Texas Tech University

Institutional Biosafety Committee


The committee reports to the Vice President of Research and provides direction for the following:

  • Responsible for policies and procedures relating to potentially pathogenic microorganisms and implementation of biological safety programs for Texas Tech University.
  • Ensuring Texas Tech University's compliance with NIH guidelines and assess the safety of recombinant DNA research experiments and any potential risk to public health or the environment.
  • To certify investigators, their laboratories and their programs for work with:
    • Recombinant and/or synthetic nucleic acid activities; and/or
    • Materials potentially infectious to humans, plants or other animals; and/or
    • arthropods that serve as vectors of disease to human, plants, or other animals; and/or
    • The use of potentially infectious human and/or non-human primate materials (e.g., unfixed tissues, cell lines, and body fluids/excretions/secretions); and/or
    • The use of animal cell lines that pose a danger to humans and/or those immortalized by means that render them dangerous to humans; and/or
    • Any biologically derived toxin or recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules containing genes for the biosynthesis of toxin molecules; and/or
    • Prions or prion-like proteins; and/or
    • Any Select Agent as listed in 7 CFR 331, 9 CFR 121, and 42 CFR 73 (Select Agent Program).
  • To produce and update the University Biological Safety Manual and oversee its implementation in the research laboratories and studios of Texas Tech University.
  • To review and recommend to Environmental Health & Safety the need for general and specific training programs for research, studio and teaching activities dealing with potentially pathogenic microorganisms and recombinant DNA, and to review the appropriateness and effectiveness of such training programs.

The Department of Environmental Health & Safety helps coordinate the committee and helps develop and implement the biological safety programs of the IBC.

Committee Composition


Designated by the Vice President of Research on recommendation from the Assistant Vice President of Environmental Health & Safety.


As required by the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules (Sec IV-B-2), the IBC shall be comprised of no fewer than 5 members so that they collectively have the experience and expertise in recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecule technology, the capability to assess the safety of this and other research per their charge, and to identify any potential risk to public health or the environment. 

At least 2 members must not be affiliated with the institution and who represent the interest of the surrounding community with respect to health and protection of the environment.

Texas Tech University OP 74.05 further describes the content of the IBC to include the following:

  • A member of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee;
  • At least two citizens of the Lubbock community;
  • At least three faculty members from TTU with expertise in biohazards;
  • One member from laboratory technical staff;
  • The Assistant Vice President for Research (Environmental Health and Safety) and/or a designated representative; and 
  • The University Biological Safety Officer.

Ex Officio (without vote) members include the Assistant Vice President for Environmental Health & Safety and the Associate Vice President for Research for Responsible Research.

The term of membership for full members are staggered three-year cycles.

2021-22 Membership Roster


Dr. Hong Zhang - Molecular Plant Biologist, Biology

Associate Chair

Dr. Cynthia Reinoso Webb M(ASCP) - Clinical Microbiologist and Biosafety Specialist, Environmental Toxicology

Committee Members

Dr. Corey Brelsfoard – Entomologist, Biology

Mrs. Katie Buxkemper – Staff, Animal & Food Sciences

Dr. Jason Fritzler – Parasitologist, School of Veterinary Medicine

Mr. Gary Henniger – Community Member, BASF

Dr. Vinicius Machado – Veterinarian and Animal Specialist, Veterinary Sciences

Dr. Kay Millerick – Environmental Microbiologist, Civil, Environmental & Construction Engineering

Dr. Steve Presley – Entomologist, Vector-borne and Zoonotic Diseases - Emerging Biological Threats, Environmental Toxicology - ARO

Dr. Benildo de los Reyes – Plant Biologist, Plant & Soil Science

Mr. Shane Scoggin – Staff, Nutritional Sciences

Dr. Jyotsna Sharma – Plant Microbiologist, Plant and Soil Sciences

Dr. Ebenezer Tumban – Molecular Virology and Vaccinology, School of Veterinary Medicine

Mr. Neil Weems – Community Member, City of Plainview

Dr. Tiffanie Brooks – University Veterinarian, Animal Care Services

Mrs. Rebecca Maloney CBSP(ABSA)  – University Biological Safety Officer, Environmental Health & Safety

Ex Officio Members

Ms. Claris Davis – FSO, Insider Threat, Office of Research Services

Ms. Allison Matviko - Assistant Director Export & Security Compliance, Office of Research Services

Mr. Matt Roe – Administrative Representative, Assistant Vice President of Environmental Health & Safety - ARO

Dr. Alice Young – Associate Vice President of Research, Office of the Vice President of Research - RO

Meeting Frequency

The IBC meets monthly as needed; special meetings may be called to address urgent matters.  Remaining meeting dates for FY2022-2023 are below.  All items for committee consideration must be provided no less that 5 business days before the upcoming meeting.  

January 27th

February 24th

March 31st

April 28th

May 26th

June 30th

July 28th

August 25th