Tarleton State University’s Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) oversees all aspects of Tarleton’s biohazards use program for research, teaching, and testing. The IBC reviews all permit applications for biohazardous materials use and compliance with federal regulations. In addition, the IBC performs inspections of laboratories to assess that appropriate biosafety level requirements are in place, and oversees training and educational programs. Furthermore, the IBC provides oversight in lab safety, lab security, biological containment practices, emergency contingency plans (including containment and cleanup of spills), and exposure of personnel to biohazardous materials.

The IBC is composed of a minimum of five individuals: a chairperson, a biosafety officer, an animal expert, a plant expert, and two local community representatives.

To ensure that biologically hazardous materials are used safely, and in compliance with federal and state laws, regulations, and guidelines, the IBC adheres to the following:

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/National Institutes of Health (CDC/NIH) Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL)
  • The NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic DNA Molecules (NIH Guidelines)

What requires IBC approval?

  • Biological agents (bacteria, rickettsia, fungi, viruses, protozoa, parasites, and prions) that may cause disease in humans, animals, or plants;
  • Biological materials that may contain microorganisms;
  • Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules
    • Molecules that are constructed by joining nucleic acid molecules and that can replicate in a living cell (e.g., recombinant nucleic acids or plasmids);
    • Nucleic acid molecules that are chemically or by other means synthesized or amplified, including those that are chemically or otherwise modified but can base pair with naturally occurring nucleic acid molecules, i.e., synthetic nucleic acides (e.g., primers or siRNA);
  • Human and other primate-derived substances (e.g., blood, body fluids, cells and cell lines, or tissues);
  • Toxins of biological origin.

Applying for an IBC Permit

All applications for an IBC permit require Part I, Part II, and Part IV to be complete (additional sections may be required dependent on the scope of the research).

Completed application packets should be emailed to Alex Plucker.

All individuals listed on a protocol are required to complete the following trainings:

  • CITI programs “Introduction to Biosafety”
  • CITI programs “Responsible Conduct of Research”
  • Additionally, if work is to be done at BSL-2, personnel are required to complete the Traintraq “BSL-2 Training”

Also, all personnel are required to complete an annual Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) enrollment survey. Information on completing trainings and OHS enrollment can be found in the New Researcher Packet BSL-1 and New Researcher Packet BSL-2.

The agenda and IBC permits to be reviewed must be provided to the IACUC members in advance of the meeting. The agenda closes the Wednesday of the week prior to the meeting to give members sufficient time to review submissions prior to the meeting.

Concerns regarding biosafety?

Report concerns to the TSU IBC office via email or call (254) 968-1815.
Confidentiality is considered whenever possible. TSU is dedicated to ensuring safety of laboratory personnel as well as the public when biohazards are used for Teaching and Research. TSU will not tolerate retaliation for credible, good faith reports of biosafety concerns. 

Points of Contact

Alex Plucker, Research Compliance Coordinator
(254) 968-1815

Dr. Dustin Edwards, Chairman, Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences
(254) 968-9153



All researchers engaged in sponsored research activities must fully and conspicuously disclose the identity of the research sponsor on or in any communications intended for public dissemination or use (Texas Education Code 51.954 and 51.955).

More Information