Edward Greg Koski, director of the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP), will deliver the keynote speech at the graduation ceremonies for the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST) on Wednesday, June 6 at the Cambridge Marriott Hotel.
Dr. Koski, an HST alumnus, is the first director of OHRP, a new office within the Department of Health and Human Services that leads efforts to protect human subjects in biomedical and behavioral research. OHRP provides leadership for all 17 federal agencies that carry out research involving human participants.
Before his appointment to OHRP, Dr. Koski, whose professional background includes research management and patient protection as well as basic and clinical research, was director of human research affairs at Partners HealthCare System in Boston and associate professor of anesthesia at Harvard Medical School. At Partners, he was responsible for overseeing patient protection for research at several institutions including Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).
Following his education (AB 1971, PhD 1977 and MD 1978, all from Harvard), Dr. Koski completed a residency in anesthesia and fellowship training as a pharmacology research associate at the National Institutes of Health before returning to the MGH Department of Anesthesia in 1984 and Harvard Medical School.
During 30 years at Harvard, Dr. Koski was active in various aspects of academic medicine&emdash;basic research, clinical investigation, teaching, administration and patient care.
His interest in research ethics and protecting human research participants started with his appointment in 1989 to the Subcommittee on Human Studies, the institutional review board for MGH&emdash;one of the first such committees in the country created to protect humansubjects in research. In 1995 he was appointed director of clinical research support and development for MGH. In that capacity, he led an effort to integrate and improve the institutional review board processes at MGH and Brigham and Women's Hospital when they formed Partners HealthCare System.
He was appointed director of OHRP in June 2000. The creation of OHRP is one of several new federal initiatives aimed at strengthening the protection of human subjects in clinical trials. One focus of these initiatives is to heighten government oversight of biomedical research and to reinforce the responsibilities of research institutions and sponsors in overseeing the activities of clinical researchers and institutional review boards. It replaced the Office for Protection from Research Risks, which was part of the National Institutes of Health and had authority over NIH-funded research.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on May 23, 2001.