Dr. Ara Tahmassian to Step Down as Associate Vice President for Research Compliance

June 28th, 2013

From Dr. Jean Morrison, University Provost and Chief Academic Officer

I regret to announce that Dr. Ara Tahmassian, Associate Vice President for Research Compliance, has informed me that he will step down from his role in oversight of Boston University’s research compliance efforts as of July 12, 2013, and leave Boston University. Ms. Kathryn M, Mellouk, currently the Executive Director of Research Integrity in the Office of Research Compliance, will serve as the interim Associate Vice President for Research Compliance, effective July 13, 2013. We will immediately undertake a search for a permanent successor.

Since joining BU in 2006, Ara has had the responsibility for ensuring that BU and Boston Medical Center (BMC) maintain a research environment that promotes integrity and ethical behavior and abide by the regulations and requirements established by federal, state, and local funding agencies. During his seven years in this role, Ara has made important contributions to the development and implementation of institutional programs and operational strategies for all non-financial regulatory compliance issues and to fostering a culture of safety and responsibility in all of the University’s research activities. He has been highly effective in enhancing BU’s research infrastructure. However, he has expressed to me that the time is right for him to explore new challenges and opportunities and next month, he will assume a new role as Chief Compliance Officer at Harvard University.

In addition to his significant leadership at BU, Ara served for nine years in various capacities in research compliance at the University of California, San Francisco, from which he retired in 2006 as Associate Vice Chancellor of Research. He holds a BSc in nuclear engineering and a PhD in radiobiology from Queen Mary College, London University.

Among Ara’s many achievements at BU, he 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. Ara has agreed to remain involved in his NEIDL-related activities during the search for his successor.

I know that all of you join President Brown and me in thanking Ara for his distinguished service to Boston University and wish him well in his future endeavors.

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