OHRP History

The Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) was created in June 2000 to lead the Department of Health and Human Services’ efforts to protect human subjects in biomedical and behavioral research and to provide leadership for all federal agencies that conduct or support human subjects research under the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects, also known as the Common Rule.  OHRP replaced the Office for Protection from Research Risks (OPRR), which was created in 1972 and was part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  In June 2000, HHS established the National Human Research Protections Advisory Committee (NHRPAC) to provide HHS with expert advice and recommendations on human subject protections matters.

Located in HHS’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, OHRP provides clarification and guidance, develops educational programs and materials, maintains regulatory oversight, provides advice on ethical and regulatory issues in biomedical and behavioral research, and administers assurance of compliance and IRB registration programs. OHRP also supports the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Human Research Protections (SACHRP), which advises the HHS Secretary on issues related to protecting human subjects in research. SACHRP replaced NHRPAC on January 3, 2003 with similar responsibilities. OHRP has oversight over more than 13,000 institutions in the United States and worldwide that conduct HHS-supported non-exempt human subjects research. 

Chronology of Select Events in OHRP’s History


The National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research developed a number of reports and recommendations related to human subject protection, including the Belmont Report.


OHRP was established in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health to elevate its stature and effectiveness.

NHRPAC established to advise HHS on human subject protection.


Modifications in OHRP Functions



Modifications in OHRP Functions


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