About the IRB

At Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM), the primary purpose of the IRB is to protect the rights and welfare of human research subjects by ensuring that all risks (physical, psychological, social, legal, and economic) to subjects are minimized, and when present, justified by the importance of the research, and agreed to by subjects (informed consent).

Secondly, the IRB seeks to protect MSM and researcher(s) from possible adverse consequences of research with human subjects by assisting the researcher with the design of his/her/their study so it complies with federal regulations and MSM requirements.


  • Conducts high-quality and timely reviews of all research studies involving human subjects
  • Reviews and addresses concerns involving the use of human subjects in research
  • Advises faculty, staff and students on the ethical conduct of research involving people
  • Conducts reviews of the Institution’s program and develops guidelines to ensure compliance with federal and state regulations
  • Participates in developing, reviewing, and providing educational opportunities for the MSM community on the ethical use and protection of human subjects in research
  • Serves in an advisory capacity to the Dean and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs as well as the Vice President and Senior Associate Dean for Research Affairs

FWA and IRB Registration

Morehouse School of Medicine's Federalwide Assurance (FWA) number is 00004535.

MSM's FWA has been approved by the Office for Human Research Protections.

The current expiration date  is July 13th, 2028. You may confirm our FWA status here by searching our institution name or FWA number.

For the "Terms of Assurance," please click here.

MSM's IORG Number is: IORG0000395

MSM currently has 2 active, registered IRB committees.

  • Biomedical IRB Registration#: IRB00000674
  • Social/Behavioral IRB Registration#: IRB00008544

AAHRPP Accreditation

The MSM Human Research Protection Program, or HRPP, (which includes the IRB) has been fully accredited by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, Inc. since March 2015. 

Per the AAHRPP Mission, AAHRPP promotes ethically sound and scientifically valuable research through the accreditation of high-quality human research protection programs. To accomplish this, they conduct a rigorous evaluation of policies, procedures, and practices of organizations that demonstrate their commitment to scientifically and ethically sound research and continuous improvement.

MSM takes pride in being the first historically black college, university, or medical school to become AAHRPP accredited amongst 220 HRPP's worldwide.


Governing Laws, Regulations, and Principles

MSM is committed to ensuring research is conducted in accordance with all laws, regulations, and principles below regard the ethical considerations and protection of human subjects. 

  • The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) "Common Rule" 
    • The "Common Rule" refers to the policies and regulations listed in section 45 CFR Part 46, also known as the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects or the HHS Regulations.
  • The Belmont Report
    • The Belmont Report identifies the basic ethical principles and guidelines that address ethical issues arising from the conduct of research involving human subjects (principles of respect for persons, beneficence, and justice).
  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations in 21 CFR Parts 50 and 56
    • Part 50 highlights general provisions of the protection of human subjects including informed consent and additional safeguards for the participation of children in research.
    • Part 56 contains the general standards for composition, operation, and responsibility of the IRB when reviewing clinicals investigations regulated by the FDA.
  • All other applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations.