Featured Member Interview: Denyse Pettersson

Welcome to another installment of our featured member interviews where we will continue to introduce you to our members—individuals who work to advance ethical research on a daily basis. Please read on to learn more about their professional experiences, how membership helps connect them to a larger community, and what goes on behind-the-scenes in their lives!

Today we’d like to introduce you to Denyse Pettersson, IRB manager at the Children’s Hospital and Research Center in Oakland, CA.

When and why did you join the field?
I jumped into the IRB arena in 2000 at the US Army Institute of Surgical Research in San Antonio, TX. Before that I was next door at Brooke Army Medical Center for two years, assisting the chief of nursing research with grant submissions, grant budgets and data analysis. Submitting many research studies to the IRB was a good introduction to the field of human subjects research. I am detail oriented and intellectually curious, so research is a good fit for me.

What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of the job is customer service. The IRB partners with investigators to facilitate research that meets all regulatory and ethical criteria. We welcome questions from investigators and research coordinators, and take the time to explain the basis of IRB requirements. Submissions receive very timely review.

What’s playing on your iPod?
Joe Satriani and Steve Vai .

What is the last movie you saw?
The Last Mistress, by my favorite filmmaker, Catherine Breillat.

What’s for dinner tonight?
Fish, steamed fingerling potatoes, and sweet pea pods.

What are you reading?
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout.

What’s your after-hours guilty pleasure?
Spider Solitaire, difficult level. I waste so much time on this!

Why did you join PRIM&R?
I joined in order to participate in education related to the protection of human research subjects and to network with my peers at the annual conference and by e-mail. It is important to have the opportunity to discuss “shared experiences” and solutions to regulatory and ethical concerns and to learn from more experienced members.

What is your favorite member benefit?
RED, PRIM&R’s electronic Research Ethics Digest and the Newsletter.

If you were planning our next conference, who would you select as a keynote speaker?
Bernard Lo, MD, professor of medicine and director, program in medical ethics, University of California San Francisco.

What motivates you to maintain your commitment to advancing ethical research?
Our research mostly involves treatment protocols for children with life-threatening illnesses and rare diseases. I believe research with children is essential, for these children and those in the future. Children are vulnerable, as are the parents of very ill children, and the highest ethical standards should be attained.

Thank you for being part of the membership community and sharing your story, Denyse. If you’d like to learn more about becoming a member, please visit our website today.