Biomedical (Biomed) Foundations

This foundational course provides a focused introduction to the essential human subjects research topics for biomedical researchers.

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About this Course


This biomed-focused course provides foundational training covering the major topical areas in human subjects protections. It offers historic and current information on regulatory and ethical issues important to the conduct of research involving human subjects. Case studies are used within the modules to present key concepts. This course has been updated to reflect the 2018 Requirements of the Common Rule.

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Language Availability: English, Korean, Spanish

Suggested Audiences: Researchers, Research Team Members, Institutional Review Boards (IRBs), Institutional/Signatory Officials, IRB Chairs, IRB Administrators and Staff, Human Subject Protection Staff, Students

Organizational Subscription Price: See Biomedical (Biomed) Comprehensive
Independent Learner Price: $129 per person


Course Content


History and Ethics of Human Subjects Research

Discusses ethical principles for the conduct of research involving human subjects. It provides an overview of the historical events that influenced the development of the current regulatory requirements, a review of the Belmont Principles, and a discussion of the contemporary ethical standards that guide research today.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 498 (English), 15924 (Korean), 1478 (Spanish)
Author(s): Jeffrey M. Cohen, PhD, CIP - HRP Consulting Group, Inc.

Basic Institutional Review Board (IRB) Regulations and Review Process Updated Content

Provides foundational information about the human subject protection regulations and IRBs, including the role, authority, and composition of the IRB. It discusses different types of IRB review processes, including an overview of the essential issues associated with exempt, expedited, and full (convened) IRB reviews.

The information presented is based on the Common Rule as codified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at 45 CFR 46, Subpart A. It concludes with a discussion of additional regulations and requirements (including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the International Council for Harmonisation), as well as others (for example, the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Education) that require compliance based on certain types of research.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 2 (English), 15923 (Korean), 1479 (Spanish)
Author(s): Ada Sue Selwitz, MA - The University of Kentucky; Norma Epley, MS - East Carolina University; Janelle Erickson, MPH - Seattle BioMedical Research Institute

Informed Consent

Presents the framework for informed consent found within the Common Rule (45 CFR 46, Subpart A), including the process and documentation of informed consent. Some of the special challenges associated with informed consent in research are also discussed, including informed consent as it relates to vulnerable populations, the requirements for waiver of informed consent, as well as the differences between U.S. Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services regulations.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 3 (English), 15926 (Korean), 1480 (Spanish)
Author(s): Diane Paul, MS, RN - Drug Development Associates, LLC

Social and Behavioral Research (SBR) for Biomedical Researchers

Discusses SBR techniques within the framework of biomedical research and the nature, risks, and benefits associated with these techniques. Included in this discussion are the types of biomedical studies that utilize SBR techniques, along with the kinds of data collected. It concludes with the risks and benefits that are unique to SBR

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 4 (English), 15927 (Korean), 1718 (Spanish)
Author(s): Deborah Dickstein, MSPH - University of Washington; Celia Walker, MA - Colorado State University (ret.); Helen McGough, MA - University of Washington (ret.)

Records-Based Research

Records-based research has its own risks, and researchers who propose to conduct such research must have an understanding of those risks and how to minimize them. Learners will be presented with an overview of the risks associated with and the types of review required for records-based research. They will also learn about privacy and confidentiality, certificates of confidentiality, and the federal privacy law.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 5 (English), 15928 (Korean), 1490 (Spanish)
Author(s): Judy Matuk, MS - HRP Consulting Group, Inc.

Genetic Research in Human Populations

Although continued advancements in genetic research present exciting opportunities in biomedicine, they also present some of the most difficult challenges with respect to the protection of human subjects. This content begins with an introduction to the types and complexity of genetic research. Next it provides a review of ethical, legal, and regulatory issues associated with genetic research. Finally, it offers a discussion of the issues surrounding the use of stored biological samples.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 6 (English), 15929 (Korean), 1672 (Spanish)
Author(s): Jeffrey R. Botkin, MD, MPH - University of Utah

Populations in Research Requiring Additional Considerations and/or Protections

Provides an introduction to potentially vulnerable populations or those requiring additional protections and/or considerations in research. It describes different sources of vulnerability and distinguishes between populations in research who are specifically protected in the federal regulations and those who are not. It also includes the impact on autonomy, beneficence, and justice that may arise due to research on or with vulnerable individuals or groups.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 16680 (English), 15930 (Korean), 19566 (French), 19563 (Spanish)
Author(s): Jeremy Block, PhD, MPP - Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; Bruce Gordon, MD - The University of Nebraska Medical Center

Research Involving Prisoners

Describes the special requirements for conducting research with prisoners. The learner is provided with a review of why incarcerated individuals need special protection, as well as the regulatory definition of what constitutes a prisoner. It also includes a discussion of each of the permitted categories for research involving prisoners and the required IRB considerations and determinations pursuant to 45 CFR 46, Subpart C. It concludes with the topic of what happens if an enrolled subject becomes a prisoner.

Recommended Use: Supplemental
ID (Language): 8 (English), 15931 (Korean), 1482 (Spanish)
Author(s): Helen McGough, M.A. - The University of Washington (ret.)

