HHS SECRETARY SHALALA NAMES EMORY DEAN
TO HIGH-LEVEL ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Donna E. Shalala has appointed
Robert R. Rich, M.D., executive associate dean of research in Emory
University School of Medicine, to the new National Human Research Protections
Advisory Committee. As one of 12 committee members, Dr. Rich will advise
the secretary and other department officials on issues pertaining to
responsible conduct of human research and protection of human subjects.
"The recent explosion in biomedical research has presented new challenges
and created new potential ethical dilemmas," Secretary Shalala said.
"The advice and insights we receive from this new committee will be
invaluable in helping us achieve our goal of further strengthening government
oversight in protecting individuals who volunteer to participate in
human research studies."
Secretary Shalala established the advisory committee in June 2000 along
with the new HHS Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP), which
replaced the former Office for Protection from Research Risks at the
National Institutes of Health (NIH). The creation of the advisory committee
and OHRP was one of several new initiatives to further strengthen protections
of human research subjects in clinical trials, including those involving
gene transfer. The departmentŐs actions are designed to heighten government
oversight of biomedical research and to reinforce to research institutions
their responsibility to oversee their clinical researchers and institutional
review boards (IRBs).
The appointment of Dr. Rich by Secretary Shalala is his second major
national scientific appointment this year. On July 1, Dr. Rich was named
president-elect of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental
Biology (FASEB), the largest coalition of biomedical research associations
in the United States, composed of 20 scientific societies with more
than 60,000 members. Dr. Rich will become FASEB president on July 1,
2001, a role in which he will strive to improve the quality of the research
partnership between the federal government and universities.
Dr. Rich received his medical degree from the University of Kansas
in 1966, then completed his internship and residency at the University
of Washington and fellowships in immunology at the NIH and Harvard Medical
School. In 1973 he joined the faculty of Baylor College of Medicine.
From 1977 to 1991 he was an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical
Institute. In 1995 he was appointed Distinguished Service Professor
of Microbiology & Immunology and Medicine at Baylor. Dr. Rich served
as vice president and dean of research at Baylor College of Medicine
from 1990 to 1998 before moving to Emory.