Safety Services


Working with Living Genetically Modified Organisms (LGMO)

UCL is a world-leading medical research institution and animal research forms a relatively small but vital proportion of our work.

This page covers the research work with LGMO only. For further information on animal welfare and why and when animal research is necessary, visit the Animal Research at UCL page.

Work with LGMO

Living Genetically Modified Organisms (LGMO) are animals or plants whose genes have been artificially altered to modify their characteristics in some way.

Work with LMGO, must be assessed separately on a specific risk assessment form, which includes:

  • information on how the organism has been genetically altered including the effects of any inserts or knockouts
  • likelihood of survival and consequential impact on the environment 
    • through direct breeding or cross-pollination
    • indirectly through the organism entering the food chain or some other manner.
  • likelihood of harm to human health
  • details on containment to prevent release
  • information on waste management and decontamination

The nature of the organism will affect the risk of exposure to infectious hazards.

Some aspects of the work will not relate to the GMO and should be covered by a standard COSHH assessment e.g. control of allergens such as pollen and lab animal allergens (LAA), which post exposure could potentially result in skin and respiratory sensitivity (occupational dermatosis and asthma) 

> Allergens (Animal)

HSE notification

Only those activities where the LGMO is more harmful than the parental organism need to be notified to HSE. Work can start 45 days after the date of the acknowledgement or earlier if HSE gives written approval for the work to start.

Last updated: Monday, November 28, 2022

See also

> Bio Hub