Institutional Biosafety Committee

The MSU Institutional Biosafety Committee acts as the institutional review body for all research activities involving the use of recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules as required and outlined in the National Institutes of Health Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules (NIH Guidelines). The primary charge of the IBC was to review the research proposals using the NIH Guidelines as a minimum standard. The purpose of the NIH Guidelines and the IBC review process was to provide researchers with guidance for conducting these studies in a manner that minimized exposure risk for research personnel and the environment at large. As a part of this review, the committee must determine if the Principal Investigator has set the appropriate biosafety level (BSL), evaluate the category of review, methods to be used in the research projects, training records for personnel involved, and other aspects of the project.

Over the years, the role of IBCs in the university setting has expanded to include areas such as research use of human and animal cells, infectious agents, select agents, and toxins. The role continues to increase as research evolves to include dual use, stem cells, and more complicated BSL-2 projects.

The MSU Institutional Biosafety Committee membership and mission has been revised to meet the changing needs of the MSU research community. In addition to recombinant DNA reviews, the committee may provide guidance and assistance on matters such as animal and plant research containment facilities, use of infectious agents, accreditation issues, and emergency response.

The IBC meets on a monthly basis to discuss and review current projects. These meetings are open to the public. If you would like to attend a meeting, contact the BSO.

Institutional Biosafety Committee Roster

Michael H. Bachmann, M.D., Sc.D.
Associate Professor, Dept. of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, MSU

Dr. Bachmann studied medicine in Germany and the U.K., and did his doctoral work on the molecular epidemiology of human and feline immunodeficiency viruses at the Harvard University School of Public Health. His laboratory at MSU is 1) focussing on the molecular genetics of cancer immunity and transplantation tolerance, and 2) developing novel agents to overcome antimicrobial resistance. For the molecular genetic studies his lab employs transposons for gene transfer and knockout in mouse models of cancer and transplantation. All of these biological processes are monitored in real time with highly sensitive bioluminescence imaging, which increases the data obtained per animal and greatly facilitates the analysis.

Hans Cheng
Supervisory Research Geneticist, Avian Disease & Oncology Laboratory

Dr. Cheng is the lead scientist of a research program focused on identifying the genetic and immunological basis for resistance to Marek's disease in chickens.  His lab develops a number of genomic reagents as well as recombinant DNA viruses in order to better understand the virus-host interaction.

Elena Demireva, PhD, IBC Chairperson
Research Specialist
Office of Vice President for Research & Innovation
Institute for Quantitative Health Science and Engineering

Dr. Demireva is the co-director of MSU’s Transgenic and Genome Editing Facility (TGEF), where she is responsible for the Molecular Services Program. TGEF collaborates with researchers to develop transgenic and genome edited organisms by providing support at all stages of the genome editing work process from target strategy to generation of transgenic systems. Dr. Demireva obtained her HBSc in Molecular Biology and Molecular Genetics from the University of Toronto. She joined Columbia University’s Center for Neurobiology and Behavior for her PhD work in neuroscience, where she studied the molecular determinants of motor circuit assembly in the developing spinal cord. She went on to apply her molecular and circuit neurobiology skills to translational studies of psychiatric disease mouse models for her post-doctoral work at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University.

Dr. Demireva’s multidisciplinary background and expertise in molecular biology, genetics, development and neuroscience, is the foundation of TGEF’s consulting services, which include assistance with grant and manuscript editing, gene targeting strategies and experimental design, as well as detailed technical expertise in molecular genetics and genome editing.

Sarah Godbehere Roosa, Lab Representative Member, IBC Vice Chair
Research Technologist II, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

Research Technician in the Amalfitano lab where they study the host-vector innate and adaptive immune responses to adenovirus. They use adenovirus as a gene transfer vector in the development of vaccines for malaria and HIV as well as understanding the pathogenesis of ankylosing spondylitis.

András Komáromy
Associate Professor, Small Animal Clinical Sciences

Dr. András Komáromy is a board certified veterinary ophthalmologist and associate professor at the Michigan State University (MSU). As a clinician-scientist he has a special interest in the study of molecular and cellular disease mechanisms involved in blinding retinal and optic nerve diseases. He is involved in the pre-clinical work for a number of viral-mediated ocular gene therapies. Dr. Komáromy received his veterinary degree (1993) and doctorate (1996) at the University of Zurich. Following his internship in medicine and surgery at MSU (1995/96), he performed his graduate work (PhD 2002) and residency (2000-03) at the University of Florida. He was a post-doctoral fellow (2003-04) and assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania before joining the faculty at MSU in 2012.

David G. Morgan, PhD
Director of the Alzheimer’s Alliance
MSU Foundation Professor of Translational Neuroscience

"Dave" Morgan is Director of the Alzheimer’s Alliance and MSU Foundation Professor of Translational Neuroscience at Michigan State University. Dr. Morgan’s research interests are Alzheimer’s disease, aging and brain function. He is internationally recognized for his work on immunotherapy and gene therapy to treat the Alzheimer-related pathologies. Previously he was CEO of the Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute at the University of South Florida. While there Dr. Morgan oversaw development of Community-Based Memory Screening programs and the country’s first mobile clinical trial unit for Alzheimer’s disease.

