IBC Resources

Report an Incident

In the event of a fire, serious injury or other life-threatening situation, call 911.

If an incident involving recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules, biohazardous agents, materials or toxins occurs, follow the guidelines below. An incident can be a spill, work-related injury, sickness or exposure.

If a spill occurs, the following must take place:

  • Isolate the area and if possible, contain the spill
  • Contact the PI and Biosafety Officer immediately at 512-471-3511 (24-hour hotline)
  • Once the spill is cleaned up, submit an Incident Notification Form to EHS

In the event of a needle stick, bite, scratch or direct contact (splash to skin or face):


Select Agents and Toxins

The use, possession or transfer of a biological material listed by the CDC as a Select Agent and/or Select Toxin, and not listed as an exempt strain or quantity requires registration through the Federal Select Agent program. Researchers must notify Environmental Health and Safety before working with a select agent or toxin.

Exempt Quantities of Select Toxins

Per the federal regulations, each principal investigator (PI) may possess up to a specified amount of Select Agent Toxin and not be required to register with the CDC or USDA. It is important to ensure that the total amount of toxin per PI is maintained below these limits at all times in order to remain exempt from registration with the CDC and the attendant restrictive requirements. See the CDC/USDA Permissible Toxin Amount list for details on each total amount allowed by toxin.

Due to the severe penalties associated with non-compliance with the Select Agent rules, it is imperative that each laboratory maintains current inventory information for these substances.

Requirements for the possession of exempt quantities of Select Toxins

Failure to register a Select Agent toxin is a criminal offense, punishable by up to five years in prison and/or $500,000 in fines (Public Health Security & Preparedness Response Act of 2002).


Dual Use Research of Concern (DURC)

Dual use research of concern (DURC) is a subset of dual use research defined as life sciences research that, based on current understanding, can be reasonably anticipated to provide knowledge, information, products or technologies that could be directly misapplied to pose a significant threat with broad potential consequences to public health and safety, agricultural crops and other plants, animals, the environment, materiel or national security.

The United States Government Policy for Institutional Oversight of Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern (IODURC) outlines the criteria for what qualifies as Dual Use Research of Concern (DURC).

Research involving unattenuated versions of any of the following agents may qualify:

  1. Avian influenza virus (highly pathogenic)
  2. Bacillus anthracis
  3. Botulinum neurotoxin (For the purposes of this policy, there are no exempt quantities of botulinum neurotoxin. Research involving any quantity of botulinum neurotoxin should be evaluated for DURC potential.)
  4. Burkholderia mallei
  5. Burkholderia pseudomallei
  6. Ebola virus
  7. Foot-and-mouth disease virus
  8. Francisella tularensis
  9. Marburg virus
  10. Reconstructed 1918 Influenza virus
  11. Rinderpest virus
  12. Toxin-producing strains of Clostridium botulinum
  13. Variola major virus
  14. Variola minor virus
  15. Yersinia pestis

It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator to identify his or her research involving one or more of these agents or toxins listed in IODURC Section 6.2.1 and notify the IBC of that research to be reviewed for its DURC potential.


NIH Guidelines and Biosafety Resources

NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules (NIH Guidelines)
NIH Biosafety Guidance
NIH Guidelines Risk Groups
Animal Experiments Covered Under the NIH Guidelines
Guidance on Biosafety Considerations for Research with Lentiviral Vectors
Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL) 6th Edition
Risk Group Database
Pathogen Safety Data Sheets and Risk Assessment
HHS and USDA Select Agents and Toxins
Dual Use Research of Concern and US Government Policy on Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern
USDA Animal and Plant Inspection Service Biotechnology Regulatory services (APHIS/BRS)
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
CDC MMWR Guidelines for Biosafety Laboratory Competency

IBC Contacts

Ryan Gray, Ph.D.
IBC Chair, College of Natural Sciences

Enamul Huq, Ph.D.
IBC Vice-Chair, College of Natural Sciences


IBC Staff Directory

Send all protocol-related matters to ibc@austin.utexas.edu