Improving patient care and the health of our community through research and education.

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The Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation (MMRF) is a subsidiary of Hennepin Healthcare System, Inc., and operates as the research arm of Hennepin County Medical Center, an acute care research and teaching hospital in Minneapolis. MMRF is the third-largest nonprofit medical research organization in Minnesota and consistently ranks in the top ten percent of all institutions receiving research funding from the National Institutes of Health.

Learn more about our research programs.

August 2016

IRB marks 50 years of protecting the rights and welfare of human research subjects at MMRF and HCMC

GH_letterFor half a century, an Institutional Review Board (IRB) has been reviewing, approving and monitoring research involving human subjects at the Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation (MMRF) and Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC). When the IRB began in 1966, it was called the Research Advisory Committee. In 1987, it was renamed the Human Subjects Research Committee (HSRC).

IRBs are committees charged by the federal government with protecting the rights and welfare of human subjects in research.  No human subjects research on the HCMC campus or by its faculty may proceed without HSRC approval.

The committee’s diverse membership includes hospital and community representatives, scientists and non-scientists. The group reviews research proposals, considers the risks and benefits to human subjects, and ensures that research subjects provide voluntary and informed consent. Once a research study is approved, the HSRC monitors its progress and addresses any problems that research subjects may encounter.

On July 25, 2016, the HSRC commemorated its 50th Anniversary at a committee meeting. HSRC Chair Frederick Langendorf, MD, reviewed the history of human subjects research, including events that led up to and followed the formation of IRBs. Dr. Langendorf also recounted how and why an IRB was created on the Hennepin campus in 1966, along with other milestones in the committee’s first 50 years.

To learn more about the HSRC, visit the Office for Human Subjects Research / IRB web page.

To view a timeline about the history of human subjects research and the IRB at MMRF and HCMC, please visit the MMRF / IRB Timeline.

Watch the video to learn about our history