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Beebe Appointed Chair of Institutional Review Board

Lora Beebe, professor, at the College of Nursing was recently selected to serve as the Chair of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at The University of Tennessee. The IRB regulates all research activities involving human subjects on the UT Knoxville campus. The IRB is a committee appointed to ensure rights, safety, and welfare of human research subjects; ensure compliance with all applicable federal and state laws/regulations; and conduct ethical reviews of human research activities including initial, continuation, modification, unanticipated problems and alleged noncompliance.

“As a researcher working with community dwelling persons with schizophrenia for 25 years, I have long been attuned to the ethical issues surrounding consent and respect for persons,” said Beebe. “Over my past three years of IRB membership, I learned a great deal about the policies and processes surrounding human subject protections and research requirements.”

Beebe received her BSN from Marshall University, her MS and PhD from the University of Kentucky. Through her research, she has masterfully shepherded scholarly practice for her work to transform psychiatric nursing practice and nursing education nationally and internationally.

“I want to express my gratitude for Dean Niederhauser. She has been very supportive of me pursuing the IRB chair position from the beginning! She is a champion of not only nursing, but CON faculty in doing whatever she can to help us achieve success,” said Beebe.

As chair, Beebe will be responsible for proposal reviews, conducting IRB meetings, assigning research proposals to reviewers based on reviewer expertise, collaborating with the human research protections program (HRPP), and maintaining initial and ongoing training on ethics and other IRB related topics

“I think it is wonderful for the CON to be represented in this important and visible group.  Having a leadership role on the IRB brings me to the table to give input into decisions that affect research across campus – I will have advance knowledge of new research options and processes that affect our research in the CON, and I can ensure that the perspective of CON researchers is considered when changes are made. As chair, I will also have an opportunity to be involved in the accreditation initiative of the Human Research Protections Program,” said Beebe. “Serving on the IRB is intellectually stimulating and the IRB and HRPP staff and leadership are supportive and collegial.  I’m grateful to them for providing mentorship and I am thrilled to be part of their team!”




Kara Clark (865-974-9498,