PRIM&R Welcomes New Members to Board of Directors

This January, PRIM&R welcomed two new members to our Board of Directors. Both of these members exemplify service to the field of research ethics and promise to be strong stewards of PRIM&R’s mission in the years to come. These new members are:

Brenda Curtis, PhD, MsPH
Dr. Curtis is a Tenure Track Investigator at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Intramural Research Program and Chief of the Technology and Translational Research Unit. Dr. Curtis is also Chair of the NIH Stigma Scientific Interest Group and has conducted empirical studies examining the role of stigmatizing language in the treatment of substance use disorders. Dr. Curtis works to pair evidenced-based research with novel methods and emerging technologies to address the societal need for empirically validated drug use interventions. Through clinical research, she works to intersect addiction treatment, technology, and long-term recovery. Using natural-language processing, digital phenotyping, and big data methodologies, she focuses on enhancing precision assessment of substance use and behavioral predictors using intensive longitudinal data and integrating passive sensor data from smartphones and wearable devices. Dr. Curtis employs multiple methodologies to facilitate the flow of scientific discovery to practical application allowing her to not only reach under-served populations, but to design health monitoring and behavioral change interventions that are user-centered, inclusive, and evidence-based.

Dr. Curtis earned both a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in public health from the University of Illinois and subsequently obtained her doctorate in communication from the University of Pennsylvania, where she most recently held the appointment of Assistant Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry, Addictions at the Perelman School of Medicine. Dr. Curtis also completed a fellowship at the Fordham University HIV and Drug Abuse Prevention Research Ethics Training Institute.

Helen O’Meara, MS, CPIA, LSSGB
O’Meara, provides leadership for the staff team supporting the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) and the Institutional Biosafety Committee at The Ohio State University. She is also a member of the IACUC at Ohio State. O’Meara previously served as the IACUC Quality Improvement Specialist. She is a Certified Professional in IACUC Administration (CPIA) and has obtained Lean Six Sigma green belt certification. Prior to her Ohio State employment, O’Meara worked in contract animal research laboratories directing toxicology studies and preparing health assessments for regulatory agencies. She was also the director of a statewide non-profit organization.

O’Meara received her Masters of Science in Environmental Health Science from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland Ohio and her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Biology from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. She has also been certified as a Laboratory Animal Technologist by AALAS.

O’Meara has been involved in organizations including AALAS-Northern Ohio Branch, and Society of Toxicology – Ohio Valley Chapter and has been a board member for the Ohio Scientific, Education, and Research Association (OSERA), a board member and President pro-temp for a local county health department, and an officer of the Columbus area Mortar Board Alumni Society. O’Meara has served on the PRIM&R planning committee for the annual IACUC conference since 2017.

You can learn more about our board of directors on our website.