Texas Tech University

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Work with microorganisms, recombinant/synthetic nucleic acids, human and animal materials, insect and animal vectors, and other potentially biohazardous materials is necessary in many university research and teaching applications and requires special practices and procedures, and in some cases, special equipment to protect personnel and the environment.

Texas Tech University is actively committed to preserving the health and safety of its students, staff, and faculty and to protecting the environment and surrounding community.  The Department of Environmental Health & Safety provides guidance regarding the assessment, containment, and security of biological materials that complement the institutional operating policies which support compliance with the guidelines, recommendations, and regulations applicable to such work.

News & Program Updates

Cayuse is live for IBC Protocol Management!

In January 2023, the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) launched the Cayuse Hazard Safety application for IBC protocol management!  This is the same cloud-based application currently in use by the both the IACUC and IRB for protocol management.  The IBC Office will be working to transfer protocols over the coming months.  All new protocols, protocol renewals, and protocol amendments will be completed within the Cayuse system. 

To get started in Cayuse, researchers and laboratory personnel will need to complete the personnel form to be added to the system.  Please email the IBC at ibc.ehs@ttu.edu after you have completed your form for your submission to be processed.  Visit the Researcher Toolbox to access Cayuse and review tools to help you complete and manage your application in the Hazard Safety application.  

Recent Biosafety & Biosecurity Program Changes

  • Per the BMBL 6th Ed., self-closing door mechanisms are required on the exterior doors of BSL2 facilities.  This requirement will be noted on safety surveys as of January 2023.
  • All biologically derived toxin use requires an IBC protocol and a minimum BSL2 containment per the BMBL.  This is in contrast to the previous requirement for only toxins listed as select agents or recombinant work involving toxins to be reviewed by the IBC.  
  • Work that involves prions or prion-like proteins requires an IBC protocol and a minimum of BSL2 containment.  There had not previously been a formal position from the IBC on this work; however with the discovery of CWD in the state, the IBC felt this position needed to be formalized.
  • A protocol waiver may be requested for certain biological work subject to IBC review.  This is primary in regard to sample collection and pathogen screening with molecular or point-of-care diagnostics where propagation of an agent is not performed.  Stipulations, such as safety requirements and downstream requirements for positive samples, will be outline within the waiver proposal and finalized in the waiver from the IBC;  this is intended to minimize regulatory burden for researchers doing surveillance work for certain agents.  Please email the IBC Office at ibc.ehs@ttu.edu if you are interested in pursing a waiver for your work.

Resources & Links

TTU Laboratory Safety Manual

Centers for Disease Control

CDC-Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories 6th ed.

NIH-OSP Division of Biosafety, Biosecurity, and Emerging Biotechnology

Pathogen Safety Data Sheets - Health Canada

American Biological Safety Association - ABSA International

OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen Standard

Texas Department of State Health Services - Bloodborne Pathogens

Model Bloodborne Pathogen Exposure Plan

Safety Videos

Safely doffing gloves - "Beaking" Method