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Dr. Ara Tahmassian

Chief Research Compliance Officer, Harvard University

Project Director, Building University Capacity in Responsible Science for Broader Middle East and North Africa

Dr. Ara Tahmassian

Ara Tahmassian, Ph.D., is currently Harvard University’s Chief Research Compliance Officer. In this role he is broadly responsible for the overall effort to manage potential risks at the University by integrating and coordinating the significant compliance requirements across the University. He is responsible for the oversight of the review, development, and implementation of policies related to research compliance activities across the University and management of University-wide Institutional Committees. He is also the Project Director for a Department of State Funded program for “Building University Capacity in Responsible Science for Broader Middle East and North Africa”.Prior to being named University Chief Research Compliance Officer at Harvard, Dr. Tahmassian was the Associate Vice President for Research Compliance at Boston University and Boston Medical Center, responsible for maintaining a research environment that promoted integrity and ethical behavior and that abided by the regulations and requirements established by the federal, state, and local funding agencies. Dr. Tahmassian also served as the Principal Investigator for the core BSL-3 select agent laboratory and as one of the Associate Directors of the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories (NEIDL) at the BU Medical Campus.

He also served as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research at University of California San Francisco in until his retirement in October 2006.

He has extensive experience in research compliance topics including Institutional Review Board; Environmental Health and Safety; Institutional Biosafety, Radiation Safety and Laboratory Safety; Dual User Research of Concern (DURC) oversight; Research Occupational Health Program (ROHP); Animal Care and Use Programs; Financial Conflict of Interest; Responsible Conduct of Research and Offices of Sponsored Research Programs.

Dr. Tahmassian holds a B.Sc. in nuclear engineering and a Ph.D. in radiobiology from Queen Mary College, London University, and is a Diplomat of the American Board of Sciences in Nuclear Medicine. He serves on a number of national and international scientific and professional organizations.