Principal Investigators (PIs) must: 1) complete and submit a Biohazard Use Authorization (BUA); 2) ensure that research staff members have undergone the appropriate training; and 3) undergo the annual biosafety inspection and possibly and DAR/Biosafety meeting before conducting research with potential biohazards.

Biohazards include:

  • Recombinant DNA (rDNA) and synthetic nucleic acids
  • Pathogenic microorganisms
  • Human and non-human primate materials, cell lines, blood, and other potentially infectious materials
  • Toxins of biological origin
  • Hazardous chemicals used in biomedical research (e.g., carcinogens, reproductive hazards, chemotherapy agents, and physiological modifiers)
  • Select Agents
  • Dual Use Research of Concern (DURC)
  • Unknowns



Before registering or renewing a BUA, all research staff must meet the following safety training requirements:

CourseFrequencyDescriptionAdministered by
General Laboratory Safety (GLS)One-timeIn-personOffice of Environmental Health & Safety
Laboratory Safety RefresherAnnual PI
Animal Biosafety Level 2 (ABSL-2)One-timeAll animal researchers who administer chemical or biohazardous substances to experimental animals are required to complete the ABSL 2 training.Office of Environmental Health & Safety
Bloodborne Pathogens (BBP)One-timeRequired by research staff who may work with human or non-human primate blood, cell lines, tissue, organs, or other potentially infectious material.Office of Environmental Health & Safety
Bloodborne Pathogen and Aerosol Transmitted Disease Online TrainingOne-timeRequired for anyone who may come in contact with aerosol transmissible diseases as part of their work.Online via TrojanLearn
Bloodborne Pathogens (BBP) RefresherAnnualRequired by research staff who may work with human or non-human primate blood, cell lines, tissue, organs, or other potentially infectious material.Online via TrojanLearn or via PI
Shipment of Biological Materials and/or Dry Ice (BHS)Every two yearsAt least one person from the lab must take this course (in-person)Office of Environmental Health & Safety


Register a BUA

Research projects using biohazards, human gene therapy, and/or the generation of transgenic rodents must be registered with the USC Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) by completing the Biological Use Authorization (BUA) on iStar.  To request a new iStar account, go to the iStar home page.

A single IBC application may cover multiple grants and projects provided that all procedures using biohazards are included and described on the application. For instructions and a guide to the iStar registration and submission process, visit iStar. For additional questions about the process, please contact us. For help with technical issues, please contact the iStar Help Desk at 323-276-2238.


Renew a BUA

Renewals for existing approved paper BUAs must be completed using the iStar system. The BUA must be renewed every 3 years.

Amend a BUA

Amendments to existing approved BUAs must be completed using the iStar system. Amendments are required for the following:

  • Location changes
  • Personnel update
  • Addition of animals or new biohazards


iStar is a web application developed for use by the USC Institutional Review Board (IRB) to facilitate review of projects involving human subjects. Learn more ยป

iStar is also used by other research committees including the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC),the Radiation Safety Committee (RSC), and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).