Meet the SBER19/AER19 Blog Squad: Maria G. Davila

Meet Maria G. Davila MD, CCRC, MA (Bioethics), who’ll be covering the 2019 Advancing Ethical Research Conference (AER19) as a member of the Blog Squad. Members of PRIM&R’s Conference Blog Squad provide an insider’s view of the conferences by sharing their experience before, during, and after the meeting.

It is always a great experience to attend a PRIM&R conference, and this will be my fourth year participating in one with this amazing community, learning from everyone’s experiences and research. I am looking forward to being part of the Blog Squad for the 2019 Social, Behavioral, and Educational Research (SBER19) and Advancing Ethical Research Conferences (AER19).

I am the Associate Director for the Emory IRB in Atlanta, GA, but I have been with the organization since 2004 when I started as a research coordinator.  My work with the IRB started in 2010, when I had my first experience attending the SBER and AER conferences.  I was so impressed by all the lectures, posters and overall atmosphere of collaboration between the attendees.  At the Emory IRB, I have been in charge of the compliance (QA) team but in my current role, I get to be involved in all areas of research in our institution.

I obtained my Masters in Bioethics at Emory in 2017, after thinking of ways to increase my knowledge in research ethics and apply it for my role at the IRB. During my time in the program, I learned even more about the importance of the work we do, but also the limitations of the regulations when applying them in research. Our IRB has a strong bond with the Center of Ethics at our institution, always finding ways to collaborate when needed.  I am proud to say that being a student at the center helped making that bond even stronger. Applying what I learned to our day to day work has helped me gain an even better perspective of why we work in this field.  Hope to see you around during the conference and if you are new to IRB work or to this conference, welcome!  You are going to have a great time!

Maria G. Davila MD, CCRC, MA (Bioethics), is the Associate Director for Emory University IRB. She joined the IRB in August 2010. Maria is the team leader of the QA and Education team, which is in charge of auditing Emory IRB approve research studies and reviewing reportable events applications. Her team is responsible for providing federal regulations and P&P education to the Emory research community, IRB Staff, and IRB members. Under Maria’s leadership, the IRB Education and QA team have developed several guidance documents and worksheets and started educational, monthly webinars to provide up-to-date information to the Emory research community.

Before joining the IRB, she worked as a research associate for the Department of Orthopaedics for six years. During this time, Maria worked in a diverse range of studies, going from minimal risk studies up to Phase I research trials; helped with the development of quality assurance procedures for their research projects; and was the microsurgery instructor for residents and fellows. Maria has a foreign medical degree from Ecuador and a Master’s in Bioethics at Emory University.