General Information

What is Biohazard?

Terminology & Acronyms


Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)

Biological Safety Coordinator


What is a Biohazard?

Biohazards are microorganisms, biological materials, and/or agents which present a risk or potential risk of infection to humans or animals and may negatively impact the environment.  Laboratories must be provide controls to prevent release of these biohazardous materials and protect the laboratory employees from exposure.  Unique to living biohazardous microorganisms in comparison to other laboratory hazards is the ability to reproduce and with increasing numbers comes the increasing threat of problems.  Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) introduce an unknown element into the risk assessment process.  These organisms are not typically well-characterized and the associated risks have not been identified.


Terminolgy & Acronyms

BSC - Biological Safety Cabinet

GMO - Genetically Modified Organism

LAI- laboratory Acquired Infections

IBC- Institutional Biosafety Committee

RAC-Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee (NIH)

OBA-Office of Biotechnology Activities

NIH-National Institutes of Health

DHHS-Department of Health and Human Services

WHO- World Health Organization

CDC-Center for Disease Control

DHS-Department of Homeland Security

CMU-Central Michigan University

ORSP-Office of Research and Sponsored Programs 



Central Michigan University

Office of Research and Sponsored Programs

Institutional Biosafety Committee

CST Chemical/Radiation Safety Officer

Environmental Health and Safety

Biological Safety Coordinator

Department Chairperson

Principal Investigator

Laboratory Personnel

Student Assistants

Non-Technical Support Staff 


Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)

Research or laboratory operations conducted at Central Michigan University involving any potentially biohazardous agents must be conducted according to protocols approved by the IBC.  The IBC reviews protocols which may involve the use of infectious agents, recombinant DNA or RNA, biotoxins, tissue culture cells, or materials originating from humans or non-human primates.

It is the duty of the Principal Investigator (PI) to register the work with the IBC with adequate time for the committee to carefully review the study


Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) Members

Gregory Colores-IBC Chair, CMU Professor, Microbiology

Thomas E. Schultz- Biological Safety Coordinator

Jennifer Schisa- CMU Professor, genetics

Michael Sandstrom- CMU professor, psychology and neuroscience

Jeff Percha, Member - no CMU affiliation

Cordell DeMattei Member - no CMU affiliation

Craig Reynolds- CMU designee of vice provost of research 


Biological Safety Coordinator  

The Biological Safety Coordinator's (BSC) responsibilities include:

* Develop and maintain the biosafety program
* Inspect, monitor, and perform risk assessments on laboratories using biohazardous materials 
   or agents
 * Serve as a technical resource to researchers on biosafety matters
 * Serve as a liaison between principal investigators and the IBC
 * Make recommendations to the IBC regarding approval of research proposals
 * Serve as a member of the IBC
 * Works closely with other safety personnel on laboratory safety issues
 * Provide biosafety training for laboratory personnel
 * Manage the proper disposal of biological waste

If you have any questions or need any further information, please contact Tom Schultz at (989) 774-3279 or  ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Central Michigan University • 1200 S. Franklin St. • Mount Pleasant, Mich. 48859 • 989-774-4000