About the IRB Committee

Federal and state regulations mandate that research involving human participants must be reviewed and approved by an Institutional Review Board (IRB). Learn more about Cornell's IRB and its membership.

The Cornell IRB is a standing committee of the University Faculty whose activities are overseen by the Vice Provost for Research.  Cornell's Human Research Protection Program operates under two Federal Wide Assurances (FWAs) filed with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: one for the Ithaca-based campuses, including Cornell Tech (FWA 00004513), and one for Weill Cornell in New York City (FWA 0000952). Weill Cornell operates separate IRBs.

What does the IRB do?

The IRB is responsible for providing guidance and oversight for Cornell's Human Research Protection Program, and for helping to maintain compliance with applicable regulations and policies.

Federal regulations require that any IRB include at a minimum: one member whose primary concerns are in scientific areas, one member whose primary concerns are in nonscientific areas, numerous members representing more than a single profession, and at least one individual not affiliated with Cornell.

Because Cornell is a large institution, additional members are included to provide adequate representation of the diverse research community and to accommodate the workload associated with reviewing large numbers of applications. Membership beyond the minimum required by regulation is drawn from faculty and staff primarily from the social, behavioral and biological sciences.

Cornell's IRB includes twelve to eighteen voting members. Members are appointed by the President, upon recommendation of the Dean of Faculty in consultation with the Vice Provost for Research. Members are typically appointed to a three year term. The committee chair is appointed from the faculty membership and will serve for a term of one to three years, after which they may be re-appointed.

Current IRB Membership

  • Kathleen Bergin, J.D., non-scientist
  • Reverend Doctor Robin Blair, non-affiliated member and non-scientist
  • Kent Bullis, M.D., Executive Director, Cornell Health
  • Anthony Burrow, Associate Professor, Human Development
  • Alexis Brubaker (Ex-Officio, non-voting), Biosafety Officer, Environmental Health & Safety
  • Gary Evans, Professor, Design and Environmental Analysis/Human Development
  • Kenneth Hill, M.D., Cornell Health
  • Saurabh Mehta, Associate Professor, Nutritional Sciences
  • Sarah von Schrader, Assistant Director of Research, K. Lisa Yang and Hock E. Tan Institute on Employment and Disability, ILR School
  • Robert Scott, Executive Director, Cornell Prison Education Program, Prisoner representative
  • Mike Shapiro, Professor, Communication
  • Josh Turse, Senior Biosafety Specialist (alternate for Alexis Brubaker)
  • Martin T. Wells, Professor, Department of Statistics and Data Science
  • Andrew Willford (Chair), Professor, Anthropology
  • Jura Liaukonyte, Dake Family Associate Professor, Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management