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**New Biological Agent Reference Sheets (BARS)**
These documents summarize biosafety information for biological agents. The BARS can help to establish standard safety practices in your lab and can be useful training tools for your students. A complete list of the current BARS can be found at the link above. The BARS cover topics such as:

  • Agent characteristics
  • Safety procedures
  • Training
  • Exposure and spill management
  • Biosafety level containment

Example BARS:

Please contact the EHS biosafety team ( or the Cornell IBC office ( if you would like to discuss incorporating these in your MUA or training program, or if you have recommendations for biological agents for which a BARS should be developed.

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About the Cornell Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)

The Cornell IBC is the institutional body responsible for oversight of activities involving biohazardous materials as required by the National Institutes of Health Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules (NIH Guidelines) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL).

All RESEACHERS must secure IBC approval for their activities with recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules (r/sNA) or biohazardous materials by submitting a Memorandum of Understanding and Agreement (MUA) with the IBC. The MUA is filed through an electronic submission site (e-MUA) and covers r/sNA or biohazardous materials. Research at Biosafety Level -3 requires a separate application.

Research at Biosafety Level -3 requires a separate application. Contact for application

Examples of r/sNA or Biohazardous materials that requires IBC review when used in research:

  • transgenic plants or animals
  • infectious organisms (bacteria, fungi, parasites, prions, rickettsias, viruses, yeasts, etc.) which can cause disease in humans and animals
  • human or non-human-primate materials (body fluids, tissues, cell lines, etc.)
  • biotoxins
  • select agents
  • investigational live, recombinant, synthetic or attenuated virus strains
  • plant pathogens
  • mammalian cell culture

Activities not requiring IBC Approval

Upcoming Events (click event name to see details)

Contact Information

395 Pine Tree Road, Suite 320
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14850
t. 607-255-7219
f. 607-255-0758