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Posted October 11, 2013
New IRB Status Will Bolster Research Growth at All Children's Hospital

The All Children's Hospital Institutional Review Board (IRB) became an official Johns Hopkins IRB this week, a transition that will expand collaborative research opportunities between St. Petersburg and Baltimore campuses and provide patients with greater access to the latest therapies.

The new Johns Hopkins Medicine All Children's Hospital IRB, which is accredited by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, will adhere to the highest compliance standards required by the six other JHM IRBs, all located in Baltimore. This includes enhanced education and training for investigators, particularly in the areas of research implementation and oversight, compliance, and ethics. All principal investigators, including those from the University of South Florida, who are conducting research at All Children's Hospital will utilize the new Johns Hopkins IRB and be required to complete the additional training.

"The goal of this additional training is to further ensure patient safety and allow us to more easily participate in multiple site research studies," says Neil Goldenberg, M.D., Ph.D., Director of Research/Chief Research Officer at All Children's Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine and Associate Professor of Pediatrics with Hopkins.

"The new IRB has an expanded membership that includes Baltimore-based JHM research experts who will serve in consultative roles to support our investigators," Dr. Goldenberg notes. "This shared expertise will build our research capacity in St. Petersburg as well as help us undertake more complex studies."

Another advantage of the new status is a streamlined research approval process. A research study approved by a JHM IRB can enroll patients from multiple JHM locations-there will be no need for a separate full IRB approval process at another JHM campus other than an abbreviated local review. "Being able to collaborate on research with investigators in Baltimore and launch more complex research studies is the key benefit of our transition to a Johns Hopkins Medicine IRB," says Jonathan Ellen, M.D., President and Physician-in-Chief at All Children's Hospital and Professor of Pediatrics and Vice Dean with the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, noting that when it comes to complex studies and rare pediatric diseases, it can be difficult to enroll enough patients at a single site.

"As a JHM IRB we will have enhanced recognition in the national and federal grant process as we build our research programs, Dr. Ellen adds. "This is yet another milestone in bolstering our research program here at All Children's Hospital. The clinical and translational research programs we are growing on our campus will contribute to improved outcomes for all children."