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In accordance with the NIH Recombinant DNA Guidelines, Tufts University formed an Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) responsible for the review and approval of recombinant DNA (rDNA) and infectious agent use. Committee members have extensive experience in the areas of infectious disease, molecular biology, physical containment, research animals and biosafety, as well as regulatory and policy issues.

Initially, this IBC served all three Tufts University campuses, however the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine formed its own IBC based in Grafton to focus specifically on rDNA and infectious agent research on the Cummings School campus in 2005. The IBC at the Cummings School subsequently registered with the NIH and since 2007, this IBC has assumed responsibility for the rDNA and infectious agent research done at the Grafton campus, including research at the Tufts New England RBL.

Individuals from the Tufts Cummings School are nominated and approved to serve on this IBC by the Office of the Vice Provost. The Town of Grafton Board of Selectmen also nominates two Grafton community members, who are then approved by Tufts’ Vice Provost Office. A third Grafton community member may serve as an alternate IBC member and a Grafton Board of Health Agent is also designated an ex officio member.

On behalf of Tufts Cummings School, the IBC at the Cummings School is responsible for:

  • Review of recombinant DNA and infectious agent research conducted at or sponsored by the institution for compliance with the NIH Guidelines. This review includes: independent assessment of the containment levels required by the NIH Guidelines for the proposed research; assessment of the facilities, procedures, practices, and training and expertise of personnel involved in recombinant DNA and infectious agent research.
  • Notification of the Principal Investigator with results of the IBC’s review and approval.
  • Containment levels as specified in the relevant sections of the NIH Guidelines dealing with Whole Animals and Whole Plants.
  • Periodic review of recombinant DNA research conducted at the Cummings School to ensure compliance with the NIH Guidelines.
  • Adoption of emergency plans covering accidental spills and personnel contamination resulting from recombinant DNA and infectious agent research.
  • Reporting of any significant problems with or violations of the NIH Guidelines and any significant research-related accidents or illnesses to the appropriate institutional official and NIH/OBA within 30 days, unless the Institutional Biosafety Committee determines that a report has already been filed by the Principal Investigator.
  • Other functions as may be delegated.

Additional information about the IBC is available through the Office of the Vice Provost for Research