CWRU appoints bioethics professor as new Vice President of Research


Ki Oh/Observer

Dr. Suzanne Rivera, an assistant professor of bioethics, hopes to implement the goals of the 2013-2018 strategic plan in her new position.

John Brogan, Staff Reporter

Suzanne Rivera, an assistant professor of bioethics, was recently promoted to the vice president of research. Effective this month, she will support all of the research and scholarly activities happening on campus.

“I’ll be working closely with all the deans to better understand their specific research goals and to provide whatever assistance I can,” said Rivera, who has served as the associate vice president of research since January 2011. “Each school has research strengths, and I want to build on those while helping to grow the whole pie.”

Rivera says that she is excited and honored to take on her new role, and she wants to strengthen a school already known for its research excellence.

Rivera’s goals tie in closely with the goals outlined in Case Western Reserve University’s 2013-2018 Strategic Plan, “Think Beyond the Possible.” The 20-page strategic plan lists diversity and ethical behavior as some of CWRU’s core research values.

“Good science is ethical science,” said Rivera. “I really enjoy teaching research ethics and working on my own scholarship about science policy.”

Before entering the world of higher education, Rivera spent several years at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Rivera’s background in health policy and interest in bioethics help shape the way she views good research. One of her main focuses is implementing effective training for junior faculty who are just starting their research programs, with an emphasis on responsible conduct in research.

Rivera also serves on multiple advisory panels and boards at the national level, which she believes will give the university a seat at the policy making table. She just started a two-year term as a voting member of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Human Research Studies Board, and is also a board member on the Council on Government Relations, which helps shape science funding and regulation.