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Biological Safety

Biosafety is the principles and practices employed to protect laboratory personnel and the environment from exposure or infection while working with living organisms, biological materials, or infectious agents. Key to this protection is strict adherence to standard microbiological practices and techniques. Laboratory personnel working with infectious agents or potentially infected materials must be made aware of the potential hazards and must be trained in the techniques required for the safe handling such material. Key references for Biosafety principles are the RFUMS Biosafety Manual,   the CDC/NIH Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL) and the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules.​

Members of the Public interested in further information regarding the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) may contact the RFUMS Environmental, Health and Safety Department at (847) 578-3422.

​​​Biohazard Picture.jpg

International symbol for
​biohazard or biological hazard​​


Training is on-line and located on the University D2L web site. The online training provides an overview of:

  • ​components of a biohazard risk assessment
  • risk group classifications
  • biosafety levels
  • regulations for recombinant DNA research
  • select agents and toxins
  • administrative and environmental controls to mitigate exposure to biohazards
  • decontamination and spill response
  • management of biohazardous waste

Contact EHS (X3422) for instructions on how to register for the Biosafety Training class. 

Shipment of Biological Materials

It is the goal of RFUMS to ensure the safe transportation of biological materials while complying with all applicable regulations. Shipments of biological materials may be regulated by the Department of Transportation (DOT), the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). International shipments may also necessitate importation or exportation requirements such as permits for the shipments. Contact Shipping/Receiving (X8666) if you need to arrange the shipping of biological materials.

IBC and Lab Specific Protocol Review

The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) reviews and authorizes research involving recombinant DNA and Pathogenic agents in order to safeguard the health and safety of RFUMS personnel and students, the community, and the environment. IBC, together with the University Biological Safety Officer (Patricia Loomis), work to insure compliance with applicable federal and state regulations and guidelines, granting agency guidelines, as well as University policies and procedures.  Before beginning or renewing any research involving recombinant DNA (including research  that may be deemed "exempt" under the NIH Guidelines) or Pathogenic agents, your research must be registered with the Biological Safety Officer in the EHS office and approved by the IBC.

Initial registration and approval of your lab specific protocol includes:

Registration of grant applications covered under your approved lab specific protocol includes:

Significant Changes to your approved lab specific protocol includes:


Further information is available in the following references: