Recombinant DNA research is conducted with molecules constructed outside living cells, and includes research where DNA segments are joined or replicated, where a DNA sequence may be modified, or where research is conducted with this type of material.

The Marshfield Clinic Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) is responsible for reviewing and approving all work at Marshfield Clinic involving recombinant DNA and/or pathogens at CDC-defined Biosafety Level 3 or 4, in accordance with the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules.

Each institution receiving federal funding for recombinant DNA research is responsible for ensuring that all recombinant DNA research conducted at or sponsored by that institution is conducted in compliance with the National Institute of Health Guidelines. Institutional authority and responsibility place accountability for the safe conduct of the research at the local level.