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Institutional Biosafety Committee


The committee reports to the UTHealth Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer on matters related to recombinant and synthetic nucleic acid molecules in research, clinical and education activities at UTHealth. Specific tasks include:

  • Responsible for policies and procedures relating to recombinant and synthetic nucleic acid molecules used in UTHealth's research, clinical and educational programs.
  • Ensuring UTHealth's compliance with NIH Guidelines and assess the safety of recombinant and synthetic nucleic acid molecules research experiments and any potential risk to public health or the environment.

The Office of Environmental Health & Safety is designated as the monitoring and effector arm of the Institutional Biosafety Committee.

Committee Composition and Chair

Designated by the President on recommendation from the Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer

Membership as required by the "NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant and Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules

Full Members: the committee shall consist of no fewer than five full members, of whom;

  • At least one member from each school with appropriate recombinant technology and/or synthetic biological safety and containment expertise
  • At least two community members
  • A student member

Ex Officio Members: in addition, the following are designated as members without vote

  • Representative from Legal Affairs
  • Safety Manager, Biological Safety Program
  • Safety Manager, Environmental Protection Program
  • Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer
  • Center for Laboratory Animal Medicine and Care representative
  • Employee Health Clinical Services representative

Term of Membership: Staggered three-year cycles

2023 - 2024 Membership Roster

Chair: Dr. Catherine Denicourt, Faculty, McGovern Medical School
Vice Chair: 

Terms Expire August 31, 2024

Dr. Catherine Denicourt, (Chair), Faculty, McGovern Medical School/GSBS
Dr. Nancy Crider, Faculty, School of Nursing
Dr. Brett Perkison, Faculty, School of Public Health
Dr. Carolyn Grimes, Faculty, McGovern Medical School
Mr. Jesus Duran Ramirez, Student, McGovern Medical School

Terms Expire August 31, 2025

Dr. Sigmund Hsu, Faculty, McGovern Medical School
Dr. Eric Brown, Faculty, School of Public Health
Dr. Katherine Brannick, CLAMC, McGovern Medical School
Mr. Petko Ivanov, Community Member, Rice University

Terms Expire August 31, 2026

Dr. Scott Patlovich, Environmental Health and Safety (designated BSO)
Dr. Nicolas Justice, Faculty, McGovern Medical School
Dr. Yauhuan Lou, Faculty, School of Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences
Mr. Imad Khalil, Community Member, MD Anderson
Dr. Emma Napoli, Faculty, McGovern Medical School

Ex Officio Members

Dr. Kevin Morano, Senior Vice President for Academic and Faculty Affairs
Dr. Kristin King, Environmental Health and Safety
Mr. Alan Lucas, Environmental Health and Safety
Ms. Meredith Mills, Legal Affairs
Ms. Joy Harrison, Occupational Health
Dr. Mary Robinson, Animal Care