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Melissa C. Colbert, Ph.D.

Director of Research Integrity
Agency Intramural Research Integrity Officer (AIRIO)
B.S., SUNY, New Paltz, NY, 1979
M.S., University of Vermont, 1981
Ph.D., University of Rochester, 1990
Building 2, Room 2E30
2 Center Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892

Dr. Melissa Colbert moved to the NIH as the Senior Scientific Advisor to the NIH Ethics Office in 2008 and in 2010 transferred to the Office of Intramural Research (OIR) as an Assistant Director to Dr. Michael Gottesman, DDIR. Within the OIR, Melissa is the Agency Research Integrity Officer, charged with reviewing all allegations of research misconduct and training in research ethics. In addition, she has been involved with FDA compliance and FDAAA policy development and is recognized as the NIH Compliance Officer. Her responsibilities extend to biospecimen, human embryonic (hES) cell, and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell reporting. For AIRIO issues or concerns, please direct your questions to

Before moving to NIH, Melissa maintained a productive research laboratory as Research Associate Professor at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Research Foundation (CCHRF) for 12 years. Her primary research in mammalian development focused on Vitamin A regulation of cardiac neural crest cells and cardiovascular development, but it also included numerous collaborations with developmental neuroscientists. Her research was supported by numerous NIH awards, including RO1, R21, and components of PO1 grants.

In 2000 Melissa added research compliance to her resume as chair of the CCHRF Biological Safety Committee and assumed the position of acting Executive Director of the Office of Research Compliance and Regulatory Affairs (ORCRA) at CCHRF. In 2006 she moved to the University of Cincinnati as Director of Office Research Compliance and Regulatory Affairs, a newly created position there, where her responsibilities included oversight of the IRB support office, IACUC office, Biological Safety Office, radiation safety, human subjects research monitoring, and FDA compliance. During her tenure there the Human Research Protection Program received accreditation from the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP). Melissa also served as the UC Research Integrity Officer (RIO) and attended training by the Office of Research Integrity at one of the first RIO Boot Camps in 2007.

The page was last updated on Tuesday, February 6, 2018 - 2:44pm