2009 Webinar: Strategies for Institutional Officials

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During Strategies for Institutional Officials: Addressing Conflicts of Interest and Quality Control, participants learned more about...

  • Brief Overview: What is the institutional official (IO) and what do they do? – Learn about the nominal IO versus the functional IO, and discover who should be an IO. 
  • Conflicts of interest – What should a veteran IO be concerned about on their campus? Should there be different rules for human research versus other research? 
  • Quality Control – How does an institution establish or operate a quality control program? How does an institution decide which model of quality control program will work best for their institution? What does it mean for an IO to stand behind their program?


Since this program will address human subjects protections issues from the IO’s perspective, the target audience for this program was IOs who work in an academic research setting, or with a human research protections program (HRPP) or commercial institutional review boards (IRBs). Others who work with HRPPs/IRBs who are interested in learning more about this topic were also encouraged to attend.


Suzanne Rivera, PhD, MSW
Suzanne Rivera is the Associate Vice President for Research Services at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. She is responsible for a variety of academic support services there, including four institutional review boards (IRBs) and the institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC). Dr. Rivera also oversees several large campus service units such as laboratory animal resources, animal worker protection, the libraries, and a number of scientific core facilities. In addition, she teaches classes on ethics to medical students and on public policy to graduate students in the Department of Clinical Sciences. Dr. Rivera has been at UT Southwestern since 2003.

Prior to arriving at UT Southwestern, Dr. Rivera spent seven years in the Office of Research Administration at the University of California-Irvine. As Director of Research Protections at UCI, she had responsibility for the operation of three IRBs, one IACUC, and one rDNA Use Committee. From 1993 to 1996, she worked at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in the San Francisco Regional Office, first as a Presidential Management Intern and later as a Program Specialist with the Administration for Children and Families.  Dr. Rivera has a BA from Brown University, a Master of Social Welfare degree from UC Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Dallas.

David Wynes, PhD
David Wynes is the Vice President for Research Administration at Emory University. In this position, Dr. Wynes serves as the chief administrative officer responsible for the effectiveness and efficiency of the infrastructure that supports the research mission of Emory University. He oversees the Office of Technology Transfer, Office of Sponsored Programs, Office of Research Compliance, Office for Clinical Research, the Institutional Review Board Office, the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee Office, and the Conflict of Interest in Research Office. He is the designated Institutional Official for both the IRB and IACUC programs. Dr. Wynes currently serves as the Chair of the Council on Accreditation at the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP), as a member of the Board of Directors of the Council on Governmental Relations (COGR), the National Association for Biomedical Research (NABR), and for Georgia Bio, the biotechnology industry support organization in Georgia.

Prior to moving to Emory in February 2007, Dr. Wynes was at the University of Iowa for 16 years where he was the Senior Associate Vice President for Research. Other work experience includes positions at Boston University, Tufts University, theMount Desert Island Biological Laboratory, and the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole. He holds a BA and MS in biology and a PhD in zoology.

Certificates of Attendance 

Certificates of Attendance for Strategies for Institutional Officials: Address Conflicts of Interest and Quality Control were available after the conclusion of the webinar. Such certificates are useful for obtaining Continuing Education Credits (not Continuing Medical Education Credits) from professional associations.  Note that guidelines concerning Continuing Education Credits may differ, and you should consult the appropriate professional association representative for further guidance.