Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)

The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) has the responsibility to assure the safe use of recombinant DNA (rDNA) as outlined by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to assure the safety of MCW personnel and others working with rDNA and/or biological materials, and to limit the environmental impact of rDNA and biological agents, including pathogens, utilized by investigators at the MCW.

The IBC follows recommendations and/or regulations outlined in the NIH Guidelines for Research involving Recombinant DNA molecules,  the 5th edition BMBL (Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories) and the Federal Register 42 CFR 73.   The IBC currently falls under and reports to the Senior Associate Dean for Research.

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  Committee Meetings

Medical College of Wisconsin Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) meetings are held the second Tuesday of every month, 1:30 - 3 p.m. in MFRC 3075 and are open to the public. MCW reserves the right to hold executive sessions during IBC meetings.  Executive sessions are not open to the public. Please contact the IBC to arrange access to the campus.

MCW IBC meeting minutes are available to the public in a redacted format. If you wish to receive a copy of a meeting's minutes, please contact the IBC to arrange for a copy to be sent by registered mail.  The MCW reserves the right to redact any information which would jeopardize the health and safety of its staff members or the security of the research materials in use on site.

If any member of the MCW community or the general public wishes to forward comments or questions to the MCW IBC, please contact the IBC. The IBC will reply with a written copy of both comment and response forwarded to the NIH OBA.

The MCW IBC allows Principal Investigators with pending applications to attend IBC meetings during which their research will be discussed. Please contact the IBC to be placed on the meeting agenda for attendance.

  Committee Members


Dara W. Frank PhD
Professor, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
Expertise: Bacterial toxins; Bacterial Pathogenesis; Select Agent Research; Bacterial Secretion Systems; Vaccines
Affiliation(s): Radiation Safety Committee

David A. Wilcox PhD
Associate Professor, Pediatrics
Expertise: Gene Therapy for Inherited Bleeding Disorders


Committee Members

Ken Allen, DVM
Assistant Professor, Microbiology & Molecular Genetics
Staff Veterinarian, Biomedical Resource Center
Expertise:  Laboratory Animal Medicine
Affiliation: MCW IACUC

Joseph Barbieri, PhD
Professor, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
Expertise: Protein Toxins; Microbial Pathogenesis

L. William Cashdollar, PhD
Associate Adjunct Professor, Microbiology & Molecular Genetics
Expertise: Virology and Molecular Biology
Affiliation(s): MCW IACUC; Vice Chair of MCW Hazardous Chemical Committee

Guan Chen, MD, PhD
Professor, Pharmacology & Toxicology
Expertise: Molecular Biology; Signal Transduction; Cancer Research

Jenifer L. Coburn, PhD
Professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease
Director, Center for Infectious Disease Research
Expertise: Bacterial Pathogenesis; Host-Pathogen Interactions; Vector-Borne Infections; Zoonotic Infections

Aron Geurts, PhD
Assistant Professor, Physiology
Expertise: Transgenic Models; Vectors; Transposons; Gene Targeting; Rat ES/IPS Cells; Gene Delivery Systems

Mitchell Grayson, MD
Associate Professor, Pediatrics/Medicine/Microbiology & Molecular Genetics
Expertise: Immunology; Viral Infections; Animal Models

Kelly Henrickson, MD
Professor, Pediatrics/Infectious Disease
Expertise: Pediatric Infectious Disease; Respiratory Virology; Molecular Diagnostics
Affiliation: CHW Infection Control

Jason Keaton, MS, RBP
Biological Safety Officer (BSO)

Karen Sue Kehl, PhD
Associate Professor, Pathology
Expertise: Medical Microbiology
Affiliations: CHW HRRB; CHW Infection Control

Qizhen Shi, MD, PhD
Associate Professor, Pediatrics Hematology/Oncology/BMT
Associate Investigator, BloodCenter of Wisconsin
Expertise: Gene Therapy; Hemophilia; Immune Response in Gene Therapy


