Giordano to Serve on Committee Advising HHS Secretary on Human Research Protections

Posted in GUMC Stories

December 20, 2016 - A Georgetown bioethics expert was recently appointed to a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) committee charged with protecting human research subjects.

James Giordano, PhD, chief of the neuroethics studies program at the Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics and professor in the departments of neurology and biochemistry, was appointed by Sylvia Mathews Burwell, HHS secretary, to serve on the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Human Research Protections (SACHRP) on December 7.

“I thank Secretary Burwell for her support, and look forward to working with her, you and the SACHRP on the important tasks, challenges and opportunities that lie ahead,” Giordano said in an email accepting the appointment, which began immediately and will last through 2018.  

Supporting the Protection of Human Research Subjects

The HHS secretary is responsible for the oversight of the systems that ensure the protection of human subjects in research supported or conducted by HHS, which includes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Food and Drug Administration and National Institutes of Health.

The SACHRP, which meets at least twice per year, helps advise the HHS secretary on ways to improve those systems, “including the responsibilities of investigators, institutional review boards (IRBs), administrators and institutional officials, and the role for the Office of Human Research Protections and other offices within HHS.” Working with the assistant secretary for health, the SACHRP shares their expertise “on issues and topics pertaining to or associated with the protection of human research subjects” with the HHS secretary.

The SACHRP also addresses issues related to “the responsible conduct of research involving human subjects with particular emphasis on special populations” including pregnant women, infants, children and prisoners. Giordano brings his considerable wealth of experience and expertise in clinical and translational brain science and ethics to the ongoing work of the SACHRP.

Kat Zambon
GUMC Communications