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COVID-19 ORSP Updates – Discovery

COVID-19 ORSP Updates

In response to evolving recommendations for social distancing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine is temporarily suspending all non-essential research activities.  This includes on and off-campus research programs that involve the use of the College Research Laboratories as well as other College approved projects that could result in increased risks to researchers and research subjects.  We are asking all individuals to contact our offices at or by phone (Dr. Benoit. (916) 844-8079 or Dr. Woods (925) 321-8400) prior to entering any of the laboratory spaces.  

 The following bulleted list describes the current status of various research related activities.   We will be posting additional communication on the Research website for easy 24-hour access.  

  • All research involving human subjects and person to person contact is suspended until further notice.   This includes all work in the Human Physiology Laboratory as well as any offsite IRB approved research that involves person to person contact.   While survey-based activities, research conducted via electronic means, and data analysis that does not involve person to person contact may continue, researchers should remain cognizant of potential stress that surveys, video-interviews, and related research activities could place on research subjects.  
  • Non-essential research activities in the BioScience Research Laboratory are also suspended.  Currently we have no cell or bacterial cultures that need attention.  We will be checking the laboratory dewars, freezers, etc. on a daily basis.  Please do not make unnecessary trips to the facility without contacting us in advance.  
  • We are still planning for the full Medical Student Summer Research Experience.   At present all students and faculty involved in the program should continue planning their research activities.   Principal investigators should submit purchase requisitions to the Office of Research & Sponsored Programs for research supplies according to their original plans.   We will accept shipments and handle them accordingly during the coming weeks.   Keep in mind that perishable shipments may experience shipping delays.  To this end, we recommend checking with vendors on shipping advice for reagents, cell lines, etc.   
  • The Institutional Review Board, Institutional Biosafety Committee and Research Advisory Committee will continue to meet as scheduled.  Teleconference meetings will be convened using WebEx.   IRB and IBC protocols should be submitted by regular deadlines in order to be considered for review.  

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we all figure out how to cope with an unprecedented situation. We hope that by taking aggressive action now, we will do our part to facilitate a quick transition back to normal research operations in the near future.  Please feel free to contact us at with any questions.  The research account is monitored by multiple individuals and will be your best means for getting a rapid response.   

4 thoughts on “COVID-19 ORSP Updates

  1. Question: Our office received the following question from one of our researchers: “I am working on a meta-analysis project which involves research on data from the literature. Do I need to suspend this research?”

    Answer: No. Research that does not require person-to-person contact or the use of the Research Laboratories and that can be conducted using online resources does not present an increased risk for COVID-19 and may continue without interruption.

  2. Question: Our office received the following question from one of our students: “What is the current status of the summer research program?”

    Answer: Currently, the Summer Research Experience is set to commence on June 3, 2020, as planned. As of today, the faculty involved in the summer research projects are in the process of preparing for the summer as originally planned. The College is committed to the safety and well-being of our students and faculty and we are continuously monitoring the COVID-19 public health recommendations in this continually changing environment. We will notify summer program participants of any changes to the summer program should they occur.

  3. OHRP Guidance on COVID-19
    On April 9, 2020, OHRP issued “OHRP Guidance on COVID-19.” The guidance responds to questions OHRP received from the research community regarding how the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) human subjects protection regulations (45 CFR part 46) apply to actions taken by institutions and investigators in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. OHRP offers guidance on the following topics: (i) Public Health and Clinical Activities; (ii) Excluded Public Health Surveillance Activities; (iii) Legally Required Reporting; (iv) Research Changes to Eliminate Apparent Immediate Hazards; (v) Proposing and Reviewing Study Changes; and, (vi) Whether Suspensions of Research Must be Reported. The guidance document can be accessed at:

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