EL PASO, Texas (KTSM)- The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) President Heather Wilson and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso) President Richard Lange, recently signed an agreement in which research-oriented faculty at both universities will engage in joint research projects.
According to a UTEP news release, UTEP, and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso have renewed their commitment to work collaboratively and expand opportunities for biomedical and health science research between both institutions.
“Our faculty identified some barriers to working together and showed us how to fix them,” Wilson said. “Rick Lange and I each believe UTEP and TTUHSC El Paso should be close partners in research and teaching. This is a good step toward deepening our partnership.”
The research projects will involve neuroscience, drug therapies, cancer prevention, and health disparities to advance health-related research, education and health care practices in the Paso del Norte region, the release said.
“TTUHSC El Paso and UTEP share a mission of eliminating health care disparities in the Paso del Norte region while researching treatments for diseases that affect our border population,” said Lange. “Collaborative research helps open the door for discoveries that will benefit the health of our community, and we look forward to a strong partnership between our universities.”
To facilitate these projects, each institution has taken steps to streamline its institutional review board (IRB) process, which reviews research proposals and provides oversight of research studies involving human subjects, said the release.
UTEP and TTUHSC El Paso each will appoint a faculty or staff member to serve on the IRB of the other institution. Following guidelines implemented by The University of Texas System, one institution’s IRB can serve as the IRB of record.
IRB administrators will meet regularly to share information and address and solve problems.
According to the release, both universities plan to conduct joint educational campaigns to raise awareness among faculty and researchers on how to collaborate and secure IRB review on joint projects.