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Guidelines for Completing Occupational Health and Safety Section in Animal Study Protocol

The institution is required to maintain an occupational health and safety program. At Northwestern University, Research Safety assesses the risk of working with hazardous chemical, biological and radioactive compounds during the review of Animal Study Protocol (ASP) submissions. Research Safety continuously partners with the IACUC, the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) and the Center for Comparative Medicine (CCM) to ensure the safety of staff working in animal research.

During the IACUC review process, Research Safety conducts a risk assessment of each ASP submission.

ASPs must be in compliance with Northwestern safety policy.

Researchers must complete any required safety trainings.

Have you completed your Lumen profile?

Each Principal Investigator (PI) must complete his/her profile in Lumen. In order to be added to Lumen, new PIs must email Dr. Rob Foreman, Biological Safety Officer, at with the following information:

  • Principal Investigator’s full name
  • Facility Name (if requesting a Core Facility account)
  • Department affiliated with the PI/Facility
  • Main Lab building and room number
  • Main Lab phone number
  • Building(s) and room number(s) for any other rooms/labs belonging to the PI/Facility
  • Will the PI/Facility use biological materials (Y/N)
  • Will the PI/Facility use radioactive materials (Y/N:

If the individual who wrote the ASP is not a PI, he/she must be included as a lab worker under another PI’s Lumen profile. All work must be recorded under this PI’s name.

Are you using Recombinant and/or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules in experimental animals?

Each PI using rDNA in animal studies must submit a Biological Registration in eIBC.

  • Genetically modified organisms (e.g., genetically modified rodent strains, frogs, rabbits, etc.) must be included in your rDNA registration, regardless of whether you buy, breed or generate them. Your current work must be described in the ASP as well as reflected in your recombinant DNA registration. To add new animal strains, submit exempt or non-exempt animal’s addendum to PI’s animal work.
  • Viral vectors and other genetically modified biological hazardous agents must be registered with and approved by the IBC before any animal procedure may be performed. Emergency approval of the ASP may be granted (for example, to meet a grant proposal deadline); however, animal work may not be performed prior to IBC approval.

For assistance with Biological Registration or addendum submission, contact Iwona Spath, Senior Biological Safety Specialist, at or 847-491-5581.

Are you using Select Agents/Toxins?

If you use Select Agents or Toxins in your ASP, you must complete a Select Agent Registration and Select Agent Inventory. Contact Dr. Rob Foreman, Biological Safety Officer, at or (312) 503-0124 for more information.

Are you using radioactive materials or irradiators?

You will need to register this work with Health Physics Services. You must complete the Protocol for Radioactive Materials in Experimental Animals Form and be approved by the Radiation Safety Officer to use radioactive materials in animals. This form must be resubmitted and reapproved after three (3) years or if the PI plans to make any changes in animal experimental procedures using radioactive isotopes.

For more information, contact Emma Ross, Radiation Safety Officer, at or 312-503-8300.

Are you using human cells/cells lines, patient tissue or other patient derived materials?

Bloodborne Pathogen training is required for the PI and lab workers if they plan to work with blood/serum products/human cells, including established cell lines.

For transportation of human materials between campuses, use Arrow Messenger Service (preferred vendor).

If you will transport human materials to or from Northwestern and will not use a messenger service or shipping service, contact Dr. Rob Foreman, Biological Safety Officer, at or (312) 503-0124 for options.

Are you using Class IIIB or Class IV lasers?

All lasers must be registered in Lumen. Laser use (with Class specification) must be added to the ASP and approved by the Laser Safety Officer.

For more information, contact Research Safety at or 847-491-5581.

Are you using hazardous or potentially hazardous chemicals?

Research Safety assists with risk assessment evaluation for hazardous or potentially hazardous chemicals which you plan to use in your animal research.

If the PI does not know if the chemical or biological agent is hazardous to staff, contact Marina Zelivyanskaya, DVM, MSRC, Senior Biological Safety Specialist, at or 312-503-8300 with the following information:

  • Procedure description
  • Full name of chemical or biological compound without abbreviation
  • Safety Data Sheet (SDS) or CAS number
  • Mechanism of action/ metabolic process /excretion process
  • Animal’s species and approximate weight
  • Doses, type and number of injections
  • Number of animals housed in the CCM facility at the same time after injection
  • Reference papers

For unknown (newly synthesized) chemical compounds, if the drug is not commercially available and there is no SDS available, complete the “Safety approval form for work with newly synthesized chemicals, biological active substances or natural toxins in the experimental animals” and submit it to Marina Zelivyanskaya, DVM, MSRC, Senior Biological Safety Specialist, at or 312-503-8300 for proper risk assessment evaluation.

Are you using anesthetic gases?

Complete CCM and Research Safety training courses.

Helpful Links

You need to use your Net ID and password to be able to see forms on the CCM or IACUC website.