Hero graphic - researchers in a lab

Animal Biosafety

All research involving animals must be registered and approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). IACUC forms can be obtained from the Office of Animal Research

The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) must also review animal research if it uses any of the following:

  • Agents that can infect and/or cause disease in humans, including bacteria, biological toxins, viruses, fungi, rickettsia, prions, protozoans, or parasites
  • Biohazardous waste
  • Genetically-altered organisms (including transgenics and knockouts)
  • Human cell lines, blood, bodily fluid, organs, tissues
  • Recombinant or synthetic DNA or RNA molecules or cells that have been transfected/transduced
  • Viral vectors

Animal research facilities present unique problems such as animals generating aerosols, biting and scratching, or being infected with a zoonotic agent.

The following forms are required:

IACUC Personnel Form  (MS Word Document: Form-Fillable)
The GWU Animal Transfer Policy and Form (MS Word Document: Form-Fillable)
Animal Handler Risk Assessment Form (PDF)
GWUMC ARF Occupational Health Questionnaire (PDF)

ALL Completed FORMS should be submitted to Animal Research Facilities-ARF

Animal Biosafety Levels


            Animal Biosafety Level 1 is suitable for work in animals involving well-characterized agents that are not known to cause disease in immunocompetent adult humans, and present minimal potential hazard to personnel and the environment. Personnel must have specific training in animal facility procedures and must be supervised by an individual with adequate knowledge of potential hazards and experimental animal procedures.


            ABSL-2 is suitable for work involving laboratory animals infected with agents associated with human disease and pose moderate hazards to personnel and the environment.

Requirements of ABSL-2

  1. Access to the animal facility must be restricted;
  2. Personnel must have specific training in animal facility procedures, the handling of infected animals and the manipulation of pathogenic agents;
  3. Personnel must be supervised by individuals with adequate knowledge of potential hazards, microbiological agents, animal manipulations
    and husbandry procedures;
  4. Procedures involving the manipulation of infectious materials, or where aerosols or splashes may be created, should be conducted in BSCs or by use of other physical containment equipment.  Appropriate personal protective equipment must be utilized to reduce exposure to infectious agents, animals, and contaminated equipment. Implementation of employee occupational health programs should be considered.

We DO NOT have ABSL-3 and ABSL-4 Level Bio containment labs in GW. Any Select agent research or infectious agents belongs to RG-3 and RG-4, should be consulted with GW Biosafety officer before starting lab work. Contact: [email protected]


Animal laboratory training is available at the AALAS Learning Library - American Association for Laboratory Animal Science

Office of Animal Research

For further information, contact Michael Manion, Director, 202-994-2941 [email protected]

For IACUC information, contact Bethany Rentz, IACUC Coordinator & Compliance Officer, 202-994-5068 [email protected]