Biosafety, biosecurity and gene technology research

La Trobe University conducts research using gene technology and potentially harmful biological material in a safe, secure, ethical and environmentally responsible framework. This framework helps us meet the needs of national legislative schemes and the Australian community.

We are a Gene Technology Regulator accredited organisation and have an Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) – the La Trobe Institutional Biosafety Committee (LTIBC). The LTIBC performs quality assurance and helps the University meet the requirements of biosafety, biosecurity and gene technology legislation by reviewing biosafety, biosecurity and gene technology research proposals and monitoring internally and externally certified facilities.

We review biosafety, biosecurity and gene technology research proposals and monitor internally and externally certified facilities according to relevant legislation.

What is biosafety? Biosafety protects people and the environment from organisms associated with biological research and products including genetically modified organisms.

What is biosecurity? Biosecurity prevents the introduction or spread of infectious agents to human, animal or plant life. This includes prevention of the theft of these agents and malicious use of dangerous pathogens and toxins (biothreat agents).

View gene technology research requirements and processes on the Gene Technology page.

Gene technology

All research has additional research integrity responsibilities. Find out about Research Integrity at La Trobe.

La Trobe Institutional Biosafety Committee and meeting dates

The La Trobe Institutional Biosafety Committee (LTIBC), formerly The Genetic Manipulation Supervisory Committee (GMSC), is expanding to include biosafety and biosecurity. The committee currently includes the following members:

  • Dr Carl Ramage: Category A - External - Chair
  • Dr Karla Helbig: Category B - Microbiologist
  • Dr Tony Gendall: Category C - Biologist
  • Dr Jennifer Boer: Category C - External - Biologist
  • Dr Marie (Francine) Perrine- Walker: Category C - External - Biologist
  • Dr Poh Chee Ong: Category C - External - Biologist
  • Mr Sam Wishart: Category E - Engineer
  • Dr Yolanda Gaspar: (Deputy Chair) Category F - Biological Safety Officer
  • Dr Ian Swift: Category G - Bendigo Campus Representative
  • Dr David Hay: Category H - External – Layperson
  • Mr Nicholas Romas: Category H - External - Layperson
  • Dr Susanna Herd: Category I - Co-opted
  • Dr Christine Findlay: Category I - Co-opted
  • Associate Professor Helena Richardson: Category I - Co-opted
  • Mr Michael Imsic: Category I - Co-opted
  • Mrs Fiona Rogers: Category I - Co-opted
  • Ms Van Hoang: Category J - Occupational Health & Safety
  • Dr Michael Foley: Category K - Infectious disease/Biosafety/Biosecurity
  • Dr Adam Hart: Category L - Geneticist
  • Dr Warwick Grant: Category L - Geneticist

with support and advice from Ethics and Integrity personnel:

  • Dr Kemperly Dynon – Senior Biosafety Officer (Executive Officer LTIBC)
  • Ms Dulani Gamlaksha – Senior Biosafety Advisor
  • Ms Sam Kelly – Research Administration Assistant

2017 Committee meetings

LTIBC meetings are held in the LIMS Board Room, Level 5, LIMS1 or AgriBio meeting rooms.

Project proposals, reports and variation requests should be submitted no later than the designated submission date for each meeting.

Project proposals, reports and variation requests will be formally assessed out-of-session by a sub-committee of members or the Senior Biosafety Officer and require ratification at the next scheduled meeting.

Submission date for meeting Meeting date Meeting Time

8 February

22 February

10am - 12pm

15 March

29 March

10am - 12pm

19 April

3 May

10am - 12pm

10 May

24 May

10am - 12pm

7 June21 June

10am - 12pm

12 July

26 July

10am - 12pm

9 August23 August

10am - 12pm

6 September20 September

10am - 12pm

11 October25 October

10am - 12pm

8 November22 November

10am - 12pm

Read the LTIBC terms of reference [PDF 151KB]

Please check the Genetically Modified Organisms Procedure [PDF 65KB] document for specific information.

Contact the committee

All correspondence, enquiries and submissions should be addressed to Biosafety at

Feedback and Complaints

If you wish to provide feedback on any aspect of the Biosafety, Biosecurity or Gene Technology processes at La Trobe University, including the LTIBC review process, you can:

  • Email
  • Call the Senior Biosafety Officer on (03) 9479 1240.
  • Submit complaints or grievances about decisions reached by the LTIBC to the Senior Biosafety Officer, the Chair LTIBC, the DVC(R) or the University Ombudsman.

Biosafety aims to resolve concerns in a transparent, fair and objective manner and use the knowledge gained for improvement.

If you wish to make a complaint about a research project conducted by La Trobe University, more broadly about a researcher or the conduct of research, or voice a concern regarding the use of genetically modified organisms or infectious organisms please:

Please ensure you indicate whether you would like us to follow up with you regarding your complaint or feedback.

Approvals, reviews and permits

The LTIBC is expanding to assess all University research, teaching and services involving:

  • gene technology
  • genetically modified organism (GMOs)
  • security sensitive biological agents (SSBAs)
  • Dual use microorganisms under the Defence Trade Control Act
  • biological materials
  • biohazardous microorganisms
  • invasive species, noxious weeds and pest animals
  • materials requiring quarantine approval
  • import and export of the above

·     If your research, teaching and services involve the above, you need LTIBC approval before the work starts.

Risk group levels, containment, import and export and legislative requirements, and new LTIBC review processes coming soon. Please contact the Senior Biosafety Officer at for any questions.

View gene technology research requirements and processes on the Gene Technology page.

Internal facility certification

Internally certified physical containment facilities (laboratories).

For research involving or potentially involving Risk Group 1 or Risk Group 2 organisms that do not include genetically modified organisms, the LTIBC oversees an internal certification program that verifies our laboratories comply with Australian New Zealand Standards, 2982:2010 and 2243:3:2010.

Please contact the Senior Biosafety Officer at for any questions regarding La Trobe's internal certification or external OGTR certification.


Biosafety and biosecurity training modules coming soon.

For Gene Technology training go to the gene technology research page under the 'Training' tab.