About ISB

Information Systems for Biotechnology (ISB) was established in 1988 as part of the National Biological Impact Assessment Program (NBIAP), a program administered by USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES). ISB is funded on an annual basis through a grant to the Agricultural Experiment Station at Virginia Tech.

[Note: In 1992, the Biotechnology Risk Assessment Research Grants Program (BRARGP) was established as a separate component of NBIAP. The grants program was instituted to assist Federal regulatory agencies in making science-based decisions about the safety of introducing into the environment genetically modified organisms, including plants, microorganisms, fungi, bacteria, viruses, arthropods, fish, birds, mammals, and other animals. Since 1995, the BRARGP has been jointly administered by CSREES and the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and is no longer affiliated with NBIAP or ISB.]

ISB resources are designed to serve the agricultural and environmental biotechnology community at large, including scientists, regulators, teachers, administrators, and the interested public. Through its affiliation with a land grant university and funding through the research, education, and extension arm of USDA, ISB provides a balanced view of the potential benefits and concerns of this powerful technology.

The focus of ISB activities is to provide value-added information in a readily accessible form. In addition to this internet site, ISB projects include:

  • the ISB News Report, a highly-acclaimed monthly newsletter distributed in print and electronic formats at no cost to subscribers;
  • custom software to assist in risk assessment and risk management for research with genetically modified fish and shellfish;
  • printed reference materials pertaining to regulatory awareness and compliance and the biosafety review process for environmental releases of genetically modified organisms.
For more information about ISB projects, contact:
Ruth Irwin
Project Director
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Information Systems for Biotechnology
1900 Kraft Drive #103; Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061.