Community Committee Members

Jarrod Erbe, PhD
Professor of Biology
Dean, College of Arts & Sciences
Expertise: Microorganisms; Detection & Quantization of Phosphorus in Environmental Samples; Ribosomal RNA; Biomes; Wastewater Treatment Systems
Affiliation: Phosphorus Research Group

James Case
City of Wauwatosa Fire Department
Expertise: Fire Marshal & Administrative Chief; Oversight of the Departmental Budget/Statutory Requirements
Affiliation(s): Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs Association; International Association of Arson Investigators; Wisconsin Fire Inspectors Association; Disaster Medical Assistance Team for United States Department of Health Service


Support Members (Non-Voting Participants)

Tami Maier, PhD
Assistant Safety Officer, Environmental Health & Safety
Alternate Responsible Official (ARO) for Select Agent BSL3 laboratory
Expertise: Research & Clinical Safety/Compliance; Microbiology; Molecular Biology; Genetics; Biochemistry; Pharmacology & Toxicology; Biosafety

Rebecca Seevers, MS, CIH
Director, Environmental Health & Safety
Expertise: Certified Industrial Hygienist
Affiliation: Wisconsin Chapter of the American Industrial Hygiene Association

Christopher Mol, RN
Manager, Occupational Health & International Travel Clinics
Expertise: Occupational Health & International Travel
Affiliations: MCW IACUC; Wellness Steering Committee; FMLH Infection Control


Working with Biologicals

The Medical College of Wisconsin is committed to ensuring a safe, healthy and compliant workplace for all employees and visitors as well as environmentally sound practices. To achieve that goal the College has established the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) which reviews all work with biological materials that could pose an occupational health or environmental release risk. Committee members work with Principal Investigators in the establishment of a safe working environment for employees and an environmentally sound waste stream process. The scope of Committee review includes the handling of bloodborne pathogens sources, biological toxins, infectious micro-organisms and genetically engineered constructs.

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  What does MCW consider to be a biologic or biohazard?

The Medical College of Wisconsin requires a review of work involving any biologically hazardous or genetically engineered materials prior to onset of research. The scope of review includes infectious agents; biological toxins; all recombinant DNA, both exempt and non-exempt; and all human, non-human primate or sheep-derived materials including blood, tissue and bodily fluids.

  What approvals do I need to work with biohazardous materials?

You must have an Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) approved protocol prior to initiating work involving biologics or biohazards.  Beginning December 21, 2013, IBC protocols must be submitted electronically via eBridge.  More information about the IBC eBridge submission process is available at eBridge Guides - IBC Applications.

Human and non-human primate material registration is accomplished through Biological Safety Officer (BSO) review and approval, based on the need for bloodborne pathogens and/or infectious material shipping training.


Expiration Date
Approved protocols are valid for three years from the date of BSO or IBC’s approval. You must submit a full application to renew your study in advance of the expiration date if you wish to continue the research.


Any modifications you wish to make to your current protocol must be approved by the IBC before it is implemented into your research by submitting an IBC Amendment via eBridge. 


Additional approvals
If biohazardous or genetically engineered materials will be used in animals, you must have an approved IBC protocol in place prior to obtaining approval from the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).  Prior to initiation of live animal work, the Biomedical Resource Center (BRC) will arrange for a meeting with the animal care staff to discuss the hazardous nature of the biological agent to be used in animals. If your work involves the acquisition of human blood or tissue samples through an Institutional Review Board (IRB) application, you must have an approved Human Source Materials registration in place prior to obtaining approval from the IRB.

  What can I do to streamline the approval process?
  • Visit eBridge Guides - IBC Applications on the eBridge Support website.
  • Register for the classroom course Introductory Training for eBridge IBC Applications offered by Research Systems Training.
  • When in doubt, ask your Biological Safety Officer (BSO) for guidance at
  • Allow enough lead-time for the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) and BSO to review your application, including time for you to reply to any questions they may have.
  Is auditing or monitoring required?

