research, and visit the IBC COVID-19 FAQs page for more information.

Appropriate reasons to conduct research activity on campus

  • Use of scientific equipment located only on campus
  • Use of reagents
  • Research involving animals and plants

Inappropriate reasons to conduct research activity on campus

  • Personal preference or convenience

Thank you for taking these limitations into consideration, and please contact the IBC if you have any questions.

The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) reviews and approves work using recombinant or synthetic nucleic acids (r/sNA) and/or biohazardous materials.

Before starting work with r/sNA or biohazardous materials, registration with the Institutional Biosafety Committee is required. Depending on the nature of the proposed research, approval may also be required by the IACUC, and Institutional Review Board

Institutional Biosafety Committee's primary objective is to safeguard protection of personnel, the general public, and the environment. To meet this goal, the IBC reviews and approves research for safe laboratory and biological safety practices, policies, procedures, training, programs, and facilities pursuant to the safe use of r/sNA, biohazardous materials, and biotoxins.

Submit an Application, Amendment, or Renewal

All researchers must secure IBC approval for their activities with recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules (r/sNA) or biohazardous materials by submitting a Memorandum of Understanding and Agreement (MUA) with the IBC. See more details on the IBC Application Submission, Review and Approval page.

Personnel listed on the MUA must complete training if working with Bloodborne Pathogens

About Environmental Health and Safety and Risk Management (EHS)

Research Safety, part of Environmental Health and Safety and Risk Management, is staffed by a team of Biological Safety, Chemical and Laboratory Safety, and Radiation Safety professionals who have the expertise to assist researchers mitigate and manage the risks associated with their research and meet regulatory and compliance requirements. See the Research Safety page for more information.