Suzanne M. Rivera, Ph.D., M.S.W.

Vice President for Research
Assistant Professor of Bioethics

Research Ethics
Science Policy
Social Inequality in Clinical Trials
Animal Care and Use
Scientific Integrity




Dr. Rivera is Vice President for Research at Case Western Reserve University, where she has broad responsibility for oversight of the research enterprise. She also is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioethics. In addition to her university duties, she serves as an appointed member to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Human Studies Review Board (HSRB) and the National Board of the Council on Governmental Relations.

Previously, Dr. Rivera served as an appointed member of the U.S. DHHS Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Human Research Protections and was an elected member of Board of Directors of the National Council of University Research Administrators.

Prior to arriving at CWRU, Dr. Rivera had university appointments at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and at the University of California-Irvine. Before entering higher education management, she spent several years at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, first as a Presidential Management Intern, and later as a Program Specialist with the Administration for Children and Families. She holds a BA from Brown University, a Master of Social Welfare degree from UC Berkeley, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Public Affairs (health policy emphasis) from the University of Texas at Dallas.

Selected Publications

Clinical Research from Proposal to Implementation: What Every Clinical Investigator Should Know About the Institutional Review Board. J Investig Med, Dec. 56(8): 975-84, 2008.

Drug Intervention and the Pharmaceutical Industry: Public Policy Considerations and Criticisms of the Pharmaceutical Industry (with Gilman). In, The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 12th Edition.  Goodman, L.S. and Gilman, A.G., eds. The Macmillan Co., New York, 2010.

Writing Informed Consent Documents and Obtaining Informed Consent (with Clark, Sheppard, McGuire, and McPhaul). In, Clinical Research: from Proposal to Implementation. McPhaul, M.J. and Toto, R.D., eds. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia, 2011.

Rivera, S.M. Reconsidering Privacy Protections for Human Research. In Human Subjects Research Regulation: Perspectives on the Future. Cohen, G. and Fernandez-Lynch, H., eds. MIT Press, Cambridge, 2014.

Rivera, S.M. "Privacy vs. Progress: Research Exceptionalism is Bad Medicine." Health Matrix: Journal of Law-Medicine, May 24(1):49-64, 2014.

Sue's Research Ethics Blog contains articles of interest.

Rothwell E, Maschke KJ, Botkin JR, Goldenberg A, Murray TH, Rivera SM. Biobanking research and human subjects protections: Perspectives of IRB leaders. IRB: Ethics & Human Subject Research 2015;37(2):8-13.

Contact Information

Suzanne M. Rivera, Ph.D., M.S.W.
Assistant Professor of Bioethics
Vice President for Research
Case Western Reserve University
10900 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland OH 44106-7015

Office: 216-368-4515

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