As a major research institution, the UW-Madison must provide assurances that its biomedical laboratory practices are in compliance with state and federal regulations and guidelines.
Office of Biological Safety
At UW-Madison, the Office of Biological Safety (OBS) provides oversight and assistance in assuring compliance with all laws, regulations, and rules governing biomedical laboratory practices and facilities.
The OBS is the administrative office of the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC), which reviews research activities involving biologically hazardous materials and/or recombinant DNA molecules/organisms.
OBS requires submission of a Biosafety Protocol for research activities involving:
- Microbiological agents infectious to humans and/or animals.
- Exotic plants, animals, and microbes (e.g., nonindigenous plants or insect pathogens, or biological control agents)
- Potentially infectious materials derived from humans (e.g., established cell lines) and from animals, including their blood, tissues, and cell lines, for which a reasonable potential for transmission of zoonotic agents exists, e.g., wild-trapped animals, sheep, and rhesus macaques.
- Select agents. CDC regulates these microbes and toxins due to their threat to public health and safety.
- Recombinant DNA molecules and recombinant DNA-containing organisms or cell cultures which are subject to the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules. Please contact OBS about requirements for protocols involving human gene therapy trials. (Many rDNA experiments are considered to be low-risk yet still are subject to the Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules.)
- Prions: proteins that reproduce independently and cause spongiform diseases (chronic wasting disease in deer, elk; mad cow disease in cattle; Creutzfeld-Jakob disease in humans)
Investigators planning to work with materials/organisms listed above must:
- Submit a Biosafety Protocol for review by OBS and/or the Institutional Biosafety Committee
- Ensure that lab personnel complete appropriate Training
- Report potential exposures to or releases of organisms/biological toxins within 24 hours of the event using the online First Report of Exposure/Release form
|UW-Madison Campus Resources|
|Biosafety Protocol Instructions and Forms||OBS biosafety protocol instructions and forms|
|First Report of Exposure/Release Form||Online form for reporting potential exposures to or releases of organisms/biological toxins|
|UW Madison Office of Biological Safety (OBS)||Office of Biological Safety main site|
|Dual Use Research of Concern (DURC)||Forms, links, and training information for researchers using DURC Agents|
|Biosafety Training||All lab personnel (including PIs and graduate students) involved in biological research must complete specified training courses within 30 days of beginning work on campus.|
|Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL) 5th Edition||CDC Guidance for the use of Microbiological’s in Research Laboratories|
|Lab Guidance/Policy Information||Lab Safety Guide, bloodborne pathogens, chemical hygiene plan, pesticides, hazmat shipping and DEA controlled substance information.|
|NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules||NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules (NIH Guidelines)|
|USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)||Information on regulations and permits for import/export and transport of exotic plants, animals, and microbes (e.g., nonindigenous plants or insect pathogens, or biological control agents).|
General Compliance Questions
CALS Research Compliance Specialist
Office of Biological Safety
For individual OBS staff contacts, see Office of Biological Safety Staff page