Biosafety Office

Select Agents and Toxins


The National Select Agent Registry (NSAR) Program oversees the activities of possession of biological agents and toxins that have the potential to pose a severe threat to the public, animal, or plant health, or to animal or plant products. Click HERE for the list of regulated agents and toxins.  The NSAR currently requires registration of facilities including government agencies, universities, research institutions, and commercial entities that possess, use, or transfer biological agents and toxins.

At the University of Cincinnati, the Biosafety Office oversees compliance with the National Select Agent Registry Program. Principal Investigators who wish to register a research program involving select agents should contact the Biosafety Office at 513-558-6182 or for information and assistance.


    Biological Toxins: Under the regulations, listed biological toxins are exempt from the Select Agents registration with the Federal government provided that the Principal Investigator does not, at any time, possess an aggregate quantity of a regulated toxin.  The Biosafety Office has generated the Biological Toxins Exempt Amounts form with the goal of collecting and maintaining information on the location and use of potential select toxins on campus.

    Be aware that, even in minute quantities, some biological toxins can be extremely hazardous requiring strict safeguards. Principal Investigators who research projects involve the use of biological toxins must ensure that proper training is provided to authorized personnel and emergency procedures for spill and exposure are in place. The Biosafety Office developed a Toxin Safety Guidance which can be consulted for general information on the use of biological toxins.

    If you have been exposed to a biological toxin, contact the Drug and Poison Information Center (DPIC) immediately:


    This center has a toxicologist on call 24 hours per day, 7 days per week who will provide instructions on proper decontamination as well as coordinate a clinical evaluation with the University Hospital Emergency Department.

    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