Biosafety Office



Some scientific and technological advances that provide great benefits to society can also be used maliciously. Research yielding new technologies or information with the potential for both benevolent and malevolent applications is referred to as "dual use research."

The small subset of life sciences research with the highest potential for yielding knowledge, products, or technology that could be directly misapplied to threaten public health or national security is referred to as "dual use research of concern (DURC)."

The United States Government Policy for Institutional Oversight of Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern outlines the criteria for what qualifies as DURC, listing specific agents and toxin and descriptions of  types of experiments that, in combination, define the parameters for research to be classified as DURC and subject to oversight under the policy.

To better understand the DURC requirements or if research meets the DURC criteria, please review the training slides provided by the US Department of Health and Human Services.


Review of Potential DURC Projects

To comply with the US government DURC policy, a subcommittee of the UC Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) was assigned as the Institutional Review Entity for DURC and established a formal review process for potential DURC projects.

It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator to identify research involving one or more of the agents or toxin on the DURC list and notify the IRE regarding review of its DURC potential.

The formal review starts with the PI submission of the DURC Review Application form which should be forwarded to the Biosafety Office.The IRE will review the application and determine whether or not the project falls under the DURC definition.

In case a project is determined DURC, designated members of the IRE will work with the PI to draft a mitigation plan to be submitted to the applicable US government funding agency.

For instructions on how to complete the DURC application form, please click HERE.

Contact us


Biosafety Office 

University Hall                                                 51 Goodman Drive, suite 300                   Cincinnati, Ohio 45221  


513-558-6182 & 513-558-0332


Marcia Espinola, DVM, MS, CBSP
Director, Biological Safety Office
Biological Safety Officer

Tabitha Dowdy
Compliance Coordinator   

Gary E. Dean, PhD
IBC Chairman