Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Research Protections

Office of Research Protections

The Office of Research Protections oversees the approval process for research that involves the use of human subjects, animals, or restricted materials. For additional information regarding the use of human subjects, animal subjects, or biological agents in research, as well as the Research Institute  IRB, IACUC, and IBC, please contact the Office of Research Protections at 713-441-7887 or 713-441-7548.

Research Conflict of Interest (COI) program

Houston Methodist is committed to integrity and the protection of patient welfare. Our Research Conflicts of Interest program is intended to ensure that the design, conduct, reporting and publication of research will not be biased by actual or perceived conflicts of interest. Houston Methodist's goal is to promote the identification and, if required, resolution or management of such conflicts in the context of research. View the policy here.

Institutional Review Board (IRB) 

The IRB is comprised of physician investigators and administrators that oversee the regulatory review and approval process of human subjects research studies conducted at Houston Methodist. Every study that uses human samples (blood, urine, tissue, etc.) or enrolls patients into a clinical trial must be approved by the IRB. This process provides oversight for researchers in that a committee of their peers evaluates their proposed use of human subjects, and ensures that the research is well-designed and ethical.

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)

The responsibility of the IACUC is to oversee use of animal subjects, including proposed and ongoing studies, as they relate to animal welfare laws, regulations, and policies. This oversight includes review of the appropriateness, quality, and availability of the selected animal model, the humaneness and appropriateness of procedures and conditions surrounding animal subjects before and after the study, and the adequacy and availability of essential animal research facility support.

Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) 

All research and teaching that involves the following materials must be reviewed and approved by the IBC:

  • Recombinant DNA
  • Artificial Gene Transfer
  • Infectious Agents (includes attenuated lab & vaccine strains)
  • Biologically Derived Toxins