Research Involving Children

Describes the major historical events that influenced how research with children can be conducted today. Compares differences between U.S. Department of Health and Human Services regulations (45 CFR 46, Subpart D) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations (21 CFR 50, Subpart D) for the inclusion of children in research. Reviews the assent and informed consent requirements, and the current efforts by the FDA to ensure the inclusion of children in studies on the safety and efficacy of new drugs. An overview of the categories of research involving children pursuant to 45 CFR 46, Subpart D is provided, including examples.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 9 (English), 15932 (Korean), 1498 (Spanish)
Author(s): Bruce Gordon, MD - The University of Nebraska Medical Center

Research Involving Pregnant Women, Fetuses, and Neonates

Discusses the historical exclusion of women of childbearing potential and the special requirements for conducting research involving pregnant women and fetuses. It includes a discussion of each of the permitted categories for research pursuant to 45 CFR 46, Subpart B, involving pregnant women, human fetuses, and neonates, as well as Institutional Review Board (IRB) review requirements and determinations. Informed consent requirements associated with the different categories of research permitted with pregnant women and human fetuses are also discussed.

Recommended Use: Supplemental
ID (Language): 10 (English), 15933 (Korean), 1499 (Spanish)
Author(s): Bruce Gordon, MD - The University of Nebraska Medical Center; Ernest D. Prentice, PhD - The University of Nebraska Medical Center

Avoiding Group Harms - U.S. Research Perspectives

Describes some distinct groups or communities of people who are vulnerable to group harms and is intended for individuals conducting research in the U.S. In addition, learners are presented with examples of research that has caused group harms. This module concludes with strategies that researchers can take to reduce the risk of group harms.

Recommended Use: Elective
ID (Language): 14080 (English), 15934 (Korean), 1719 (Spanish)
Author(s): Helen McGough, MA - University of Washington (ret.)

Avoiding Group Harms – International Research Perspectives

Describes some distinct groups or communities of people who are vulnerable to group harms and is intended for individuals conducting research internationally. In addition, learners are presented with examples of research that has caused group harms. It concludes with strategies that researchers can take to reduce the risk of group harms in international research.

Recommended Use: Elective
ID (Language): 14081 (English), 15935 (Korean)
Author(s): Helen McGough, MA - University of Washington (ret.)

FDA-Regulated Research

Addresses U.S. Food and Drug Administration-regulated clinical research and the responsibilities of researchers, IRBs, and sponsors when an FDA-regulated product is utilized in a study. In particular, it includes information on when an Investigational New Drug (IND) application is necessary and the requirements of Form FDA 1572. Medical devices research, including defining a medical device, classifying risk, and when an investigational device exemption (IDE) is needed are also presented. Lastly, it addresses FDA regulations about informed consent, emergency use, and 21 CFR Part 11 and electronic records and signatures.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 12 (English), 15936 (Korean)
Author(s): Susan Kornetsky, MPH - Children's Hospital, Boston; David G. Forster, JD, MA, CIP - Western IRB; Gary L. Chadwick, PharmD, MPH, CIP - The University of Rochester

Recognizing and Reporting Unanticipated Problems Involving Risks to Subjects or Others in Biomedical Research

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services human subject protection regulations require institutions to have policies and procedures to ensure prompt reporting of unanticipated problems (UPs) involving risk to subjects or others to the IRB, regulatory agencies, and appropriate institutional officials. In addition, FDA regulations require researchers to promptly report to the IRB all UPs involving risk to subjects or others and unanticipated adverse device effects. This content is intended to provide guidance to researchers on complying with reporting requirements by providing an overview of UPs, unanticipated adverse device effects, and the relationship between adverse events and UPs involving risk to subjects or others. It includes a discussion on how to detect UPs and how to report them.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 14777 (English), 15939 (Korean)
Author(s): Patricia A. MacCubbin, MS - Research Ethics Group

Research and HIPAA Privacy Protections

Discusses the requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and how they supplement the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and U.S. FDA requirements. It also describes situations where full HIPAA privacy protections are required and those that can qualify for waivers, alterations or exemptions with more limited requirements. In addition, it reviews the responsibilities of researchers and institutions for meeting HIPAA privacy requirements and for appropriate data security protections that are necessary to protect privacy.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 14 (English), 15942 (Korean)
Author(s): Reid Cushman, PhD - CITI Program

Vulnerable Subjects - Research Involving Workers/Employees

Describes why workers/employees may be a vulnerable population when they participate in research, and the potential risks and benefits associated with research involving workers/employees. It also discusses protections that need to be afforded to workers/employees. It proposes that while workers/employess may serve as study subjects for political as well as scientific reasons, adequacy of the science and adherence to the Common Rule (45 CFR 46, Subpart A), are paramount.

Excerpted from: The Department of Energy Guidebook Creating an Ethical Framework for Studies that Involve the Worker Community and "Workers as Research Subjects: A Vulnerable Population", Susan L. Rose, PhD and Charles E. Pietri, BA from J. Occup Environ Med. 2002;44:801-805. Used with permission.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 483 (English), 15944 (Korean), 1720 (Spanish)

Conflicts of Interest in Human Subjects Research

Provides an overview of COIs in human subjects research by identifying when an interest or relationship may result in a COI, differentiating types of COIs and when they should be reported, and discussing challenges and strategies to manage both individual and institutional COIs.  This module also reviews federal regulations that govern disclosure and management of individual COIs.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 17464 (English)
Author(s): Julie Moore, JD, MS, PA, CIP - University of South Florida; Cristy McGoff, MA, CIP - Harvard University


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