Stanford University

Administrative Panel on Biosafety

The Biosafety and Biosecurity program, along with the APB, will use the following prioritization plan for the duration of the COVID-19 impact on the Stanford Community; providing B&B support will be based on:

  1. * a. Research into COVID – 19 (BSL-2, 3, basic or clinical)
    b. Clinical Research: Critical treatment for sustained life, time constraints
  2. Clinical Research
    Ongoing protocols have priority over new protocols
  3. Supporting Stanford’s needs for Community Health
  4. Other APB as possible (based on Research Priority Levels, see chart below)
Rating Description
Critical Directly impacts life, health, safety or security
High Impacts continuity of high-value, strategic and/or multi-stakeholder research having substantial sunk costs or prior investment. Cannot be paused without causing significant disruption to research or business operations, upstream and downstream dependent organizations or units, revenue and finances, or other core mission services.
Medium Impacts continuity of long-term research which may be reduced for a month or more. May cause disruption to research or business operations, upstream and downstream dependent organizations or units, revenue and finances, or other core mission services.
Low Impacts continuity of research which may be paused for a month or more. May cause some disruption to research or business operations, upstream and downstream dependent organizations or units, revenue and finances, or other core mission services.
Deferrable May pause and resume when conditions permit. May cause negligible disruption to research or business operations, upstream and downstream dependent organizations or units, revenue and finances, or other core mission services.
  1. Other programmatic needs as possible (shipping, MTAs, environmental concerns, etc).

*Important notice: A University committee has been created to adjudicate the large volume of requests for COVID-19 related research exemptions from individual research laboratories. The committee is composed of knowledgeable scientists with relevant experience and will make decisions across the entire university. Approval from this committee is required before any COVID-19 related research can occur. Please contact Ruth O’Hare, Senior Associate Dean of Research, Stanford University School of Medicine for additional information.


The Administrative Panel on Biosafety (APB) is an established institutional biosafety committee that reviews projects involving infectious agents, recombinant DNA (rDNA), and synthetic nucleic acid molecules (sNA).

APB approval is required for all work that uses biological agents classified as BSL-2 or above, or rDNA classified as non-exempt by the NIH. To determine if your research requires APB approval, check the NIH rDNA Guidelines, safety data sheets (SDS) for Infectious Substances, and CDC Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (5th Ed.) (BMBL). You can also contact Biosafety for guidance.

The APB uses the eProtocol Biosafety application process, a web-based system that coordinates new protocols, updates, renewals, and reminders. Learn more about eProtocol Biosafety and access the system here.

NEW! Biological Agents and Personnel Table in APB eProtocol

In the ‘Agents Used’ section in your APB eProtocol, you will find a new matrix, titled “BIOLOGICAL AGENTS/PERSONNEL TABLE”. This table will be used to help clarify which biological agent(s) specific personnel listed on the APB currently uses.  It will be used by both Biosafety and Stanford University Occupational Health to help assess any medical requirements needed for the researcher based on the agents they use.

Please click on the following link to access a visual guide to this process: Biological Agents and Personnel Table Guide


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