Mission/Goals

The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) at the Broad Institute is charged under the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules (NIH Guidelines) with reviewing Broad research projects utilizing rDNA. The Broad has chosen to expand the role of the IBC to include oversight of non-recombinant research involving biological agents such as bacteria and viruses and human or animal materials such as blood, tissues, or cells. The IBC works to ensure that all these types of biological research activities are conducted in compliance with government regulations and all applicable Broad policies.

Principal Investigators (PIs) at Broad with projects involving rDNA, biological agents or toxins, animals, or human or animal materials must submit an IBC Protocol to the IBC for review before beginning each project. IBC protocols contain summaries of projects and details of agents and biological materials to be used and training requirements for personnel who will perform the work.

The ultimate goal of such reviews is to ensure the health and safety of all who have potential to be affected by this type of work conducted at or by the Broad, including the researchers themselves, other Broad personnel, the wider community, and the environment. Community interests are represented on the committee by Community Representatives who do not have a stake in research activities occurring at the Broad. The Broad's occupational health provider, MIT Medical, also has a representative sitting on the IBC.

In its additional role as the Broad's Embryonic Stem Cell Research Oversight (ESCRO) committee, the IBC also reviews all proposed use of human embryonic and pluripotent stem cells for compliance with NIH and National Academy of Science guidelines for stem cell research.