University of Pittsburgh Releases Results of External Review of Fetal Tissue Research

Last fall, the University of Pittsburgh proactively enlisted Hyman, Phelps & McNamara, P.C.—an independent, third-party firm—to assess our fetal tissue research process and practices.

This review is now complete and confirms that the University to Pittsburgh’s activities “related to the procurement, disbursement, and use of human fetal tissue in research are fully compliant with applicable laws.” 

The review did identify four administrative recommendations—which have no bearing on compliance—that we are working now to implement. 

As we have stated in the past: Fetal tissue research plays a critical role in advancing life-saving discoveries. We remain committed to maintaining robust internal controls and to extending our record of compliance at the state and federal levels, and we take these responsibilities seriously.

Read the full report (PDF).

On Feb. 1, 2022, Hyman, Phelps, and McNamara issued the following statement, clarifying a citation in the report:

"In our report, we inadvertently reversed references to two studies conducted by the same researcher. The discussion on page 22 should not have cited to the study that was published in Scientific Reports; rather, the citation should have been to the other study conducted by the researcher, which did source tissue from ABR.

"This error does not alter the substantive content of the report or its conclusions: the Pitt IRB reviewed the study protocols for both these studies and appropriately determined they were compliant with federal and state law."