Welcome to another installment of our featured member interviews where we will continue to introduce you our members—individuals who work to advance ethical research on a daily basis. In honor of Member Appreciation Month, we will be introducing you to a couple of our members each week. 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 Brenda Wright, institutional review board (IRB) administrator at the Florida Hospital Tampa Bay Division IRB in Tampa, FL.
When and why did you join the field?
I developed an interest in research while working as a sleep technologist for University Community Hospital, Inc., which is now Florida Hospital Tampa Bay Division. At the time, the sleep lab was exploring the possibility of conducting some sleep related research, and I was very excited about the possibility of being involved. In February of 2008, while exploring career opportunities within the organization, an IRB coordinator position became available. I did not have any prior experience in the field, but was fortunate enough to be hired into the position as a trainee. I love working in this field and plan to finish out my career in this arena.
What is your favorite part of your job?
What I find most interesting and challenging about the job is researching less routine regulatory applications. As of late, our organization has had a lot of affiliated activity, which has presented a lot of new challenges and learning opportunities.
What do you value most in your friends?
One of the attributes I value most in my friends is honesty. Even though it may be difficult, and at times cause hurt feelings, I believe true friendship can weather open and honest discussions.
Why did you join PRIM&R?
During some of my encounters with research professionals, I was asked if I was a member of PRIM&R. These interactions informed me about the benefits of membership, which include educational opportunities, conferences, and certification. My membership in PRIM&R has been a very positive and beneficial experience.
What is your favorite member benefit?
Though there are many benefits I enjoy, I am especially pleased with the mentoring program. I have been paired with a Certified IRB Professional (CIP®) mentor, Maria Arnold, clinical research manager at South Florida Baptist Hospital. It has been a very rewarding experience, providing yet another tool to help with my IRB education.
What would you say to someone who is considering PRIM&R membership?
I would tell them about the many benefits I have experienced, but I would preface that with the importance of joining right away, and not waiting, as I did. I missed out on a lot of valuable information and opportunities by not joining earlier in my IRB career.
What motivates you to maintain your commitment to advancing ethical research?
I believe research is a critical and exciting aspect of our lives. Ensuring that the rights and welfare of those who participate in research are protected is a challenging and necessary part of this endeavor. It is critical that we never lose sight of the fact that human beings are involved in research, and that there is no greater resource than this. We need to be reminded that those who participate in research often do so at risk to their own lives, and it is important to have people who are willing to advocate for the safe and ethical conduct of research.
Thank you for being part of the membership community and sharing your story, Brenda. We are glad to hear that you have enjoyed working with PRIM&R’s mentoring program!
If you’d like to learn more about becoming a member, please visit our website today.