Program Director

Deborah A. Zarin, MD, is the Program Director, Advancing the Clinical Trials Enterprise.  In that role, Dr. Zarin focuses on improving the quality of clinical trials, as well as the quality of clinical trials reporting. She has worked with colleagues to develop a framework for understanding the sources of uninformative (low value) clinical trials and is engaged in several research projects to identify points of leverage for decreasing the initiation of low value trials.

Prior to coming to the MRCT Center, Dr. Zarin was the Director of between 2005 and 2018.  In that capacity, she oversaw the world’s largest clinical trials registry, as well as the development and implementation of the first public database for summary clinical trial results.  She also played a major role in the development and implementation of key legal and policy mandates for clinical trial reporting, including regulations under FDAAA (42 CFR Part 11) and the NIH trial reporting policy.  In addition to serving as a key advisor for the various policies and overseeing the development and operations at, she led a research program focused on improving trial reporting policies, and using data generated from to analyze issues within the clinical research enterprise that interfere with the optimal reporting of trials.

Previous positions held by Dr. Zarin include the Director, Technology Assessment Program, at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the Director of the Practice Guidelines program at the American Psychiatric Association. In these positions, Dr. Zarin conducted systematic reviews and related analyses in support of evidence based clinical and policy recommendations.

Dr. Zarin graduated from Stanford University and received her doctorate in medicine from Harvard Medical School.  She completed a clinical decision making fellowship and a pediatric internship, as well as residencies in general psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry.  She is board certified in general psychiatry as well as in child and adolescent psychiatry.