The Office of Biological Safety facilitates the Committee on Microbiological Safety (COMS). COMS is a standing faculty committee that reviews all research involving recombinant DNA as well as work involving biohazards at Harvard and its 16 affiliated institutions. The Office provides the administrative support for the Committee and the technical review of COMS applications. The Office also supports the biosafety programs at these institutions by providing additional risk assessment as well as establishing policies and procedures.
On Friday, December 19, 2014 at noon the Harvard Institutional Biosafety Committee will open a regularly scheduled meeting at the Harvard Medical School to the general public. The public will be able to view how the committee deals with biological research at institutions in the Longwood Medical Area. Questions from the public will be encouraged. This annual open meeting is required by the Boston Public Health Commission's Biological Laboratory Regulation.
For further information and to RSVP, please call 617.432.4897 or email COMS@hms.harvard.edu.
Biosafety Stewardship Month
NIH Department of Health and Human Services Announcement on Biosafety Stewardship Month (see pdf)
Joint Memorandum from National Security Council & Office of Science and Technology Policy http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/08/28/ensuring-biosafety-and-biosecurity-us-laboratories
National Institutes of Health Memorandum http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-14-127.html
American Society of Microbiology Policy Statement https://www.asm.org/index.php/publicpolicy-2/statements-testimony/99-policy/policy/93059-freezer-8-14
The Committee on Microbiological Safety (COMS), along with the affiliated Institutional Biosafety Officers, is pleased to announce that the electronic research management system to streamline COMS processes. e-COMS is now live and accepting electronic registrations! The system should greatly smooth the COMS application and renewal process and will now allow you to submit, maintain and renew your COMS registration(s) online. Effective today, all new registrations and amendments must be submitted through the new online system. COMS has developed a quick reference guide and e-COMS fundamentals training to help Principal Investigators and other laboratory staff navigate through the new electronic submission process.
Log in to e-COMS at https://esupport.hms.harvard.edu/COMSIACUC.
BSO-hosted training will be available at all of the affiliated institutions on a regular basis. For further details regarding training opportunities click here.
To consolidate user log-ins across university-wide, e-COMS will be utilizing the Harvard University ID (HUID) number for system access. If you do not have a HUID number you can obtain one by filling out an application.
***The COMS Policy Manual has been updated to include Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules.
***COMS has created a frequently asked questions document regarding Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules.
The latest version of the NIH Guidelines can be found here.