April 2010

Faculty Resources Site Now Open to All SOM Staff

Whether they're seeking information on human-subjects protections, e-prescribing, the promotions process, or translational research, School of Medicine faculty members have been able to find resources through a special tab on the university's online portal, http://my.jhmi.edu/tab/som-faculty.

Now, all School of Medicine staff can also click on the tab, which was recently renamed "SOM Faculty Resources," to access a comprehensive set of links. Because the information on the page is useful to many staff members, the decision was made no longer to restrict the page to faculty.

Developed by the Office of Policy Coordination with significant input from faculty and staff throughout the school, the tab was introduced in the winter of 2008 as a way to improve awareness of online resources that are already available to them and to organize them in one place.

Nicole Pennington, a senior IT manager in policy coordination, says that further enhancements, such as giving departments the opportunity to create customized tabs, are planned.

Stem Cell Research Oversight Committee Updates

In January 2007, leaders from across the Johns Hopkins University established the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Embryonic Stem Cell Research Oversight (JHU SOM ESCRO) Committee, consistent with guidelines issued by the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine. To date, fifty-seven applications have been reviewed by the ESCRO Committee, third-year review of the first ESCRO-approved application has been completed, and annual review notices are being sent to principal investigators in a timely manner.

Given the rapidly changing nature of stem cell research, policies, and regulations across jurisdictions, new ethical challenges and scientific dilemmas call for reflection and decision. The ESCRO leadership, committed to ongoing review of the current trends, has recently updated the Policies & Procedures to include oversight of additional types of human pluripotent stem cell research. As such, the name of the Committee has been changed from "ESCRO" to "ISCRO" (Institutional Stem Cell Research Oversight), consistent with the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) term of "SCRO". The revision in committee name and purview is based upon evolving science, policy trends, and the desire for consistency. It does not mean however, that oversight will extend to all stem cell research.

In addition to all research using human embryonic stem (hES) cells and/or somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) involving human cells being conducted by JHU faculty, staff or students or involving the use of JHU facilities, the following is also subject to oversight by the ISCRO Committee:

Other hPSCs (e.g., human induced pluripotent stem cells [iPSCs], human embryonic germ cells [hEGCs]) where the research involves:

  • Introduction of the cells into humans;
  • Introduction of the cells into the central nervous system of non-human primates;
  • Introduction of the cells into non-human animals and there is a reasonable possibility of the cells giving rise to gametes; or,
  • Creation of gametes or embryos.

As stem cell research continues to be in the forefront of medical research, the ethical controversies over pluripotent stem cells are prominent. The ISCRO Committee collaborates with other entities charged with other aspects of research oversight and will continue to serve as a consultative body for related research that does not fall under its purview.

This is a reminder that awards funded by the Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission require researchers to obtain approval from the IRB, and possibly the ISCRO Committee prior to commencing work using these funds.

Please refer to the recently revised JHU ISCRO Website at http://www.hopkinsmedicine.
for additional information and tools needed to determine whether your research requires ISCRO review. If review is needed, the site also provides information on how to submit your proposal to the JHU ISCRO Committee.


Return to top of Research Compliance

April 2010 articles:
Clarification on Role of Study Team Members
Clarification on Changes in IRB-Approved Research Protocols
Seminar Series
Faculty Resources Site Now Open to All SOM Staff
Stem Cell Research Oversight Committee Updates
Department of Defense (DOD) Tuberous Sclerosis Complex Research Program (TSCRP)
Edward Mallinckrodt, Jr. Foundation Award Program, May 2010
Department of Defense Neurofibromatosis Research Program (NFRP)
Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program (PCRP)
W.W. Smith Charitable Trust - Cancer and AIDS Research Program for 2010
U.S. - Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF) Call for Proposals in Transformative Science
DOD Fiscal Year 2010 Autism Research Program (ARP)
NIH - Millennium Promise Awards: Non-communicable Chronic Diseases Research Training Program
eIS Conversion to COEUS Training
NIH Clarification on Vertebrate Animal Section (VAS) Information
Recovery Act of 2009, Revised NIH Award Terms Available

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