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Ashton-Miller to oversee research policy and compliance



UM Record – Professor James A. Ashton-Miller has been named associate vice president for research — research policy and compliance, effective May 1, pending approval by the Board of Regents at its April 19 meeting.

As AVP, Ashton-Miller will facilitate research policy development and coordinate the compliance and integrity activities of the research compliance team in the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR), which includes Assistant Vice President Lois Brako, and Brian Fowlkes, professor of radiology and biomedical engineering, and executive director of the Animal Care and Use Program.

Compliance areas under the purview of OVPR include financial conflicts of interest in sponsored projects and technology transfer, human subjects protection, humane use of laboratory animals, oversight of recombinant DNA research, research misconduct, human pluripotent stem cell research, and research ethics training.

“Assuring the safety and integrity of our research has been a growing challenge as our research enterprise has expanded and diversified over the last several years, and as regulations governing the conduct and administration of research have proliferated. I believe that Professor Ashton-Miller’s background and experience make him an outstanding choice for the job,” Vice President for Research Stephen Forrest wrote in a letter to the campus community.

A member of the U-M community since 1983, Ashton-Miller is the Albert Schultz Collegiate Research Professor and Distinguished Research Scientist in the departments of Mechanical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Internal Medicine, as well as at the Institute of Gerontology and the School of Kinesiology. He also directs the Biomechanics Research Laboratory in the Department of Mechanical Engineering as well as the Bone and Joint Injury Prevention Center.

The recipient of a wide range of honors and awards, he is internationally recognized for his research on balance, falls and mobility problems of older adults, birth-related injuries in women, back problems, and sports injuries. He also has served a number of U-M committees, including as chair of the OVPR Conflict of Interest Committee.

Ashton-Miller’s research focuses on the prevention of unintentional injuries across the age span — including birth-related injuries in women, ACL injuries in athletes, spine biomechanics, concussion and fall-related injuries in the elderly.

His research currently involves close collaborations with physicians from eight departments at the Medical School, as well as scientists from LSA and the schools of Kinesiology and Nursing. He and his students typically use computer simulations, validated by experiment, to gain insights into the mechanics of injuries so that they and their lifelong consequences can be better prevented in the future.

Ashton-Miller has authored more than 210 peer-reviewed publications and has graduated 27 doctoral students. He also has served on several National Institutes of Health study sections as well many review panels in Canada, England, Scotland, Ireland, Sweden and Holland.

He is a past-president of the American Society of Biomechanics, chaired the 2008 North American Congress on Biomechanics, and has been elected a fellow of American Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Institute for Medical & Biological Engineering, American Society of Biomechanics and GSA. In 2009 he was awarded the Giovanni Borelli Award, one of the nation’s highest honors in the field of biomechanics.

Ashton-Miller will assume responsibilities formerly held by Judy Nowack, who will begin a phased retirement on July 1 that will allow for a smooth transition in leadership. Nowack has worked in OVPR since 1987.

The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by the U-M Mechanical Engineering Department) from materials provided by the U-M Record. Read the original story at The Record.

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