Washington University Recognized for Protecting the Rights of Research Participants

Kim Leydig

Aug. 20, 2004 – The Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP) recently awarded full accreditation to Washington University, one of only a few organizations in the nation to gain this recognition.

The AAHRPP, a nonprofit organization, works to protect the rights and welfare of research participants by fostering and advancing the ethical and professional conduct of scientists and organizations that engage in clinical research.

“The safety and protection of human research participants has always been at the forefront of patient care at Washington University,” says Theodore J. Cicero, PhD, vice chancellor for research. “The AAHRPP accreditation is another example of our faculty and staff’s unwavering commitment to protect our research participants. We are very proud that Washington University is one of only 14 organizations awarded accreditation by AAHRPP.”

The AAHRPP was founded by seven prestigious organizations, including the Association of American Medical Colleges, Association of American Universities and Federation of the American Societies of Experimental Biology, “to foster a culture of science and responsibility within institutions seeking its services.” The clinical research accreditation process was initiated by AAHRPP in 1991.

Before an organization earns AAHRPP accreditation, it must go through rigorous evaluations and demonstrate a strong commitment to protecting participants in research. The first step of the voluntary process includes a self-assessment of the institution’s human research protection programs and the completion of needed improvements. Next, a team of experts reviews the materials and schedules an on-site visit for the AAHRPP to evaluate the institution’s performance.

The AAHRPP Council on Accreditation reviews the reports and findings before accreditation is awarded. Organizations must be re-evaluated every three years to retain their accreditation.

“We are very pleased to award accreditation to Washington University, which makes important contributions to research and innovation, both locally and nationally,” says AAHRPP executive director Marjorie Speers, PhD. “Research participants can be confident that their safety and welfare are paramount concerns at Washington University.”


Washington University School of Medicine’s full-time and volunteer faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children's hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient-care institutions in the nation, currently ranked second by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children's hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.

Last updated 8/26/04