The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) at Ochsner Health System has been established under the NIH Guidelines. The IBC provides local review and oversight of Biosafety and nearly all forms of biohazards and/or recombinant DNA (rDNA) used in research conducted at or sponsored by Ochsner Health System. As mandated by the NIH Office of Biotechnology Activities, all institutions are responsible for ensuring that recombinant DNA research conducted at, or sponsored by, that institution is carried out in compliance with the NIH Guidelines. Compliance with the NIH Guidelines is important because it promotes the safe conduct of research involving recombinant DNA and is mandatory as a condition of receiving NIH funding. Accordingly, a local IBC has the authority to approve, require modifications in (to secure approval), or disapprove research studies involving recombinant DNA and, if it so chooses, other potentially hazardous agents. This review process serves an important role in the protection of the rights and welfare of research personnel and the community-at-large.
The Ochsner IBC
The Ochsner IBC reviews research studies involving recombinant DNA, infectious agents, cancer cells, carcinogenic compounds and biological toxins, used either in vitro (outside of an organism) or in animals and humans. The committee is comprised of individuals with sufficiently diverse scientific, safety-related, and community-minded expertise to permit evaluation of such protocols. Under the NIH Guidelines, certain types of recombinant DNA and experiments employing recombinant DNA are considered either “exempt” from IBC review. At Ochsner, these studies must be registered with the IBC but are not subjected to a formal approval process. All other experiments, including the deliberate transfer of recombinant DNA, rDNA-modified microorganisms or human pathogens, into any human research participants, require approval by the Ochsner IBC prior to initiation and, where relevant, review by the Ochsner Institutional Review Board.