Improving Response to Change in Research

InfoEd Global was represented at the 2011 PRIM&R Advancing Ethical Research Conference by Becca DuBose and Kelsey Rosell. InfoEd Global was a Bronze Supporter of this year’s conference, which offered four full days of sessions. There were 30 different tracks with hundreds of sessions targeted to the differing needs of committee members, chairs, administrators, research sponsors, and others.

As might be expected, the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) published on July 26, 2011 was a hot topic. A number of sessions examined the regulatory changes proposed in this document, as well as the more than 70 questions it raised for consideration by the research community. Speakers representing a wide variety of agencies, institutions and community organizations were on hand to offer their perspectives.  The common thread linking all of them was their sincere interest in improving the system, which must be capable of responding effectively to change if it is to keep pace with today’s research environment.

One of the more interesting developments on the horizon is the growing interest in collaborative models of IRB review.  An increasing number of academic institutions are reaching out through local and regional initiatives to streamline the review process for multicenter trials. At the same time, oversight is strengthened by an enhanced ability to share expertise across institutional boundaries (something InfoEd Global has always championed). We will continue to monitor these developments and look for ways to facilitate such collaborations through our software.

Another highlight was a lecture by Dr. Susan Reverby, the Wellesley College professor who uncovered evidence of the STD experiments carried out during the 1940s by US Public Health Service researchers working in Guatemala. Much as we might want to reassure ourselves that ethical lapses on this scale could never occur today, even the most cursory review of recent news stories about research misconduct will bring us back to reality.

As always, we enjoyed reconnecting with our current clients and meeting new people. We came away with lots of great ideas from the sessions, poster presentations and conversations with other participants. Be sure to look for us in San Diego in 2012!

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