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by Jim Gearhart

Top 5 Quorum Blogs of 2016

I’m not sure any best-of list could completely reflect the events of 2016. Even focusing just on clinical research reveals a wide collection of important moments: technological advances that altered clinical trials and how IRBs review them; efforts to improve the basic elements of clinical research, including informed consent and protecting study participants; and a host of changes from regulatory agencies for us to absorb.

With these and other trends in mind, it’s enlightening to see which of our 2016 blogs captured your attention. Your choices reflected the priorities of the day and suggest themes we can explore in the year ahead.

In 2016 we were delighted to have fascinating conversations with our readers, both in-person and online. We were also honored by TrialFacts as a Top 25 Clinical Research Blog. These interactions inspire us to keep bringing you commentary on the happenings of the clinical research world, and in 2017 we will strive to deliver our very best.

Thank you for reading our articles! We always appreciate hearing your reflections on our posts, so don’t hesitate to contact us.

Without further ado, here is a list of the most viewed Quorum blogs in 2016.


  1. IRBs and Big-Data Research—We’re ALL Confused, Part 1
    (July, 1,654 views)
    The world of research ethics had a few moments in the spotlight this year, such as when Wired magazine discussed the ethics of big data research. In a response to that article, our Executive IRB Chair Stephen Rosenfeld reflected on the implications of big data for IRB reviews.
  1. Tiered Consent: A Format for Simplifying Consent Forms
    (February, 1,747 views)
    No other study document may be assessed—or criticized—as much as the informed consent document. Everyone agrees it needs improvement; few are sure how. This year the Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative (CTTI) endorsed a tiered structure as a solution, but that idea faces some challenges.
  1. One Protocol, Twenty-two IRB Reviews, How Many Differences?
    (May, 2,176 views)
    This blog about the many approaches IRBs took to one study proposal prompted a number of interesting discussions.
  1. Final NIH Policy on Use of a Single Institutional Review Board for Multi-Site Research
    (June, 2,716 views)
    Not everyone agreed with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) new policy on single IRB review; we aimed to lay out the essentials of the new rules.
  1. The France Phase 1 Tragedy
    (March, 6,397 views)
    The year started with one of the frightening events we strive to avoid in clinical research: the death and injuries of participants in a clinical trial. Dr. Rosenfeld assessed the information available in March about the Phase I death in France. By late 2016, French and European authorities proposed new guidelines with further protections.


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