Featured Member Interview: Tanya Carrillo

As an extension of our Member Appreciation Month interview series, we will continue to introduce you to more of our members, people 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 Tanya Carrillo, human research protections program (HRPP) coordinator at ProHealth Care Research Institute in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

When and why did you join the field?
My first IRB-related position was in March of 2005, although I spent several years during my undergraduate career on “the other side” preparing IRB submissions for anthropology and psychology research teams that I worked with closely. It was this initial interaction that intrigued me about the human research protections world. Having the opportunity to review many studies in different fields seemed like a good option should I decide to put my own research interests on hold. It was intended to be temporary, until I decided to go back to graduate school for anthropology or psychology, and now here I am considering graduate programs in bioethics instead.

What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of this job might also be my least favorite on certain days–the ever-changing dynamic of this field. It seems like just when we think we have everything settled or figured out, there is a new guidance document or recommendation, or a new kind of research on our desk that forces us to reevaluate the regulations and ethical standards through a different lens. Although we follow our meeting cycles and deadlines, no day is ever the same or predictable. The evolution of this field keeps me challenged and interested in whatever will come next.

What are you reading?
When it is not a stack of work-related articles next to my bed, I try to indulge in fiction. Currently, I am trying to get through Wicked. I am a little late on that one, I know, but the musical is finally coming to Milwaukee in August, which is a great motivator to finish the book.

Why did you join PRIM&R?
Initially it was probably some slight peer pressure; everyone else was doing it at my last organization. But in the long run, the resources and connections I have developed are what keep me renewing this membership when others fall off my radar. And thanks to the discounted rates on education, my membership ends up paying for itself by the end of the year.

What is your favorite member benefit?
I just started the mentoring program last year and I find it to be a great resource. Even though I wear the “mentor hat,” I have developed a great working relationship that is an invaluable resource to us both. We are each HRPPs of one staff person, so having someone to talk to on the challenging days, in addition to our regular meetings and discussions, is such a great benefit.

What would you say to someone who is considering PRIM&R membership?
Do not debate the cost; if you are involved, it ends up paying for itself. And once you join, set aside a few hours to browse the site and see all it has to offer. The resources are endless, well organized, and top quality.

What motivates you to maintain your commitment to advancing ethical research?
At the end of the day, I try to remember that everything we do is for the research participants. Having a participant who can understand a consent form and give true, ongoing, non-coerced, informed consent to participate in research is no small feat, and should not go unrecognized.

Thank you for being part of the membership community and sharing your story, Tanya. Let us know what you think of Wicked!

If you’d like to learn more about becoming a member, please visit our website today.