Featured Member Profile: Julie Washington

Welcome to another featured member interview in which we introduce you to PRIM&R members, a group of dedicated individuals working to advance ethical research on a daily basis. Please read on to learn more about Julie Washington, CIP, senior IRB administrator at New York University.

When and why did you join the field?

I joined the field in 1989 as the result of a job promotion.

What is your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of my job is educating investigators about human subjects protections, and helping them navigate smoothly through the IRB process.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

My idea of perfect happiness is spending time with my family doing something fun that we all enjoy.

What are you reading?

I am currently reading The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, by Siddhartha Mukherjee.

Why did you join PRIM&R?

I joined PRIM&R because my boss suggested that it would be good for me to attend the conferences and meet other IRB professionals.

What is your favorite member benefit?

There are so many, I can’t just pick one!

What would you say to someone who is considering PRIM&R membership?

If you can only join one organization, PRIM&R is it. It is the best organization for meeting other IRB professionals and for learning more about the field of human subjects protections.

What is the last movie you saw?

The last movie I saw was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

If you were planning our next conference, who would you select as a keynote speaker?

I would like to hear an update from Paul Geslinger.

What motivates you to maintain your commitment to advancing ethical research?

The memory of my parents motivates me to maintain my commitment to advancing ethical research.

My mother suffered acute radiation burns in 1937 at the age of 17, when her family doctor used x-rays to treat her acne. He left the machine on too long and her face was severely burned. I grew up watching her suffer with skin cancer, then scleroderma and finally Hodgkin’s disease. Her doctor never said he was conducting research in 1937, but better knowledge of the damages of radiation may have prevented this from ever happening. The one good thing to come out of her suffering was that she always told me to wear sunscreen long before it became the popular thing to do. I thank her every day for that advice.

My father suffered from Alzheimer’s. I remember watching him waste away in the nursing home wishing that there was something I could do to get rid of this horrible disease.

My dedication to the IRB profession allows me to work toward ensuring that human subjects are adequately protected while participating in research. It also gives me hope that researchers will be able to find a cure for diseases like Alzheimer’s. This is my way of honoring my parents.

Thank you for being part of the membership community and sharing your story, Julie. Your parents’ stories are moving and profound, and we wish you the best as you better the field of ethical research in their memory.

To learn more about becoming a PRIM&R member, visit our website.