Tuesday, December 22, 1998 / 3 p.m. / 819th Meeting
Members Present: Drs. Steven Knapp, James Anthony, Robert Black, John Breitner, John Groopman, Bernard Guyer, Robert Lawrence, Ellen MacKenzie, Roger McMacken, James Yager, and Scott Zeger; and Ms Robin Fox, staff.
Members Absent: Drs. William Brody, Diane Griffin, Jonathan Samet, Alfred Sommer, Donald Steinwachs, and Barry Zirkin. GUESTS: Drs. Ron Brookmeyer, Paula Burger, Sharon Krag, Noel Rose and David Sack; Mss Diane Glover and Patricia German; and Mr. Herbert Hansen.
Meeting Convened: Provost Steven Knapp convened the meeting at 3:00 p.m.
Discussion of Policies and Procedures of the Committee on Human Research
Dr. David Sack, chair of the School's Committee on Human Research (CHR), and Ms. Pat German, CHR staff joined the meeting. Dr. Sack commented that the Committee functions as a key part of the School's Institutional Review Board (IRB), works under specific guidelines from the Office of Protection of Research Risks (OPRR) and covers all research projects involving human subjects, regardless of funding source.
CHR faces escalating burdens from OPRR, including timely reviews of continuing studies, and inclusion of more human subjects in research, including children. Dr. Sack then reviewed the questions raised by Dr. Black and commented that the CHR no longer reviews curricula containing research and practice activities. He suggested that a mechanism to review public health practice activities be developed as a parallel to the review of research activities.
Dr. Sack remarked that the CHR has undertaken a simplification of protocol reviews, increased education of faculty and students, has tried to streamline requests for changes to previously approved protocols, although raising new questions about previously approved protocols may be frustrating for faculty. CHR staff are always available to review protocol submissions with faculty and students. He noted that arrangements between IRB's can simplify research projects, but that such arrangements may be difficult to achieve. In order to better educate faculty about the review process, Dr. Sack volunteered to attend departmental faculty meetings to answer questions.
Plans for an improved CHR website should also help to educate faculty and students. He commented that the primary problem with protocol submissions is that descriptions of research projects are too detailed. Rather, a concise research summary accompanied by the appropriate forms will help create less confusion for faculty reviewers. He reminded the Advisory Board that all adverse events reports on research subjects must be forwarded to CHR in a very timely manner, even if the adverse events do not appear to be related to a research project. Dr. Knapp commented that a University-wide committee studying storage and archiving of electronic data might also look into storage of research materials, including how long after the end of a project such materials must be kept. After further discussion, the Advisory Board thanked Dr. Sack for his thoughtful and dedicated work as chair of the CHR.
Approval of the Minutes: Minutes of the 818th meeting on November 24, 1998 were approved.
Remarks by the Provost: Dr. Knapp reported that the search for an overall manager of governmental relations who will also be a specialist in the federal area is close to completion, and that it will be helpful for the University to have one voice representing both the University and the Health System. Ms. Stephanie Reel will begin as the Chief Information Officer on January 1. Dr. Knapp noted that responsibility for the University's administrative computing has been shifted to Ms. Reel's purview, and that increased coordination of information systems across the University is expected to result.
Task forces have been created within the President's Council on Urban Health, some of which are built around disease processes while others are more thematic. Members include faculty and interested community members. The Council will find ways of closing the gap between research and the health problems of East Baltimore.
Remarks by the Acting Dean: Dr. Lawrence thanked the many students who organized and participated in a series of events held in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including a moving photography exhibit. Mr. Hansen reported that the new building addition continues to be on schedule. Dr. Lawrence reported on the status of Drs. John and Lynda Burton, faculty members injured in a car accident.
Remarks by the Faculty Senate: Dr. Anthony commented that a flowchart outlining new professorial tracks was developed, but that further discussion about faculty titles will await the report of the Dr. Krag's committee on the scientist track. The report will be discussed but not voted on at the February 2, 1999 Faculty General Assembly meeting.
Johns Hopkins International Affairs Coordinating
Dr. Burger noted that the SHPH is among the most international of the divisions, and that student bodies in the divisions are distributed somewhat differently by country of origin. She noted that 43% of JHU alumni are from Europe and another substantial portion are from Asia. Over time, the proportion of Asian alumni is expected to increase substantially.
Dr. Burger reviewed the recommendations of the Committee on Global Dimensions, a predecessor of the current Johns Hopkins International Affairs Coordinating Committee, and commented that the University has made significant progress in meeting a number of those goals. In particular, one recommendation was to consider a University-wide initiative in global health promotion and disease prevention that would build on the already high recognition Hopkins has abroad, especially with the Schools of Public Health and Medicine. The University receives many requests by international groups and agencies to develop partnerships, but such relationships will be most successful when they arise from shared interests among faculty who will sustain them over the long term, in research and education.
Future directions include increasing the integration of activities across JHU in foreign centers such as Nanjing, increasing JHU-wide development of distance education efforts in addition to those already undertaken in the divisions, and increasing the number of JHU undergraduates studying abroad. A greater number of undergraduates have shown interest in the public health undergraduate major, and in having greater contact with SHPH faculty. There may be possibilities for developing international internships or study abroad experiences with SHPH faculty who are conducting research projects abroad.
Dr. Burger remarked that a critical mass of JHU activity is probably already in place in Berlin, and that the University is contemplating having a physical presence to increase it's visibility, enabling it to continue working closely with several German universities and to facilitate possible involvement in two new research parks in Berlin. External seed funding will be important to the success of this effort. Strategies specific to individual countries or regions may be most helpful in identifying areas of opportunity.
Several suggestions to increase opportunities for JHU internationally were provided, and the group discussed the potential effect of the European Union on student and research funding. Dr. MacKenzie thanked Dr. Burger, and commented that increased communication among all divisions of the University will be important to meeting international challenges and opportunities. Dr. MacKenzie noted that development of a JHU-wide database on international activities is being undertaken as a pilot project.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5 p.m.
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