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BIO

Biosafety

The Biosafety Program works to ensure that any work associated with biohazards or recombinant/synthetic nucleic acids is done safely and in accordance with regulations.

Resources for COVID-19-Related Research

The Tufts University Biosafety Office is working in partnership with groups across the institution to help keep the Tufts community healthy and safe. Many resources have been assembled to help students, faculty, and staff.

Approval Process and Biosafety Guidelines for Laboratory Research

Note that new resources will be posted as they become available. Check back periodically for current guidance.

Important Notices:

For information on ramping up research, please visit the OVPR Research Ramp Up page. Links to resources that can be found there include:

  • Laboratory Ramp Up Checklist
  • Face Masks and Personal Protective Equipment Guidance for Tufts Laboratory Personnel
  • Infection Control guidance
  • University guidance on face coverings, social distancing and other COVID-19 control measures

Approval Process

  • All COVID-19-related research at Tufts University must first be approved by the Integrative Safety Committee. Please refer to the OVPR COVID-19 Research Projects & Requests page for information on requesting approval.
  • All COVID-19 related research at Tufts Medical Center must be reviewed by the COVID-19 Research Oversight Committee. Please submit this Request for COVID-19 research related projects for the committee’s review. Research Administration and our regulatory committees will not review or approve any COVID-19 research project unless the COVID-19 Research Oversight Committee has approved it.  
  • If the research involves handling SARS-CoV-2 virus, virus components, genetic elements, or patient samples, then IBC approval may be required also, in accordance with the IBC Scope. Contact the Biosafety Office for assistance.
  • Clinical research projects that involve processing or handling of patient samples requires Biosafety Office approval, even if IBC approval is not required. Contact the Biosafety Office for assistance, or if you are a Tufts Medical Center researcher, consult the following resources:

Biosafety Guidelines

  • If your research involves ANY patient specimens or other human source materials, please refer to the Biosafety Guidelines for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) and Research for information on new precautions that are required for such work. 
    • Note that this information applies, even if your project is not related to COVID-19 research, because of the risk that your human source materials might contain the virus.
    • This information also applies to clinical research projects at Tufts University and Tufts Medical Center.
    • The Biosafety Guidelines for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) and Research has been developed for researchers at Tufts University and Tufts Medical Center to describe the enhanced safety requirements pertaining to work involving SARS-CoV-2 and the clinical specimens, environmental specimens, or other research materials that might contain the virus or viral RNA. Please consult this document prior to starting the work. Contact the Biosafety Office for assistance in interpreting the guidelines or determining what approvals are necessary for your research.
  • If your research involves handling ANY SARS-CoV-2 genetic material (e.g.- amplicons, plasmids, synthetic templates) please refer to the guidance “Preventing Laboratory Contamination with SARS-CoV-2 Genetic Elements” for information on new precautions that are required for such work.
    • This information applies to all Tufts University researchers even if you are not handling virus or materials that might contain the virus. Any nucleic acid sequences derived from the virus that can be amplified pose a potential risk of interfering with surveillance and diagnostic testing.
    • This guidance has been developed to avoid contaminating personnel (lab and non-lab personnel) with material that might give rise to a positive COVID-19 test. The guidance is subject to change as recommendations from public health officials become available.

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