U hires external group to review clinical research practices

The review was spurred by renewed calls to re-examine Dan Markingson’s suicide.

Anne Millerbernd

The University of Minnesota announced last week that it has hired an external organization to oversee an investigation of the institution’s practices of research on human subjects, according to a news release.

The University hired the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs Inc. to manage the review, which was prompted by a Faculty Senate resolution in December.

The senate’s action came after calls from bioethicists and scholars to re-examine the 2004 suicide of Dan Markingson, which occurred while he was a University clinical drug trial participant. The investigation won’t stretch back to Markingson’s death, but it will examine the University’s Institutional Review Board dating back to 2011.

 Among the experts who will conduct the review are faculty members from Johns Hopkins University and the Harvard Medical School. The release said the group will specifically investigate the University’s clinical research involving “adult participants with diminished functional abilities.”

The review should take six months, the release said, and will be made public once it’s complete.

AAHRPP is a nonprofit accrediting body that focuses on reviewing and improving human research practices. The firm will serve as a liaison between the University and the investigating group to provide it with resources it needs. It’s also the firm that accredited the University’s Institutional Review Board.