Biological Safety

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The national guidelines for best practices for working safely with biological agents are listed in the CDC publication “Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories,” or BMBL. Biosafety risk assessment is the process by which a researcher determines appropriate biosafety level one through four (BSL1 to BSL4) or vertebrate animal biosafety level one through four (ABSL1 to ABSL4). This publication also contains a brief discussion of NIH oversight of work with recombinant DNA (rDNA). 

Work at BSL1 through 4, ABSL1 through 4, and work with rDNA must be preapproved by the Institutional Biosafety Committee. Please fill out a Memorandum of Understanding and Agreement (MUA) and submit it to the IBC before beginning work with pathogenic microorganisms or rDNA. The MUA forms can be found in the forms links; one form is for work with recombinant DNA, and one form is for work with pathogens. Completed MUA forms should be submitted to Dr. Andrew Wood, Institutional Biosafety Officer, at

Do you have any questions about biological management issues? Please e-mail or call 618-453-7180.