Morgan received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Northwestern University and spent 10 years at the University of Southern California before joining the University of South Florida in 1992. He has participated in over 90 grant-years of NIH funded research and published over 200 research articles. Morgan regularly sits on grant review panels for NIH and other agencies. In addition to his research activities, Morgan has consulted with both major pharmaceutical and small biotechnology companies, and advised capital investment organizations regarding the most promising therapeutic approaches to curing Alzheimer’s disease. Morgan has also advocated nationally for additional Alzheimer’s research funding through his role at ResearchersAgainstAlzheimer’s and with the Alzheimer’s Association.

L. Karl Olson
Professor, Physiology

Dr. Olson's work is in the area of molecular endocrinology. Specifically his work centers around the chemical-induced alterations of the regulation of pancreatic islet B cell physiology and signal transduction. Educational Background: University of Minnesota, Ph.D., Pharmacology, 1991. Dr. Olson holds memberships in the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Diabetes Association, the Endocrine Society, and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International.

Simon Petersen-Jones
Professor, Small Animal Clinical Sciences
Myers-Dunlap Endowed Chair in Canine Health

Research Interests include: Hereditary Eye Disease, Retinal Dystrophies, Therapies for Retinal Dystrophies

Guo-qing Song
Associate Professor and Associate Director of PBROC
Department of Horticulture

Dr. Song oversees the activities of the Plant Biotechnology Resource and Outreach Center (PBROC) of Michigan State University. He conducts genetic engineering and plant transformation research for specialty crop in Michigan. His research interest is to improve horticultural crops for high yield using new biotechnology tools. The PBROC has developed and improved transformation protocols using either Agrobacterium- or biolistic-mediated transformation for more than 20 plant species. The PBROC provides MSU scientists and students with consultation, services, supplies, equipment, and training for introducing genes into plants using state-of-the-art method.

Alexa Veenema
Associate Professor in Behavioral Neuroscience
Department of Psychology & Neuroscience Program

Dr. Veenema is Associate Professor in Behavioral Neuroscience in the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience Program at Michigan State University. She received her PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. She was a postdoc at the University of Regensburg in Germany and at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. In 2010, she was appointed Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Boston College and was recruited as Associate Professor by Michigan State University in 2017. Dr. Veenema’s research focuses on understanding the roles of the neuropeptides vasopressin and oxytocin in regulating social behavior (social play, social recognition, social novelty, social reward) and how this is modulated by sex, age, and early life stress. The Veenema lab uses rats and mice as model organisms and employs a combination of behavioral, molecular, biochemical, genetic, chemogenetic, and pharmacological techniques. Dr. Veenema’s research will shed light on typical and atypical human social functioning as observed in autism spectrum disorder, borderline personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, and schizophrenia. Dr. Veenema is a regular referee of more than 25 international journals and a member of the Society for Neuroscience, the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies, Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology, the Society for Social Neuroscience, the Organization for the Study of Sex Differences, and the International Behavioral Neuroscience Society. She serves on the editorial board of the journals Hormones and Behavior and Social Neuroscience, and she is a review editor for the journals Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience and Frontiers in Endocrinology. Dr. Veenema was awarded a NARSAD 2010 Young Investigator Grant from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation and an NSF Career Award in 2013. Her lab is currently funded by NIMH.

Jamie Sue Willard
Biological Safety Officer
Select Agent Responsible Official

Dr. Willard, in conjunction with other EHS Bioteam members, specializes in biosafety and biosecurity for the MSU campus at large. In terms of recombinant DNA research, she and her team review all registrations to determine adequacy of containment and other biosafety/biosecurity related concerns including training, inspections and exposure response.

Community Representatives

Carrie Anglewicz
Carrie Anglewicz is the Biosafety Officer, State Training Coordinator and Alternate Responsible Official for the Tier 1 select agent program at Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Bureau of Laboratories. Her focus is on enhancing laboratory safety in public health and clinical laboratories in Michigan with an emphasis on preparing for novel epidemics/pandemics. Carrie has also consulted with several university laboratories to prevent laboratory acquired infections.

Judith Kloss Smith
Laboratory Scientist Specialist, Michigan Department of Community Health

Ms. Smith is the Laboratory Health and Safety Officer for the Michigan Department of Community Health Bureau of Laboratories. Her responsibilities include leading the laboratories Health and Safety program in addition to serving as the Responsible Official for the Tier 1 Select Agent and Toxin Program. In this capacity she has oversight for the laboratories biosafety, biosecurity, chemical and radiological safety.

Ex-Officio Members

Kevin Eisenbeis
Director, Environmental Health and Safety

Laura McCabe
Assistant Vice President, Research Regulatory Support

Theresa Kelley
Assistant General Counsel, Office of the General Counsel

University Physician, Olin Health Center