Alexander Runko, Ph.D., starting Aug. 4, will be the new Director of ORI’s Division of Investigative Oversight (DIO).
Dr. Runko first worked at ORI as a Scientist-Investigator from 2010-2016, where he was involved in handling and assessing allegations and reports of inquiries and investigations of research misconduct that involve Public Health Service funding. In that role, he also trained and provided guidance to research institutions, Federal agencies and journal editors on forensic and analytical tools to examine and uncover the falsification and fabrication of scientific data.
Dr. Runko has a Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular pharmacology from the University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center, where his research focused on neurogenesis, embryology, developmental biology and genetics. He completed his postdoctoral training at the NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), where he analyzed the genetic and molecular mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative diseases. Dr. Runko also worked at NINDS as a Health Program Specialist in the extramural research program, where he managed portfolios of grant proposals and awards on neurological diseases, and conducted administrative reviews, regulatory compliance checks and scientific analyses from a programmatic viewpoint.
More recently at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), NIH, Dr. Runko was the Extramural Genomic Program Administrator and Data Access Committee Chair, where he directed the management of genomic and phenotypic data submissions and the review of applications to access NIH and NHLBI databases. At NHLBI, Dr. Runko developed procedures to streamline and standardize the processing and reviews of data access requests and dataset registrations. Dr. Runko also managed and mitigated unauthorized data use/access incidents, and served as a liaison between stakeholders, NIH and the research community on genomic data sharing policies.