Institutional Conflict of Interest

An institutional conflict of interest (ICOI) arises when the financial interests of the university or personal financial interests of Institutional Officials (IOs) create the potential for inappropriate influence over research activities.

In comparison, an individual conflict of interest arises when the financial interests of investigators compromise or appear to comprise their professional judgment in research activities. Although collaboration with industry at the university and faculty level promotes commercial development of academic discoveries, which benefits the public, it can lead to conflicts of interest. In order to protect human research participants and the integrity of the university’s research programs, separate committees and policies have been established at the university to manage institutional and individual conflicts of interest.

These committees are:

The ICOI Review Committee is comprised of six to nine members appointed by the Chancellor, with at least one member having no university affiliation. Administration of the ICOI Policy is performed by the ICOI Office, which reports administratively under the University Compliance Office and functionally to the Chairman of the ICOI Review Committee.

ICOIs are generally identified by monitoring research activity and associated sponsors of research activity to:

  • Financial relationships reported by IOs on their annual financial disclosure statements.
  • Payers of license revenue associated with technologies licensed by the university.
  • Donors of major gifts.
  • Organizations in which Washington University has an equity interest.
  • Sponsors of educational grants.

ICOI Contacts

Susan K. Dutcher, PhD
Chairman, ICOI Review Committee
Phone: 314-362-2765

Jenny Kunza
ICOI Compliance Manager
Phone: 314-362-4913
Fax: 314-362-4954

ICOI Committee Members

Kathleen Clark, JD
Professor of Law

Ian Duncan, PhD
Professor of Biology
Chairman of Conflict of Interest Review Committee (CIRC), Danforth Campus

Martin Israel, PhD
Professor of Physics

William Sly, MD
James B. & Joan C. Peter Endowed Chair in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, St. Louis University

The Honorable Jean Hamilton
US District Court, Eastern District of Missouri