Laura Henderson is a Senior IRB Administrator for the Committee on the Use of Human Subjects (CUHS). In this capacity, she serves as the liaison for multi-institution reliance agreements, guides initiatives to analyze CUHS processes and functioning for quality improvement, and supervises the front line operations for the department. As one of the staff of IRB reviewers who also serve as IRB members, she reviews and approves research protocols and provides IRB-related consultation for investigators throughout the Harvard research community.
Before coming to work at Harvard in 2015, Laura was an IRB Administrator with the Human Subjects Division at University of Washington, with a primary focus on reviewing biomedical research. Prior to that, she spent a decade in western Massachusetts as an analyst in academic assessment and institutional research within higher education administration. She finds IRB review work to be particularly interesting and rewarding when research plans involve qualitative field-based methods, are conducted internationally, or enroll vulnerable populations.
Laura earned a B.A. in English from University of Washington, an M. A. in Applied Anthropology from Oregon State University, and an M.A. in Anthropology from University of California, Santa Barbara; for the latter two degrees she maintained an ongoing engagement in interdisciplinary South Asian studies. Laura has conducted anthropological field research on bonded labor, human trafficking, and the movement for their eradication in north India. In addition, she has worked as a research team member addressing subjects such as experiences of aging and unmet needs among seniors in rural Oregon, and graduate students’ experiences of stress and social support. Hailing from the Seattle area, Laura has also resided in India for periods of time for language study, and earlier taught English at Thammasat University, in Bangkok, Thailand.