Mercy Research IRB

Mercy Institutional Review Board

Mercy believes it is imperative to protect the rights, welfare and well-being of human subjects involved in research. Mercy has established a single, Mercy-wide Institutional Review Board (IRB). Mercy IRB (MIRB) is a group of doctors, nurses, ethics leaders, community members and others who review research studies to ensure that researchers and study teams are providing the appropriate protections for Mercy’s research participants.

Dr. Low is a family practitioner who has been with Mercy since 1999. She currently serves as the Medical Director of Community Health for Mercy Northwest Arkansas. Dr. Low has four years of IRB experience including one and a half years as Vice Chair before assuming the role of Chair in June 2020. 

Mercy Aligned with Western IRB

Western IRB (WIRB) continues to operate as the preferred IRB for industry-sponsored clinical research studies conducted at Mercy Research. Recognized as the gold standard of ethical and regulatory review, WIRB pioneered the concept of independent oversight in 1968, and partners with more than 2,800 institutions, including 215 universities and academic medical centers, as well as many leading hospitals and health care systems in North America.

With 11 AAHRPP-accredited review panels that each meet twice weekly, WIRB has assisted in reducing IRB review turnaround time, enabling investigators to begin enrolling participants into clinical research studies more quickly. As of May 2019, WIRB has acted as the IRB of record for Mercy in the review of approximately 250 industry-sponsored studies.

The relationship with WIRB and its parent company WIRB-Copernicus Group (WCG) affords Mercy a variety of benefits including:

  • Allows Mercy IRB staff to focus on the review of internal, investigator-initiated and non-sponsored research
  • Accelerates turn-around times for IRB submission and review by employing custom processes and procedures that increase accountability and open communication channels on both sides
  • Positions Mercy as a leading clinical research institution among research sponsors seeking investigators for trials in all therapeutic areas, including oncology, cardiology and neurology
  • Provides access to Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) administration for any human gene therapy research trials
  • Allows use of the IRBNet electronic platform, which supports the efficient management of institutional research for both industry-sponsored and investigator-initiated research
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