COVID-19 Information for Researchers

August 13, 2020

The Research Laboratories continue to be operating on as faculty only access.  Please contact Dr. Woods or Ms. Kalli  Martinez for detailed information on entry requirements.

The Human Physiology Laboratory remains closed at this time.   Plans are underway to phase in face-to-face research in ways that adhere to public health recommendations and College guidelines.   Three key matters are central to resuming face-to-face human subjects research: 1) Subject Safety, 2) Investigator Safety, and 3)PPE Availability and Facility/Equipment Cleaning & Decontamination.   Please check back for updates and additional information.

April 10, 2020

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: https://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/regulations-and-policy/guidance/ohrp-guidance-on-covid-19/index.html

March 17, 2020

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 research@bcomnm.org 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 research@bcomnm.org with any questions.  The research account is monitored by multiple individuals and will be your best means for getting a rapid response.