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UCC biosafety - introduction


Matters relating to biological safety at work in Ireland are principally associated with two pieces of legislation: the Biological Agents Regulations 2013 and 2020, and the GMO (Contained Use) Regulations 2001. While the GMO Regulations deal solely with genetically modified organisms (including microorganisms, plants, and animals), the Biological Agents Regulations cover exposures to all forms of biological agents – this includes genetically modified microorganisms where relevant.


In UCC, use of biological agents is overseen by the Biological Agents Advisory Group. Use of GMOs is overseen by the Genetic Engineering Group.



What guidance is available to me on this issue?

UCC’s Biological Safety Advisor (Pat Casey - based in the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation) provides advice on all aspects of biological safety at the University to users of biological agents, and to those who may be exposed. He will provide information to assist users and heads of functional areas (HoFs) with completing risk assessments, as well as guidance on best practice for containment measures, waste handling, etc. He may be contacted at or 021-4901443.



Biologial Agents Advisory Group

 The Biological Agents Advisory Group (BADGR) has the following members:

John MacSharry (chairperson)

Biological Safety Advisor (Pat Casey)
BSU Manager (chair, Genetic Engineering Group)
Alan Dobson
Jesus del Valle
John O'Mullane
Aidan O'Dwyer

John Quinn

Ken Nally

Caitriona O'Driscoll

Paul Galvin
Eva McArdle
Ken O'Halloran


Genetic Engineering Group 

The UCC Genetic Engineering Group (GEG) consists of members from both within UCC and externally.

The Group meets as needed to review new notifications before they are sent on to the EPA for GMM and GMO licensing.

Email your application  for GMM/GMO work to the Biosafety Advisor ( for distribution to the Group.


The Group has the following members:

BSU Manager (chairperson)

Biological Safety Advisor (Pat Casey)
John MacSharry (chair, Biological Agents Advisory Group)
Anne Moore
Rossana Henriques
Jason Radford
Mary O'Connell Motherway
Gerard Moloney
Michael Cairns (NUIG)
Caitriona Guinane (MTU)



Terms of Reference

The terms of reference for the BADGR may be found here.

The terms of reference for the GEG may be found here.

Biological Safety


Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation, 7 Bloomfield Terrace, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland.