June 11, 2012 — Coral Gables — Dushyantha Jayaweera, a professor of clinical medicine at the Miller School who is an expert in the treatment of patients with HIV/AIDS, has been named associate vice provost for human subject research. Jayaweera, who joined the University in 1992, has served on UM’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) since 1996 and has chaired the Medical IRB since 2007.
As associate vice provost, Jayaweera will be responsible for overall leadership of the Human Subjects Research Office (HSRO), overseeing the activities of the IRB committees and of the HSRO staff, and acting as a liaison between the IRBs and the vice provost for research and the executive dean for research of the Miller School. He will work with the vice provost for research and the leadership of the Miller School to develop and maintain a clear set of policies and guidelines for the future operations of the HSRO and the IRB.
“Dr. Jayaweera probably knows as much as any faculty member about how our IRBs function, and he has demonstrated the commitment and ability to work with others to achieve the goals of the IRB,” said John Bixby, vice provost for research. “His appointment will ensure that the HSRO functions optimally to serve the needs of the research faculty while protecting both study integrity and the safety of our research subjects.”
“Human subject research is a critical part of our overall research mission,” said Thomas J. LeBlanc, executive vice president and provost. “I am delighted that someone as experienced as Dr. Jayaweera will be overseeing our institutional review boards with an eye towards human subject safety, regulatory compliance, and sensitivity to the needs of our PIs.”
Jayaweera has led and continues to lead numerous industry-funded trials of medications for patients with viral diseases, including HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C virus (HCV) co-infection. He has published more than 50 peer-reviewed research articles, while maintaining a busy clinical practice and serving the UM research community as an IRB chair and vice chair. He has received grant funding from both the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. Additionally, he serves the larger South Florida community as an AIDS educator and is a senior faculty member of the AIDS Education and Training Center.
“HSRO is very dear to my heart and I am excited to be asked to help Dr. Bixby and the Miller School leadership,” said Jayaweera. “We have a well-trained staff at the HSRO and extremely dedicated faculty in the IRB. I sincerely look forward to making things as simple as possible for the investigators and as clean as possible for the regulators.”
Jayaweera received his M.D. degree in Sri Lanka. He trained in medicine in Sri Lanka and Great Britain and at Loyola University of Chicago. He came to UM after serving as senior registrar (equivalent to chief resident) at Birmingham and at Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry in the United Kingdom. With Eugene Schiff, the Leonard Miller Professor of Medicine and the Dr. Nasser Ibrahim Al-Rashid Chair in the Division of Hepatology/Schiff Center for Liver Diseases, he has been instrumental in initiating minority HIV care clinics and HIV–HCV co-infection clinics in Miami. He has contributed to inner-city education in Miami-Dade County as well as disaster relief in Honduras, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Haiti.
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