About the IRB Committee

UPDATED April 29, 2022

Cornell's IRB is using the RASS-IRB system for new protocol submissions, continuing reviews, amendments, and adverse event and protocol deviation reporting. See more details about the transition to RASS-IRB here. Find how-to documentation and recordings of Zoom training sessions on the RASS Guide Site.

For help, questions, or feedback about the RASS-IRB system, contact the RASS team at: rass@research.cornell.edu. For content-related questions about your IRB protocol or other human participant research topics, email irbhp@cornell.edu per usual. You can also schedule a Zoom meeting with members of the RASS or IRB teams via Microsoft Bookings.

Face masks are still required for in-person, on-campus human participant research. Please regularly check the Cornell IRB COVID-19 FAQs and guidance materials for research on campus during the pandemic, as well as the Cornell COVID Dashboard and the Research Continuity Guidance webpage for information about how the pandemic is impacting Cornell research. Contact irbhp@cornell.edu with any questions or concerns.

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 President for Research and Innovation.  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 President for Research and Innovation. 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

  • Andrew Willford (Chair), Professor, Anthropology
  • Reverend Doctor Robin Blair, non-affiliated member and non-scientist
  • Kent Bullis, M.D., Cornell Health (physician alternate)
  • Anthony Burrow, Professor, Human Development
  • John Clark, M.D., Director of Occupational Medicine, Cornell Health
  • Bobby Edamala, Chief Information Security Officer, IT Security Office
  • Kenneth Hill, M.D., Cornell Health
  • Stephanie Mattoon (Ex-Officio, non-voting, alternate for Dr. Turse), Associate Biosafety Officer, Environmental Health & Safety
  • Saurabh Mehta, 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 alternate
  • Mike Shapiro, Professor, Communication
  • Joshua Turse (Ex-Officio, non-voting), Biosafety Officer, Environmental Health & Safety
  • Martin T. Wells, Professor, Department of Statistics and Data Science
  • Jura Liaukonyte, Dake Family Associate Professor, Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management
  • Nancy Wells, Professor, Design and Environmental Analysis, College of Human Ecology
  • Theresa (Tess) Pendergast, Lecturer, Global Development