About the IRB Committee

UPDATED November 10, 2021:

At this time, invited guests and visitors to the Cornell Ithaca campus--including research participants*--who are 12 years old or older must show proof of vaccination for COVID-19 or the results of a recent negative COVID-19 test. Principal Investigators are responsible for enforcing this requirement if it applies to their participant population. See the Cornell COVID-19 Visitors Webpage for more details. The Cornell Tech campus has its own visitor policy requiring proof of vaccination, which you can review on the Cornell Tech COVID-19 Visitors Webpage.

No IRB protocol amendment submission is needed to implement these participant eligibility and screening requirements, unless you are revising recruitment or informed consent materials. Please contact irbhp@cornell.edu with any questions or concerns. The IRB COVID-19 FAQs and guidance materials have been updated to reflect this university policy change.

*If you believe your participant enrollment or retention will be severely negatively impacted by this visitor requirement, please contact IRB Manager Myles Gideon at mbg223@cornell.edu.

All individuals on Cornell's campus--regardless of vaccination status--are required to wear a mask outside (when physical distancing cannot be maintained) and inside campus buildings (except in private, non-shared spaces, or when eating/drinking). As COVID-19 pandemic-related requirements on the Cornell Ithaca campuses are reevaluated and updated, the IRB and ORIA will continue to revise our human participant research-specific FAQs and guidance documents to reflect current guidelines. Thank you for your patience and cooperation, and please contact the IRB if you have any questions.

The IRB office published a newsletter on October 28, 2021. Click to read more.

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), Biosafety Specialist, 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