GRIT 2016: Speaker Bios
Elizabeth Heitman, PhD - Associate Professor, Vanderbilt University. Elizabeth Heitman, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Medical Ethics in the Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society, with appointments in the Departments of Medicine and Anesthesiology. She holds additional teaching appointments in the College of Arts and Science through the Center for Medicine, Health, and Society and Department of Religious Studies.
Dr. Heitman’s work focuses on cultural issues and international aspects of ethics in medicine, biomedical science, and public health. Her research examines international standards of research ethics and education in the responsible conduct of research (RCR) and trainees’ awareness of professional and cultural norms. She is co-principal investigator (co-PI) of a 5-year research ethics education grant from the National Institutes of Health’s Fogarty International Center, “Formação Colaborativa na Ética em Pesquisa (Collaborative Research Ethics Education.” Together with colleagues from the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane in Maputo, Mozambique, she and Troy Moon, MD, from Vanderbilt’s Institute for Global Health, are developing curricular materials and courses for Mozambique’s growing infrastructure in the ethical review of research with human participants. From 2007 to 2012, Dr. Heitman directed a similar Fogarty-sponsored program with the Hospital Nacional de Niños in San José, Costa Rica. She has been a collaborator on the Fogarty-sponsored Pan American Bioethics Initiative at the University of Miami, and she currently serves as an advisory committee member and consultant on similar programs in the Caribbean (Union Graduate College/ Universidad Autonoma de Querétaro/St. George’s University) and China (University of Pittsburgh). She was also previously PI of the National Science Foundation grant “Research Integrity in the Education of International Science Trainees.”
Dr. Heitman is a member of the National Academy of Science’s (NAS) Board on Life Sciences, and its Standing Committee on Educational Institutes for Teaching Responsible Science. Through the NAS she has been a faculty member in the International Faculty Development Project on Education about Research in the Life Sciences with Dual Use Potential in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), co-sponsored by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina and The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS). She currently chairs the NAS’ Committee for the Third MENA Institute for Responsible Science, and recently chaired the NAS Committee on the Elaboration of a National Curriculum in Bioethics and Responsible Conduct of Science for Algeria, advising the Algerian Ministry of Higher Education. Since 2009 she has been a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s (AAAS) Science Ethics Initiative with the China Association for Science and Technology, and has contributed to AAAS’s work on biosafety/ biosecurity education since 2008.
Dr. Heitman leads the research ethics activities of the Design, Biostatistics, and Ethics in Research Core of the Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (VICTR), and coordinates VICTR’s educational programs in the responsible conduct of research (RCR). She teaches the required RCR course for Vanderbilt’s Master of Science in Clinical Investigation program, lectures regularly on research ethics and RCR across VUMC, and advises training grant and career development award applicants on their RCR education plans. Dr. Heitman is immediate past Chair of the national CTSA Consortium’s former Clinical Research Ethics Key Function Committee, and served on the Committee’s Educational Materials Working Group.
Sam Gannon, EdD - Vanderbilt Program in Research Administrator Development Director & Director of Vanderbilt Linkages, Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Dr. Gannon is the director of the Vanderbilt Program in Research Administration Development, a nationally known program to education administrative, clinical and other research staff members in the best practices in administration of and compliance in sponsored research programs. His work focuses on strategies to positively impact learning and professional development for faculty, staff and students. Dr. Gannon’s research includes a number of program evaluations and program needs assessments for educational programs in higher education and non-profit program development. He is the principal investigator of a sponsored research project to examine academic medical centers as learning organizations. Together with colleagues in Tennessee and Texas, he completed a yearlong program evaluation of the US Department of Energy’s Student Undergraduate Laboratory Internship program. He has collaborated with colleagues at Harvard University, Georgia Tech, Auburn University and the University of South Carolina to teach train the trainer activities for research administration trainers and faculty members. Dr. Gannon has also be an instrumental component in Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Junior Faculty Development Program, assisting in the curriculum development and facilitation of the sponsored research component. Dr. Gannon is an active member of the National Council of University and Research Administrators and serves on the organization’s national Professional Development Committee. He is also on the editorial board of Research Management Review.
Dan Vasgrid, PhD - Director of the Office of Research Integrity & Compliance, West Virginia University. Dr. Vasgird did his initial academic training at the University of California and completed his PhD in social psychology at Syracuse University. He returned to Cal do an NIMH post-doctoral research fellowship and afterward worked overseas as a human services educator and consultant for the federal government. Later he moved to New York where he was IRB Chair and Senior Research Scientist with the New York City Department of Health, Associate Professor in the School of Public Health and Director of the Office of Responsible Conduct of Research at Columbia University, and Associate Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences Center. He is a long-time member of the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Executive Advisory Committee. Dr. Vasgird is currently Director of the Office of Research Integrity and Compliance (ORIC) for West Virginia University (WVU). The mission of WVU’s ORIC is to foster a culture of integrity within the University directed at ensuring that participants in the WVU research enterprise internalize and pursue the goal of self-directed responsible conduct of research (RCR). Dr. Vasgird has written and presented extensively in the areas of research ethics and human research protection.