The U of M's plan to make human research safer is pretty good, review finds


After some scathing reviews that found serious issues with the way the University of Minnesota's Department of Psychiatry handled human research trials, the U completely rewrote its standards and practices for the program.

And that new plan is apparently a pretty good one, as long as the university follows through, according to a new report from the Office of the Legislative Auditor.

The University of Minnesota suspended enrollment in human trials last March, after those earlier reviews found serious problems with how the psychiatry department handled the case of Dan Markingson, who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. He took his own life in 2004 while taking part in a drug trial.

Last summer the U outlined and approved a full revamp of how it conducts human trials, which the auditor's office did a review of.

Because things are still being implemented (the audit called the reform efforts "fluid"), the review from the legislative auditor's office can't offer a "definitive judgment" on whether the plan will be effective.

But, based on the goals and current progress that's been made, the audit says things are in good shape.

They called the reforms "ambitious and far-reaching," and noted that some changes have already been made (while other, bigger ones have to go through the U's governance system before they can be adopted).

"If the University accomplishes and sustains all of the proposed changes, we think it will significantly strengthen protections for human research subjects," the auditor's report says.

The full review is 31 pages, and you can read it here.

Next Up

PD Shimmers closeup

Man with Parkinson's lights up Plymouth with synchronized light show

"The best medicine I have for my disease is what I try to do with the light show," Mike Justak said.

Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 7.34.43 AM

Watch: Drunk squirrel in Minnesota captures the world's attention

The squirrel was immediately cut off after nearly tipping over.

Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 7.15.09 PM

Small town gym refusing to close facing lawsuit from attorney general

The gym is facing a lawsuit and a temporary restraining order to halt their operations.

credit card, payment

Money Gal Coaching: Bouncing back after living your best life

Kelly Blodgett started Money Gal Coaching after paying down nearly $50K in debt in 18 months.


When do stores open on Black Friday this year?

Many major retailers will be open Black Friday, some for extended hours.

police tape, crime scene

Man found dead outside home near Cass Lake

The man was reportedly shot outside the property.


Gov. Walz announces $1M in grants to boost Minnesota tourism

The money will be used for marketing efforts to attract people to Minnesota's hard-hit tourist spots.

coronavirus, ICU

Nov. 25 COVID-19 update: 72 deaths ties Minnesota's single-day high

A COVID-19 update will not be provided on Thanksgiving Day.


Revival to open its fourth Twin Cities location

The fried chicken and smoked meat maestros are moving to St. Louis Park.