Featured Member Interview: John Waterson

As part of our Member Appreciation Month, this series of Ampersand posts will 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 John R. Waterson, MD, PhD, IRB chair at Children’s Hospital & Research Center at Oakland.
When and why did you join the field?
In 1984, shortly after I started working at Akron Children’s Hospital. I was young(er), innocent, and naive. I knew nothing about the IRB and was drafted by the president of the medical staff to serve on the IRB since I had a PhD and was interested in research. A year later, the chair of the IRB resigned to become the president of the medical staff and I became chair. I served as chair for 15 years. I moved to California in 2000 to work and a part of the job offer was to chair the committee at Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland.

What is your favorite part of your job?
Reviewing new research. Also, I enjoy trying to figure out how the regulations apply to given situations.
What’s playing on your iPod?
I don’t have an iPod yet, but I’m planning on purchasing an iPad.

What are you reading?
I’m re-reading Dragon Riders of Pern after seeing Avatar three times.
What’s your after-hours guilty pleasure?
Being with family.
What are three websites you visit on a daily basis?
AOL (e-mail), GeneTests and OMIM (I am a geneticist).

Why did you join PRIM&R?
I believe that you should belong to the professional organization that represents what you do with a lot of your time. It’s the best way to find out what is happening in the field and how others are dealing with common issues.
What is your favorite member benefit?
Meetings. Unfortunately, I don’t like to travel. I’m looking forward to this year’s meeting in San Diego.
What would you say to someone who is considering PRIM&R membership?
If you are seriously considering further developing your IRB interests/knowledge/career, you should join.
What motivates you to maintain your commitment to advancing ethical research?
Properly conducted research is the best way to further knowledge to help us develop evidence-based care for our patients. That research must take into account the best interest of the subjects.
Thank you for being part of the membership community and sharing your story, John. We look forward to seeing you in San Diego at the 2010 Advancing Ethical Research Conference.
If you’d like to learn more about becoming a member, please visit our website today.