Institutional Biosafety Committee Open Meeting Press Release

Tufts Welcomes Public to Institutional Biosafety Committee Open Meeting September 24, 2011

North Grafton, MA, September 2, 2011

The Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University welcomes the public to an open meeting of its Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) on Saturday, September 24, 2011 from 10am to 11am in the Kohnstamm Conference Room of the Administration Building, 201 Westboro Road, Grafton, immediately prior to the school's Open House celebration.

Scheduled topics of discussion, with opportunities to ask questions, include the role of the IBC in the school's biomedical research, overview of a typical meeting, its oversight of biosafety procedures and a review of registration application, approval and post-approval oversight of research.

In accordance with the NIH Recombinant DNA Guidelines, Tufts University formed an Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) that is responsible for the review and approval of recombinant DNA (rDNA) and infectious agent use. Committee members have extensive experience in the areas of infectious disease, molecular biology, physical containment, research animals and biosafety, as well as regulatory and policy issues.

As an institution dedicated to developing and enhancing cures, vaccines and therapeutics for all sorts of infectious diseases, the Cummings School safeguards public health, said Sawkat Anwer, DMVH, PhD, associate dean for research at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. Increasing the public's understanding of this research is a major goal of the school's, and this open meeting of the IBC is one of the many ways we try to do so.

In 2005, the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine formed an IBC based in Grafton to focus specifically on rDNA and infectious agent research on the Cummings School campus. In 2006, the Cummings School IBC registered with NIH and, in March 2007, this IBC assumed responsibility for the rDNA and infectious agent research done at the Grafton campus.

Membership on the Grafton IBC includes individuals nominated by the Cummings School and two members of the Grafton community nominated by the Board of Selectmen. A third Grafton community member may also serve as an alternate IBC member. Beginning in 2008, the Grafton Board of Health Agent was also designated an ex officio member of the Grafton IBC. All members are approved by the Vice Provost's office at Tufts University.

This year's open meeting is the third since 2009. Cummings School officials moved the meeting to the fall to coincide with the school's annual Open House, which will take place from 11am to 3pm on September 24.

For more information can be found on the Institutional Biosafety Committee page.


About the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine

Founded in 1978 in North Grafton, MA, the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University is known for academic programs that impact society and the practice of veterinary medicine; five hospitals that treat over 30,000 cases each year; and groundbreaking research that benefits animal, public and environmental health.