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Research Ethics Boards Align

apr-12-2017-rebs-align

Dr. Abraham (Rami) Rudnick, VP, Research, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and Chief Scientist, Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute and Dr. Andrew Dean, VP, Research and Innovation, Lakehead University both signed the new reciprocal agreement on Monday, March 27th, 2017.

By Marcello Bernardo - April 12, 2017

Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and Lakehead University have strengthened the research ethics review process. A new reciprocal agreement leverages the strengths of each organization’s Research Ethics Board (REB).

“We have harmonized our processes, making approval by one REB relevant for both organizations. Now, people interested in conducting research have enhanced access to approvals and increased coordination of activity,” said Dr. Andrew Dean, VP, Research and Innovation, Lakehead University. “This new process has been put in place because of feedback from researchers and it will help to ensure efficient review and allow more time for meaningful research.”

“This better positions both Lakehead University and the Hospital to promote and pursue ethical research that is meaningful to Northwestern Ontario,” said Dr. Abraham (Rami) Rudnick, VP, Research, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and Chief Scientist, Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute. “It also encourages more innovation, because applying to conduct research will now be more streamlined for students, clinicians and staff.”

Previously, applications had to be approved by both REBs. Now, applications to conduct research will be reviewed for approval by the most appropriate REB, which can result in a quicker review and response. For example, a Hospital physician who has a clinical affiliation with Lakehead University requires the approval of just one REB to conduct clinical trials research. A learner at Lakeheaed University wishing to interview Hospital staff about the impact of student placements will find the single application process more efficient.  

At the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, the REB is chaired by Dr. Peter Voros, Director of Adult Mental Health and Psychosocial Services Practice Head. Dr. Lori Chambers, Professor, is the Chair of Lakehead University’s REB.

Research Ethics Boards guide core ethical principles - respect for persons, concern for welfare, and justice - to maintain balance between the necessary protection of participants and the legitimate requirements of research. Some key functions of REBs include:

  • Approve, reject, propose modifications, or terminate any proposed or ongoing research;

  • Review and make recommendations for approval of all proposed human subject research involving TBRHSC patients, staff, physicians, students, residents, and hospital information;

  • Safeguard the rights, safety, and well-being of participants in clinical research;

  • Educate, support, and mentor researchers regarding the process of ethical review.

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