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COVID-19 Prioritization Communication from the Institutional Official (IO)

Good morning,

I am providing our research community with continuing information about the new and ongoing activities UMB is taking to facilitate human subjects research during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As previously communicated, the COVID-19 Human Research Coordinating Committee has been formed and is working diligently on crafting and maintaining a comprehensive and coordinated research response to the COVID-19 pandemic.   

Dr. Stephen Davis and Dr. Robert Rosenthal have formed the COVID-19 Research Advisory Task Force to establish guidelines that will be used to review human subject research protocols to prioritize COVID-19 related studies.  The Task Force includes representation from the School of Medicine, the Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health, Institute of Human Virology, General Clinical Research Center, the Greenbaum Cancer Center, as well as UMB’S Human Research Protections Office and Institutional Review Board. 

The guidelines will allow UMB to work with the research community to prioritize and accelerate research that is responsive to the pandemic.  The Task Force will provide researchers with procedures for submitting proposed protocols for preliminary review prior to IRB submission.  The preliminary review will identify those protocols that can proceed to IRB review based on the provided guidelines. 

Dr. Julie Doherty has formed the COVID-19 Clinical Research Operations Task Force to identify COVID-19 specific challenges and opportunities in clinical research.  This Task Force includes representation from the Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health, Environmental Health and Safety, Radiology, Physical Therapy, the General Clinical Research Center, University of Maryland Medical Center - Trauma Resuscitation Unit, Critical Care Resuscitation Unit, Lung Rescue Unit and Biocontainment Unit, and University of Maryland Medical Center - Pathology.   

This group is working to address anticipated challenges associated with conducting COVID-19 human research protocols.

Thank you for your attention.  If you have questions, please contact me via e-mail at


Dr. Susan C. Buskirk, DM, MS, CCEP

Institutional Official for Human Research

Associate Vice President

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