Environmental, Health and Safety Services

Teaching Labs Using Biohazards

  • Faculty in charge of teaching laboratory courses (or their designees) must submit a protocol to the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) when one or more of the following materials are used:
    • Risk Group 2 agents
    • recombinant plant/animal/microbial material (Risk Group 1 or 2)
    • human/ non-human primate specimen material or cell lines
    • animals inoculated with infectious/recombinant material
  • Likewise:
    • Faculty in charge of teaching labs that utilize live animals must submit a protocol to the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).
    • Faculty in charge of teaching labs that collect and/or utilize human specimen material obtained from class participants or other volunteers, and/or derive data from that material, must contact the Institutional Review Board (IRB) to learn if their projects require IRB protocol submissions.
  • Teaching protocols are evaluated for approval by the IBC following initial submission, after which they are reviewed annually. Teaching protocols must be renewed every three years, just the same as research protocols.
  • Teaching labs that utilize Risk Group 1 non-recombinant agents perform a self-inspection which is submitted to the IBC; teaching labs utilizing Risk Group 2 agents and/or recombinant material are subject to a biosafety inspection by a Biosafety Officer.
  • Virginia Tech IBC and EHS apply the standards and practices outlined in the ASM Guidelines for Biosafety In Teaching Labs when reviewing teaching protocols, setting requirements to be met in teaching labs, and inspecting teaching lab facilities.

Further Information and Guidance:

EHS Biosafety Group