Sarah B. Putney, JD, has been named new director of the Emory University Institutional Review Board (IRB) Office, effective November 1.
The IRB is a research oversight committee charged with assuring that appropriate steps are taken to protect the rights and welfare of humans participating as subjects in approved research studies.
Putney has served as director of Human Subjects Administration at the Harvard School of Public Health for the last six years. She held an adjunct faculty appointment in the Department of Health Policy Management, where she taught research ethics and the responsible conduct of research. She also serves as a consultant for the Office for Human Research Protection in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
As Human Subjects Director at Harvard, Putney directed several major projects, including ethics training in human research, the creation of an IRB electronic reporting tool, and the development of a global research ethics map.
"The IRB is an essential and critically important part of our research enterprise," says Thomas J. Lawley, MD, dean, Emory University School of Medicine. "Without the IRB and its scientific and ethical oversight, important new therapies could not be tested and made available for our patients. Sarah Putney has the experience and expertise necessary to insure excellence in the organization and conduct of our human clinical trials."
"Emory University is committed to the highest standards of rigor and quality in our human research program," says David L. Wynes, PhD, Emory vice president for research administration. "We look forward to Sarah Putney's leadership as we continue to grow our research enterprise in all disciplines."
Before coming to Harvard, Putney served as coordinator of the Human Investigations Committee at Yale University School of Medicine and as Contract Manager of Yale's office of Grant and Contract Administration. She received her undergraduate degree from Yale University and her JD degree from the University of Maine School of Law.
Putney has served as a speaker and faculty member for national and international programs on ethical issues in health research.