The UCLA High Containment Use Committee (HCUC) acknowledges that the lack of Animal Biosafety Level 3 (BSL3) facilities on campus has hampered research efforts related to COVID-19 and has therefore determined that it will consider BSL3 use proposals for projects that include short duration mouse experiments with a very limited number of animals. The HCUC cannot guarantee that ABSL3 proposals will be approved, as they must adhere to strict requirements regarding the length of a given experiment (i.e., no more than seven days in the shared BSL3 facility), the number of animals (i.e., no more than four cages per experiment), and availability of High Containment and DLAM personnel to oversee the work and animal welfare. Further, BSL3 training capacity is limited and, therefore, those proposals from groups that are already trained, or that propose collaborating with trained personnel, will receive priority.
Researchers must understand that, even if cleared by the HCUC, approval from the Animal Research Committee (ARC) and Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) is required and, again, not at all guaranteed. While the HCUC is a capacity and feasibility committee, the ARC and IBC both have regulatory mandates for animal welfare and worker safety, respectively, that supersede any decision made by the HCUC or other campus leadership.
Further, even if approval is received from the HCUC, ARC, and IBC for small scale animal experiments, be advised that future use of the BSL3 facility for animal work cannot be guaranteed; as such, all grant proposals must include the use of off-site contract facilities for future ABSL3 work.
Contact UCLA High Containment Director Barbara Dillon (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss your proposed experiments and RSAWA Director Jennifer Klahn (email@example.com) regarding the HCUC, ARC, and IBC review processes and timelines.