The Environmental Health and Safety staff carries out routine laboratory assessments in order to ensure that federal and state requirements for the handling and storing of hazardous materials are being met. The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) is authorized by the Institutional Official to limit or suspend any research that is not in compliance with the Medical College of Wisconsin's biosafety policies and procedures and the IBC-approved protocol(s) in place.  Occasionally, additional assessments must be conducted, depending upon the source of funding or acquisition of a specimen such as a pathogen or toxin from a commercial source.

  What can I do to prevent problems in the laboratory?

Top five tips to prevent problems in your laboratory:

  • Practice standard precautions and always assume material is potentially infectious. If your biosafety cabinet certification is more than one year old, contact the Environmental Health & Safety Department at
  • Store infectious and toxic waste properly. Do not let waste accumulate.
  • Train your staff to work carefully and to minimize the creation of splashes and aerosols. Reduce the use of sharps such as needles and glass pipettes to limit potential injuries. If anyone gets injured, contact the Occupational Health Services for prompt follow up at 414-805-6699.
  • Make sure study-staff wear their safety equipment (e.g., gloves, eyewear)
  • Make sure all study-staff have reviewed the most current Institutional Biosafety Committee approved protocols. Contact the Biological Safety Officer for questions or problems at
  What training is required?

Branches of the federal government that have oversight over biological materials require regular training for employees. Training requirements are based upon both the types of materials handled and the activities involved using those materials such as shipping or genetic engineering activities. Listed below are the current training courses offered for researchers, both basic and clinical, that maintains compliance for the College with these agencies.  The courses offered for required training include:

  • Biosafety & Bloodborne Pathogens for Researchers
  • Bloodborne Pathogens for Clinical Staff
  • Lab-Specific Employee Orientation Checklist
  • Recombinant DNA Training for Principal Investigators and their Research Staff
  • Recombinant DNA for HGT Trials Training for Clinical Staff

Complete details on training for researchers using biologicals can be found on MCW’s intranet site.  If you have access to InfoScope, search for keywords “safety training” and select the link for Environmental Health & Safety Training.

  What resources and additional training are available?

Biosafety training modules provided by the Medical College of Wisconsin include:

  • Biological Safety and Bloodborne Pathogens for Researchers
  • Shipping Biological Materials
  • Animal Biosafety Level 2 Theory and Practice
  • Recombinant DNA 

The Biological Safety Officer is available to provide additional agent-specific training for materials such as viral vectors. In addition, researchers who are assigned to work in the biocontainment facility are required to undergo annual in-person training covering BSL3/ABSL3 theory and practice, biosecurity and respiratory protection.

Complete details on training for researchers using biologicals can be found on MCW’s intranet site. If you have access to InfoScope, search for keywords “safety training” and select the link for Environmental Health & Safety Training.

  What are the relevant policies, procedures and guidelines?

To work with biological materials at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), you must abide by all applicable Federal, State, and local regulations in addition to MCW's policies and guidelines for biological safety.  Faculty must maintain a current Institutional Biosafety Committee protocol, ensure that your study-staff stay current with their training requirements, and work with Environmental Health and Safety staff to ensure that your laboratory space is compliant with the following policies, procedures and guidelines:

  1. National Institutes of Health (NIH) Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules, current edition (referred to as the NIH Guidelines) (59 FR 34496 and as amended)
  2. OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1030
  3. Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories, (PDF) (referred to as the BMBL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Institutes of Health, 5th ed., December 2009
  Whom do I contact if I have additional questions?

The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) lies within the Office of Research and reviews all applications at the Medical College of Wisconsin for the handling of biohazardous and genetically engineered materials. Contact the IBC administrative staff for guidance on your IBC application with respect to submission deadlines and application details at If you have specific technical questions about biological hazards, contact the Biological Safety Officer at

Contact the IBC

IBC phone 414-955-4279

IBC email

search IBC on InfoScope If you have access to MCW’s intranet, view more detailed information by searching for keyword “IBC” on InfoScope.

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Page Updated 08/03/2016