May 5, 2000
Volume XXXIII, No. 18

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HSC education requirements implemented for investigators

In response to increased scrutiny from the federal government regarding the practices at major centers conducting research with human subjects, the Health Science Center's Institutional Review Board (IRB) has recommended an educational program for principal investigators.

As part of the program, principal investigators conducting human trials will be required to read a Multiple Project Assurance (MPA) document describing the responsibilities of researchers and submit a signed statement indicating the item has been read. Investigators also will be required to read the manual "Protecting Study Volunteers in Research," and will need to pass a test based on information found in the manual.

"Of course this is a requirement, but, more importantly, it is the right thing to do because it will ensure a climate in which the welfare of human research subjects is of primary concern," said Dr. John P. Howe, III, president.

Education requirements will be phased in during a two-year period beginning May 15. Academic chairs will notify researchers regarding new education procedures and completion dates. Requirements for co-investigators will be implemented in May 2001 during the review cycle for new protocols.

The MPA document is available on the IRB Web site at www.uthscsa.edu/irb, and the research volunteer manual is available at the campus bookstore and copies are on reserve in the library.

For more information on the new certification requirements, contact Dr. Wayne Pierson, director of the IRB, at ext. 7-2351 or by e-mail at pierson@uthscsa.edu.