What exactly is SEPCOM?

The Scientific Evaluation and Prioritization Committee (SEPCOM) is the governing committee of the Clinical Research Units (CRU). Committee members are recommended by the CRU Program Directors of respective institutions within GHUCCTS and appointed by the Principal Investigators of the CTSA grant, Joseph Verbalis, MD and Thomas Mellman, MD. We currently have 30 voting and 32 non-voting members.

The priorities of the research to be performed at the CRUs are determined by SEPCOM. The committee’s primary focus is to provide peer-review of research studies and prioritization of research projects. SEPCOM advises the Participant and Clinical Interactions Resources (PCIR) leadership on overall program priorities and resource allocation based on the GHUCCTS’ mission and the NIH program guidelines. Periodically, SEPCOM reviews CRU operations to ensure that the CRU resources are used for the most scientifically justified and relevant projects. SEPCOM ensures that research activities reflect the diversity and quality of GHUCCTS.

Some of the specific responsibilities of SEPCOM are:

• Review of protocols for scientific merit, patient safety, appropriateness and need for CRU support, adequacy of data management, and biostatistical rigor.
• Prioritization of projects for the CRU.
• Approval of resource allocation for individual protocols.
• Assurance that the inclusion of women, minorities and children are appropriately considered in the design of study samples as per NIH policy.