A COVID clash: How to proceed when IACUCs and IBCs disagree

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Pathology

Publication Date


Document Type



Animal Experimentation and Research | Veterinary Medicine


Mayfield proposed to perform his mouse experiments at the ABSL-3 level and keep the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus under BSL-3 conditions. But although Mayfield had proper past experience working under BSL-3 and ABSL-3 conditions, Great Eastern did not have BSL-3 or ABSL-3 facilities. Mayfield was well aware of this problem and with the knowledge of the school’s IACUC and Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) chairpersons, he had submitted IACUC and IBC applications to a nearby contract research organization (CRO) that had the needed biocontainment facilities and would allow Mayfield to use those facilities. Both of those applications had been approved by the CRO and now, following Great Eastern policy, the same approved applications were submitted for concurrence by the IBC and IACUC of Great Eastern University. The IACUC voted to agree with the CRO’s approval, but the IBC did not, citing inadequate containment if a mouse were to escape from its cage while at the CRO. The result was a de facto halt to the planned experiments.

DOI of Published Version



Silverman J. A COVID clash: How to proceed when IACUCs and IBCs disagree? Lab Anim (NY). 2021 Jan;50(1):3. doi: 10.1038/s41684-020-00686-8. PMID: 33339993. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Lab animal

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Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID