Emory's New IACUC MOU for Research Collaboration

Emory University’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) recently developed a new collaborative institutional Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) process with other research institutions to provide proper IACUC oversight on collaborative research studies.

IACUCs are centrally important in applying laws about animal research. Every institution that uses animals for federally-funded laboratory research must have a committee to review research protocols and conduct evaluations of the institution's animal care and use.

The new Emory MOU policy is used when another research institution engages in team science with Emory researchers and when a partnership fosters a fee-for-service relationship. The aim of the MOU is to create a greater availability of research support services for faculty at partnering institutions to minimize duplication of resources, and to expand research collaboration opportunities.

"At Emory, this is an excellent time to pursue greater collaboration with our partner institutions in Georgia for the benefit of our faculty and our research mission. The relationships fostered by this policy expands the research expertise and services offered to investigators at engaged institutions," says Michael Zwick, PhD, assistant vice president for research, Woodruff Health Sciences Center, assistant dean of research, Emory University School of Medicine, and core program director, Research Technologies, ACTSI.

The MOU forms are written in fillable PDFs and are generally two-pages long. The simplicity of the format is very popular, offers very short turnaround time, and was very well received by other institutions such as Duke, University of Pennsylvania, UNC at Chapel Hill, and Mercer University. 

“Considering the last edition of the “Guide for the Care and Use for Laboratory Animals,” in association with the NIH Office of Laboratory Welfare, and following a current trend by research institutions, the MOU was adopted by the Emory IACUC to meet the mandatory criteria for providing proper IACUC oversight,” said Larry Iten, DVM, IACUC director, Emory University. 

Additionally, Emory and the University of Georgia entered into an MOU for reciprocal use of core facilities using the same rates and terms earlier this year. ACTSI has several IRB reciprocity agreements, material transfer agreements, intellectual property agreements, and others with partner institutions Emory University, Morehouse School of Medicine, and Georgia Institution of Technology.

“Efforts to support research programs for investigators, foster beneficial collaborations, and optimize available resources are needed to meet the challenges in conducting translational research,” said Andrew West, MBA. MHA, senior center administrator, Atlanta Clinical & Translational Science Institute (ACTSI), Emory University.

ACTSI is a city-wide partnership between Emory, Morehouse School of Medicine, and Georgia Institute of Technology and is one of over 60 in a national consortium striving to improve the way biomedical research is conducted across the country. The consortium, funded through the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) and the National Institutes of Health’s Clinical and Translational Science Awards, shares a common vision to translate laboratory discoveries into treatments for patients, engage communities in clinical research efforts, and train the next generation of clinical investigators.