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COVID-19 Human Research Coordinating Committee - Update 2 (IO)

To the UMB Research Community,

The COVID-19 Human Research Coordinating Committee continues to meet weekly to collaborate on a comprehensive and coordinated research response to the COVID-19 pandemic. To provide ongoing information on current and future actions and processes, a newly created COVID-19 Research with Humans website has been created, which can be accessed here.  A virtual Q&A session was held on Tuesday, April 14, 2020 to provide information and answer questions, a recording of which is available on the website.

Since the Committee’s inaugural meeting on March 31, 2020, there have been 102 protocols submitted to the UMB Institutional Review Board related to COVID-19.    

The COVID-19 Research Advisory Task Force established a process for reviewing and prioritizing human subject research protocols related COVID-19 protocols.  To date, five (5) meetings have taken place, inclusive of twenty-one (21) reviews of investigational agent protocols, through the Study Section that was established. The instructions and forms for submission to the Study Section for preliminary review can be found here

The COVID-19 Clinical Research Operations Task Force was created to identify specific challenges and opportunities associated with conducting COVID-19 research.  Joanne Marshall will serve as a two-way point of contact between UMB and University of Maryland Medical System.  Jennifer Marron will serve as the point of contact for the University of Maryland Medical Center.

In response to an influx of research requests requiring access to biospecimens from patients with COVID-19, a COVID-19 Biospecimen Research Workgroup has met and discussed how to efficiently and effectively coordinate and prioritize this type of research.  An umbrella protocol has been developed for the collection, use, and management of biospecimens necessary for conducting COVID-19 research and is anticipated to be in place next week.  Dr. Peter Rock, Martin Helrich Professor and Chair, Department of Anesthesiology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, will serve as Principal Investigator for the umbrella protocol.  The process for submitting individual requests to secure access to the biospecimens will be provided through the website mentioned above.  

To encourage coordination and collaboration in implementing research related to COVID-19, a new, recurring ‘Morning Huddle’ is being scheduled.  Dr. Rosenthal, Chair of the UMB IRB will participate, along with clinical staff from UMMS and researchers from UMB.  For more information or inclusion, please contact Joanne Marshall at, who is coordinating this initiative.

There continues to be ongoing coordination with University of Maryland Medical System Incident Command, with Anthony Lehman, MD, MSPH, Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs, serving as the liaison.

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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