WCG IRB traces its roots to the founding of Western Institutional Review Board (WIRB) in 1968, the world’s first independent ethical review board.

In 2020, after integrating WIRB with four leading independent IRBs — Copernicus Group IRB, New England IRB, Aspire IRB, and Midlands IRB – WCG IRB remains the unrivaled leader in providing the highest quality ethical review.

IRB Review

With more than 200 experienced members on our AAHRPP-accredited boards, and more than 50 years of experience in protocol and study-related review, WCG IRB brings more expertise to the industry than any other ethical solutions provider.

IBC Administration and Review

Since 2000, WCG IRB has provided Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) services to nearly 800 institutions comprising hundreds of active sites around the world. WCG IRB is by far the most experienced and knowledgeable provider of IBC administration and review. Our team has evaluated more than 400 human gene transfer protocols — more than any organization outside the FDA and NIH.

Our Commitment to Diversity

WCG IRB celebrates the importance of diversity and inclusion with regard to the clinical research process. We hold the diversity of our Board members as essential in representing diverse perspectives on research proposals.

Of the core IRB members, 67% identify as female and 33% as male. Of core IRB members who chose to identify their racial and ethnic identity, 56% of the core members identify as white, 11% as Asian, 11% as Black, and 11% as Hispanic or Latinx. Of the alternate IRB members, 58% identify as female and 40% as male. Of alternate IRB members who chose to identify their racial and ethnic identify, 80% identify as white, 6% as Asian, 5% as Black, 3% as Hispanic or Latinx and 1% as multiple races. 

As the membership of the IRB evolves, it is our goal to recruit new members such that the composition of both the core and alternate membership reflects the racial and ethnic distribution of the North American population.

Both core and alternate IRB members identify as members of the LGBTQIA community, as disabled or living with chronic illness, as multiple religions, and as representing a wide range of ages and experiences. Formal training has also been provided to all WCG IRB members about the history of research in different populations, and in considerations about diversity and representation in current research practices. 

Board meeting attendance is scheduled 8-12 weeks in advance, and certain representatives must be present in each meeting to meet regulatory and quorum requirements. It is not possible to guarantee that any specific protocol will be reviewed by a group with a specific demographic profile.

Explore Our History

1968

WIRB pioneers the concept of Independent Ethical Review

1981

Midlands IRB founded

1989

New England IRB founded

1996

Copernicus Group IRB founded

1996

Institutions begin relying on WCG IRB

2000

IBC services introduced

2001

IRBNet founded

2002

International Fellows Program launched in partnership with WHO, NIH and UW

2003

WIRB first Independent IRB to earn AAHRPP acreditation

2004

Aspire IRB founded

2010

Copernicus Group Achieves ISO Certification

2012

WIRB and Copernicus Group unite

2015

WIRB achieves ISO certification

2015

International Fellows Program Expands to NYU

2016

WCG establishes Gene Therapy Advisory Board.

2017

WCG IRB celebrates 4,000th convened IBC meeting

2018

WIRB celebrates 50th anniversary

2020

WCG IRB formed from five leading IRBs