The UNC School of Medicine welcomes Heather Skinner, JD, to UNC as the Director of Research Integrity and Compliance.
Heather Skinner, JD, is the new role of Director of Research Integrity and Compliance in the School of Medicine within its Office of Research. In this position, Skinner will serve as a valuable resource for SOM faculty, staff and students overseeing research integrity and compliance by formulating, interpreting, and implementing related policies, including those surrounding new federal regulations related to Science and Security. Skinner also serves as the SOM Liaison to the campus-wide units including the UNC Research Compliance Program and the UNC Health Office of Research Support and Compliance. She will also develop guidance, information and education for SOM researchers, students, staff, and administrators about the regulatory requirements related to research integrity and responsible conduct of research.
“Hiring a Director of Research Integrity and Compliance within the School of Medicine will significantly help our community navigate important research policies” says Blossom Damania, PhD, Vice Dean for Research. “Heather has the expertise needed to put the best policies for our faculty and staff in place, and we are very fortunate to have her on board”.
Skinner joins UNC from Drexel University where she was the Director of Research Compliance & Integrity. There, she was responsible for a number of programs, and provided guidance and strategic consultation to faculty, staff and administration in matters of research integrity. Not only did Skinner oversee important areas such as the Export Control Program and the Financial Conflicts of Interest Program, but she identified areas of need of improvement, established new committees, and developed responsible conduct of research training for faculty. Skinner has a vast track record of administrative leadership, as prior to Drexel she was the Assistant Director of Research Compliance and the Export Compliance Manager at Boston University and Boston Medical Center. She holds a JD in Constitutional Law and Civil Rights from Western Michigan University, and received her Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Northeastern University.
“My job is not to impede research or innovation, but rather it is to empower the SOM community with the necessary tools to promote reliable and ethical teaching, research, patient care, and public service missions”, says Skinner. “I look forward to working with the SOM, and hope to make compliance and research integrity an easy and seamless part of the exceptional research done by the unit.”
Keep an eye out for quarterly compliance updates in Vital Signs entitled Compliance in Science: Updates for the School of Medicine. In her updates, Skinner will provide policy updates to the School of Medicine, and provide answers to questions submitted by the community.