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Safety Tip Tuesdays – IBC Community Representatives

Many local public health departments enforce ordinances that require compliance with the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules (NIH Guidelines), regardless of federal funding.  The NIH Guidelines establish requirements for Institutional Biosafety Committee review of projects involving rDNA, and one of the requirements is to have community representatives as members of the IBC.  Community reps are local citizens that are not affiliated with the institution in any way, and their role is to be the voice of the local community regarding the research being conducted at the institution.  It can often be very difficult to find community reps to serve on IBC because there are very strict limitations on the compensation that can be provided to these volunteers.  A few ideas of where to find potential community reps include local schools, senior centers, local events, and outreach programs.  It is always a good idea to phone screen potential community reps to ask basic questions rather than accepting any interested person.

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