With more than 40 years’ experience reviewing
protocols, and a distinguished staff of full-time
physicians, Certified IRB Professionals (CIPs),
lawyers, and research professionals, we can ensure
that your study receives expert guidance and a
streamlined review process.
Imagine one point of contact for all your needs. IRB review,
biosafety, translation, international protocols—no matter
how complicated your study, WIRB has the capacity and
expertise to assist you. We are also the only independent
IRB to offer additional safety services.
We make it easy
Our job is to simplify complexity. Responsive account
representatives are ready to answer questions and help you
successfully submit and track your protocol. Use our web
portal to get step-by-step instructions, estimate turnaround
times, track progress, and more.
We are there for subjects as well, with a live operator
available any time of day and a WIRB staff physician always
on call for inquiries about significant safety concerns or
If you are planning an international study, WIRB can help
pave the way for a compliant review around the world. We
have more global contacts, and we have participated in more
studies and regulatory consultations worldwide, than any
other independent IRB.
We know the importance of acquiring and maintaining the
highest level of accreditation. We were the first
independent IRB to receive AAHRPP accreditation, and we have
maintained that accreditation since 2003. We have Certified
IRB Professionals (CIPs) on our staff and we are listed on
more than half of all registered Federalwide Assurances
(FWAs) for federally funded, human subject research.
The Western Institutional Review Board
(WIRB) was founded in 1968 to provide human subject
protection in research. Over the years, we have expanded
our services to meet the ever-changing needs of the
global research community. Today, WIRB offers review
services for more than 400 institutions, all major
sponsors, most Contract Research Organizations (CROs),
coordinating groups, and individual investigators—in all
50 states and around the world.
Regulatory requirements, multi-site coordination,
institutional needs—there are many complexities that can
slow down research. With our unparalleled regulatory
expertise and experience, WIRB can manage these complexities
and ensure your research gets a thorough review quickly.
Learn more about our
Clinical Pharmacology Unit
The clock is always ticking for clinical pharmacology
research. WIRB’s Clinical Pharmacology Unit Services
division is set up to respond quickly for fast and thorough
review of Phase 1 studies and beyond.
Learn more about our
Institutional Biosafety Committee
Safe storage, handling, and disposal of gene-modified,
biohazardous materials—these issues are among the many
challenges for investigators and sponsors of research
involving recombinant DNA. WIRB’s Institutional Biosafety
Committee Services (IBCS) can help your team navigate this
complicated process and protect the safety of staff,
communities, and the environment.
Learn more about our
Education and Consulting
Improve your ability to maintain compliance and protect
human subjects with guidance from our experienced educators
and consultants. We offer a wide array of training,
consulting, and staffing services for investigators,
institutions, and sponsors. WIRB can help you write your
protocol or your consent form, provide regulatory support
for local IRBs, and deliver insights about IBCS issues.
Learn more about
our Education and Consulting Services.
With review experience in more than 70 countries, including
Canada, WIRB can help you meet all the logistical, cultural,
and regulatory challenges of international research. If you
are planning an international study, WIRB’s established
international network and deep knowledge of global
regulations and cultural sensitivities can help pave the way
for a compliant review around the globe.
Learn more about our
The Mission of the Western
Institutional Review Board is to Protect the Rights and
Welfare of the Human Research Subject.
To accomplish our mission, we strive to:
- Ensure that the risks of scientific advancement
shall never outweigh the value of human life.
- Follow our traditions while embracing new
technologies and practices.
- Maintain appropriate ethical conduct and
- Honor our hallmark of respect for all persons.
- Engage in a continuing quest for excellence.
"WIRB is a true
pioneer in the ethical review process.
With over 400 professional staff and IRB
Board members, WIRB has deep domain
expertise in all types and phases of
human research. No other organization
can match our balance of efficiency and
quality and do it globally. I invite you
to experience the WIRB Advantage."
Laurie L. Jackson, CPA, MBA
Chief Operating Officer/Chief Financial
Compliance, Medical Affairs, IBC, and DSM
- Executive and Corporate Management
- IRB Business and Client Development
- Education and Consulting Services
Vleck, M.D., CIP
Chief Medical Officer and VP
Melissa G. Havens, JD, MBA, CIP
General Counsel and Company
Sherry Felchlin, CIP
Senior Account Executive,
Marketing and Client Development
A History of WIRB
The Western Institutional Review
Board (WIRB) was established in 1968 to provide human
subject protection for endocrinology research conducted
by Dr. Angela Bowen, the founder, past president and CEO
of WIRB. The Board later reviewed a variety of research
for other investigators in the local community. WIRB was
incorporated in 1977. A need for independent IRB review
services increased in 1981, when the FDA regulations
became effective. In response, WIRB established its
current central IRB structure, allowing an expanded
clientele to be served not only in the local community
but also across the United States.
With the changing regulatory environment of the late
1990s, WIRB extended its institutional services to
several large university IRBs and other local IRBs. WIRB
provides services to a growing number of institutions,
while continuing to serve independent researchers around
We began offering Institutional Biosafety Committee
Services in 2000, followed by Data and Safety Monitoring
Services. In 2007, WIRB started a panel devoted to Phase
1 research, which has since expanded to reviewing all
types of dedicated clinical pharmacology research.
Responding to global needs
WIRB strives to respond to the
evolving needs of the global research community and has
provided services internationally since 1986.
In response to Canada’s revised research review
requirements, WIRB established a panel to review
research conducted in Canada. The panel, whose standing
membership is composed of Canadian nationals, held its
first review meeting in October 2001.
To help improve standards for medical research and
regulations around the world, WIRB established the
International Fellows Program in 2002. Conducted in
partnership with the World Health Organization, Research
and Training in Tropical Diseases, the National
Institutes of Health, and the University of Washington,
this six-month training program is for foreign health
care professionals who want to learn how to establish or
improve review boards in their regions. We have
continued to expand our international network, and we
now have experience working in more than 70 countries.
In 2003, WIRB was the first independent IRB to be
accredited by the Association for the Accreditation of
Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP). In 2006 and
again in 2009, AAHRPP renewed WIRB’s accreditation
The Applied Research Ethics National Association
established the Council for Certification of IRB
Professionals (CCIP) in 1999 to advance the quality of
human subject protection programs through a voluntary
certification program initiated in 2000. A WIRB staff
member was part of the first group to be recognized by
CCIP as a Certified IRB Professional (CIP), and more
than 50 WIRB employees have since become Certified IRB
Now WIRB provides review services
for more than 400 institutions (academic centers,
hospitals, networks, and in-house biotech research), as
well as for individual investigators in all 50 states
and internationally. WIRB has worked with all major
pharmaceutical and device manufacturers, contract
research organizations (CROs), and the biotech industry.