How DURC is Assessed at Georgia Tech

Agents, Toxins, and Experiment Categories

Federal Dual Use Research of Concern (DURC) definitions could potentially encompass a number of life science research projects at Georgia Tech.  However, the current scope of the federal policy has been limited to the following agents/toxins and categories of experiments. 

Research must involve both a listed agent/toxin and category of experiment to be deemed potential DURC.

Agents and Toxins Categories of Experiments
  • Avian influenza virus (highly pathogenic)
  • Bacillus anthracis
  • Botulinum neurotoxin
  • Burkholderia mallei
  • Burkholderia pseudomallei
  • Ebola virus
  • Foot-and-mouth disease virus
  • Francisella tularensis
  • Marburg virus
  • Reconstructed 1918 Influenza virus
  • Rinderpest virus
  • Toxin-producing strains of Clostridium botulinum
  • Variola major virus
  • Variola minor virus
  • Yersinia pestis
  • Enhances the harmful consequences of the agent or toxin
  • Disrupts immunity or the effectiveness of an immunization against the agent or toxin without clinical and/or agricultural justification
  • Confers to the agent or toxin resistance to clinically and/or agriculturally useful prophylactic or therapeutic interventions against that agent or toxin or facilitates their ability to evade detection methodologies
  • Increases the stability, transmissibility, or the ability to disseminate the agent or toxin
  • Alters the host range or tropism of the agent or toxin
  • Enhances the susceptibility of a host population to the agent or toxin
  • Generates or reconstitutes an eradicated or extinct agent or toxin listed in the column to the left

Georgia Tech Assessments

  1. Georgia Tech investigators working with biological/infectious agents or experiments involving recombinant/synthetic nucleic acid molecules answer screening questions related to the above-listed agents and types of experiments when they submit registration documents with the Biological Materials Safeguards Committee (BMSC) or Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC), respectively.
  2. The BMSC and IBC notify the IRE and Export Control office for parallel review when potential DURC has been identified during the respective review process.
  3. The IRE conducts a Risk Assessment to determine if the research meets the definition of DURC and communicates this with the appropriate funding agency. The Export Control office conducts a review to determine if the research meets the definition of Fundamental Research and documents the export jurisdiction.
  4. The IRE develops a Draft Risk Mitigation Plan and submits it to the appropriate funding agency for review. 
  5. Once approved, Georgia Tech implements the Risk Mitigation Plan (which is reviewed annually).