Human and Animal Subjects
Academic research often requires the use of human subjects or animals or both in the context of testing hypotheses and evaluating whether results are generalizable to a larger segment of the population. The use of humans and animals in such research carries with it a great sense of legal, social and ethical responsibilities, and is governed by university committees. Each committee follows strict federal regulations which have been in place for several decades. On the UNO campus, the governance of such matters is primarily handled through two committees, both presided over by the Director of Research.
Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)
Animal research is monitored by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) on this campus. This committee follows federal regulations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (for use of certain types of animals), but primarily from a regulatory subdivision of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW).
The University of New Orleans Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) provides ongoing oversight of research and teaching activities to ensure that all faculty and staff comply with all Federal and State guidelines concerning the use of animals in research and teaching.
Reviews and approves animal use protocols. Conducts annual reviews of all approved protocols.
- Assures that investigators and staff are properly trained, and have access to an occupational health program based on risk.
- Insures that all research and teaching activities conform to best practices as defined by The Guide For the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals .
- Inspects all animal care and use facilities at the University to insure compliance with all federal regulations and policies.
- Undertakes semi-Annual Reviews of the University's Animal Care and Use Program.
- Investigates concerns regarding the humane care and use of lab animals at the University.
The IACUC meets monthly to review protocols. The IACUC includes members from the University as well as members who are unaffiliated with the University and represent the community.
Institutional Review Board (IRB)
Human subjects research is monitored by the Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects on this campus. This committee follows federal regulations based on Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations (Part 46) governing the conduct and ethical guidance of biomedical or behavioral research involving human subjects.
Federal monitoring of these regulations falls under the NIH Office of Extramural Research Division, Human Subjects Assurances.Both NIH groups (human and animal) are part of the larger Office for Protection from Research Risks (OPRR). Experts from a variety of fields sit on both UNO committees. All UNO faculty engaged in research requiring human or animal use, or supervising graduate student projects involving human or animal use, are required by law to adhere to strict procedures in the conduct of this research.
In order to insure these procedures are being followed, researchers submit to the appropriate university committee, what is known as a "protocol", according to a pre-defined format. A research protocol allows the committee to review the purpose, nature, intent, procedures, etc. of the project in order to establish whether any potential harm exists, and to advise the applicant accordingly.
Those submitting protocols which fail this test are advised to resubmit with revisions according to the committee's findings.No project conducted by any UNO faculty engaged in human and/or animal subject research (as defined by related federal regulations) is exempted from this review and approval. These requirements apply whether the project is funded externally or not. They apply to the UNO faculty member(s) even if the actual data collection requiring the use of animals or humans is done on this campus or not; and to graduate student research even after they have left the university, if still being supervised by their major professor.