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Demetrius Albanes to Chair NIH Ethics Committee

March 2011 - Linkage Newsletter

In October, Demetrius Albanes, M.D., Nutritional Epidemiology Branch, was chosen to become chair of the NIH Committee on Scientific Conduct and Ethics. His predecessor was Joan Schwartz, Ph.D., formerly the Assistant Director of Intramural Research at NIH, who chaired the committee for over a decade. Dr. Albanes was appointed by Michael Gottesman, M.D., NIH Deputy Director for Intramural Research.

In 1995, the committee was established to help set policies for the NIH Intramural Research Program on scientific ethics issues, to create mechanisms for teaching the principles of scientific conduct, and to establish ways to resolve conflict. In recent years, the committee has been responsible for versions of the Guidelines for the Conduct of Research in the Intramural Research Program at NIH, which provides a framework for the ethical conduct of research without inhibiting scientific freedom and creativity. The committee has created a computer-based course in research ethics that new scientific staff must complete to ensure a basic understanding of the policies and regulations governing the responsible conduct of research. Each year, the committee selects a topic for in-person discussions of cases in research ethics in which all research staff participate. The committee also contributes to the ethics column in The NIH Catalyst.

As the new chair, Dr. Albanes hopes to work with the committee to assist in maintaining the highest level of scientific ethical conduct across the NIH intramural research program.

Learn more about the ethical conduct of research