Research News

  • Tuskegee, and a whistleblower

    • 07.16.2018

    A recent Washington Post article and podcast got us started looking around for more information about the notorious Tuskegee experiment, which, according to the Post author, “destroyed the trust many African Americans held for medical institutions — a legacy that persists today.” Clicking around the internet for more information led us to an American Scholar […]

  • Reminders about safeguarding Protected Health Information

    • 07.13.2018

    You wouldn’t want your Protected Health Information (PHI) strewn all over campus, readily available online, or being talked about in elevators, would you? Research subjects feel the same way about their PHI, which they agree to share when they sign up for certain types of research. Here are some reminders about safeguarding PHI in the […]

  • Further developments in the case of Henrietta Lacks’ immortal cells

    • 07.13.2018

    Most of us working in research know the story of Henrietta Lacks, a woman whose cells were collected from her without her knowledge or consent in 1951. The so-called HeLa cells have been extensively used in research ever since, without her family’s knowledge or approval for much of that time. An attorney representing some members […]

  • A view of how clinical trials are done on the outside

    • 06.26.2018

    Chicago Magazine recently published a piece about the AbbVie  Clinical Pharmacology Research Unit, a Illinois phase 1 clinical trial managed by a pharmaceutical company. Some of the issues mentioned make us wonder if they’re shared with our local study subject population. Some key take-aways: —“AbbVie touts altruism as a motive for volunteering. If chosen, “you […]

  • $4.3 million HIPAA penalty upheld for Texas cancer center

    • 06.22.2018

    The theft of an unencrypted laptop and the loss of unencrypted thumb drives led to a $4.3 million fine levied against the MD Anderson Cancer in Texas recently. An administrative law judge recently upheld the determination and fine, according to the federal Office of Civil Rights (OCR). The UAMS IRB tries to minimize the chances […]

  • How to write so subjects can understand, aka think like a texter

    • 06.12.2018

    Our thanks to Twitter stranger Gabriel Hernandez, from whom we shamelessly borrowed the following gem about clear writing: Me, by text: I can’t, sri. Me, by email: I’m sorry, but I unfortunately cannot be present. Me, when writing an academic paper or research protocol: I am henceforth unwillingly prevented from being able to be there. […]

  • Two blog quizzes now available for CRS credit

    • 05.30.2018

    The website now has not one, but TWO IRB Blog quizzes available. Each is worth 0.5 hours of elective education credit toward the earning or renewal of your Certified Research Specialist credential. To access the quizzes, go to and type “IRB” into the search box at upper right.

  • How to get fewer contingencies from the IRB reviewers and office

    • 05.30.2018

    Well, we can’t promise to make contingencies go away altogether, but you know what they say — Happy IRB office staffers/reviewers write fewer contingencies. Here are a few tips to keep the IRB happier and contingencies at bay: –When you’re notifying the IRB of a temporary study closure of any kind, e.g. closure to enrollment […]

  • A proposal regarding research in a prison population

    • 05.22.2018

    Research involving prisoners entails several extra layers of regulatory oversight, due to prisoners’ status as a vulnerable population. Those regulatory restrictions stem from historical concerns about inmates’ abilities to make truly voluntary decisions about whether to join a study, and fears over exploitation of a readily available population. One group of would-be researchers suggests the prison […]

  • New FDA/OHRP joint guidance on written procedures for IRBs

    • 05.18.2018

    In their continuing and, um, not super expeditious campaign to harmonize regulations between their agencies, the Office for Human Research Protections and the Food and Drug Administration have issued a joint guidance about written procedures for IRBs. We encourage you to take a look at them to get an idea of the breadth of the […]