Biological Safety

Return to Research Safety

As of January, 2014, the IBC has approved the review of BSL1/RG1 organisms by the Biological Safety Officer (IBC Proposal BSL1/RG1 review).  This proposal also gives a general outline of the review and approval process for BSL2/RG2 as well as ALL recombinant/synthetic DNA projects.  We hope these changes will begin to streamline some hazard reviews.  More information can be found in our 1/15 newsletter and the Biosafety Manual will soon be updated to reflect this policy. The primary objective of the Biosafety Program at The University of Alabama is to ensure a safe environment for faculty, staff and students while working with all types of biological materials. 120719_Campus_SummerTo mitigate the inherent risks associated with the laboratory setting, we seek to build a culture of safe and compliant work practices at the university.  Our office also seeks to facilitate collaborative outreach between investigators at UA and the larger academic community. Also, our office provides a route to properly dispose of both biologically hazardous and regulated medical wastes through our contracted disposal service.

Biosafety Program Information

Specific information about the UA Biological Safety Program can be found in the UA Biosafety Manual.  Assistance is always available from the  Biological Safety Officer (Marcy Huey) and the Biological Safety Manager (Darren Moss) at EHS. Twice yearly, PIs are required to submit a self-audit and a biological inventory.  Information about these requirements is found in the manual and these forms are available at:

Information about disposal of biological materials can be found at Autoclave Safety Policy. Laboratory Decommissioning guidelines and equipment/room tags are posted at Forms and Supporting Documents.  Before anyone else can move into a lab room, all lab spaces MUST be decommissioned (by the exiting Lab PI or Research Group) anytime you relinquish control the space for any reason.

Project Registration

It is the policy of The University of Alabama to have all work involving biological material as well as all work involving recombinant or synthetic DNA reviewed by the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC).  Approval must be granted before work begins.  To submit a project or protocol for review, please complete a Biological Use Authorization.** Frequently Asked Questions about the BUA ** Please Note!  The Word version of this form is TEMPORARY while an electronic form can be created.  While it may seem a bit overwhelming at first, you should only complete the sections that are pertinent to your current project that is being submitted for review.  Please be patient as we work through the transition to an electronic process.  Assistance is always available from the  Biological Safety Officer (Marcy Huey) and the Biological Safety Manager (Darren Moss) at EHS. Information about training and the training course request can be found at Training. Information about ordering biological materials, chemicals or other items can be found in Ordering Information. Shipping of biological materials of any type is potentially subject to DOT and/or IATA regulations.  Please review our Shipping Information. Additional information about the Sharps logs, Medical Waste or Bloodborne Pathogen Programs can be found in:

We have information regarding investigator responsibilities under the “NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules”.

Additional information about the IBC and the BUA review process can be found on the Biosafety Page of the Office of Research Compliance.

Some helpful links