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NEWS | Feb. 3, 2023

NAMRU San Antonio hosts Navy Human Research Protection Program

By Burrell Parmer Naval Medical Research Unit San Antonio Public Affairs

Department of Defense-related research typically requires additional compliance activities, documentation, and subject protections. 

To provide additional oversight of human-based research, members of the Department of the Navy Human Research Protection Program conducted a site visit at Naval Medical Research Unit San Antonio at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston Jan. 24-26.
The DON HRPP is responsible for ensuring human subjects research conducted or supported by U.S. Navy complies with federal, DOD and Navy regulations.

Its mission is to ensure the ethical treatment of human subjects in DON-conducted or supported research by promoting adherence to the ethical principles, laws, regulations, and policies that protect human subjects.

According to Cmdr. Leedjia Svec, DON HRPP director, HRPP conducts between 10 to 16 site visits to research facilities annually.

“Assist visits and site inspections allow that interface with principal investigators, staff, and other personnel involved with human subjects research,” said Svec. “The program exists to ensure that people nor facilities purposely or accidentally violate the rights of human beings to have a choice in the research they are engaged in.”

All research involving human subjects conducted by DON laboratories, public health centers, systems and training commands, operational forces, and non-DoD institutions performing DON-supported human subjects research is subjected to DON HRPP oversight.

According to Dr. Sylvain Cardin, NAMRU San Antonio’s chief science director, the visit benefited the command as it ensures compliance with human subjects research requirements and safety.
“Their feedback will benefit the command in streamlining human subjects' research processes,” Cardin said. “Their recommendations will help our researchers to conduct high-quality research while ensuring the safety and care of our human subjects.”

“Our command highly values the DON HRPP visit as it helps us reassess and improved our operational human subjects research procedures,” Cardin continued. “This is in step with the principles of Get Real Get Better initiated by the chief of naval operations.”

NAMRU San Antonio’s mission is to conduct gap-driven combat casualty care, craniofacial, and directed energy research to improve survival, operational readiness, and safety of DOD personnel engaged in routine and expeditionary operations.

It is one of the leading research and development laboratories for the U.S. Navy under the DOD and is one of eight subordinate research commands in the global network of laboratories operating under the Naval Medical Research Center in Silver Spring, Maryland.