Biological Safety

Providing support, in the form of risk assessment, review, consultation and training, for research at UC Berkeley that involves the use of recombinant DNA, biohazardous materials and biological toxins.

Biosafety How Do I:

Know if I need a Biological Use Authorization (BUA)?

Your Principal Investigator will need to submit a Biological Use Authorization (BUA) if you are working with biological agents including:

  • Recombinant DNA
  • Synthetic nucleic acids
  • WHO Risk Group 2 or higher pathogens
  • Biological toxins
  • Material of human or non-human primate origin, including cell lines

To determine if the agent you plan to work with is considered Risk Group 2 or higher, please reference the ABSA website.

Get or renew a Biological Use Authorization (BUA)?

If you are in need of a Biological Use Authorization (BUA), please initiate the BUA process by contacting Only a Principal Investigator may request a BUA. Once the BUA has been established, please log in to RSS BUA to complete your application.

Please note the application deadlines.

The biosafety staff will review all protocols and request additional information and clarification prior to sending the application on for further committee review. The committee will review the protocol at the monthly CLEB meeting.

BUAs need to be renewed every three years. The biosafety team will reach out to you three months prior to the expiration date with instructions on how to renew your BUA. 

If you have questions regarding the application, please email for clarification.

Change my Biological Use Authorization (BUA)?

If you currently have a BUA, you can make changes to the following:

Experiments or location

Update your BUA in RSS BUA  for review by the biosafety team or at the monthly CLEB meeting. Please note submission deadlines.


To add a member to your BUA:

  1. Navigate to Labs @ Berkeley
  2. Confirm that ALL users, including those to be added, are up-to-date on ALL required training. Until training is complete, a user is not approved to work on the research described in the BUA and should not handle biological materials. To see what training is required, see How Do I Know what training I need?
  3. Click Add new members and search for the member using Last Name, First Name
  4. Click the + icon to the left of their name, then press OK in the prompt
  5. Find their name on the roster, then press the Pencil and Paper icon under Role(s)
  6. Select the role that they will have from the dropdown menu
  7. Select the appropriate boxes based on the substances they will be working with
  8. Press Done
  9. Repeat steps 1-8 for each person you wish to add

To remove a member from your BUA, click the Trash Can icon to the left of their name, then press OK in the prompt.

Know what training I need?

All Researchers conducting work covered by a BUA must complete:

If you work with human cell lines, human primary tissue, blood, or other potentially infectious material complete:

If you work with aerosol transmissible disease agents:

If you are also a Principal Investigator complete:

For additional information about the UC Learning Center, visit the EH&S Training page

Dispose of Biohazardous Waste?

Examples of biohazardous/medical waste include human and animal parts, human and primate cell lines, biosafety level II or level III agents/contaminated wastes, and waste produced during vaccine research. Please read the Fact Sheets below for more details.

If your lab is in one of the following buildings, you may drop off biohazardous waste in the centralized storage room (contact your building coordinator first):

  • Genetics and Plant Biology
  • Hildebrand Hall
  • Koshland (also serves Barker)
  • Li Ka Shing
  • Morgan Hall
  • Northwest Animal Facility (OLAC only)
  • Stanley Hall
  • Weill Hall (also serves Valley Life Sciences Building)

Labs in other buildings use the EH&S hazardous waste program to request a pick-up.

Check out Biohazardous Waste on our Dispose of Waste page for more information.

Fact Sheets

Ship Biological or Medical Materials/Equipment?

Biological substances or medical materials shipping is regulated by domestic and international agencies. In order to comply with all applicable regulations, all biological material shipments from campus must be reviewed, authorized, and managed by EH&S.

For more information, visit the Shipping Research page.

EH&S Contact

Biosafety Officer (BSO):