Welcome to another installment of our featured member interviews in which we 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 Sylk Sotto-Santiago, MBA, MPS, CPIA, research compliance manager/officer in the office of research and sponsored programs at the University of Denver.
When and why did you join the field?
I joined the field more than five years ago. At the time it seemed like a logical transition from research to research compliance. The fact that I love research is probably what keeps me interested in compliance, although some people may disagree!
What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of the job is learning about the research being done at my institution and at other impressive institutions, along with meeting our great faculty and students—such brilliant minds.
What are you reading?
I am currently in the middle of two books: The Secret Daughter, by Shilpi Gowda and The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America, by Erik Larson.
What is the last movie you saw?
The latest movie I saw was Horrible Bosses. It was REALLY funny, and I guess I should point out that I have never had any boss like that, and I am certain I’m not one of them either!
Why did you join PRIM&R?
I was referred to PRIM&R by a colleague.
What is your favorite member benefit?
There are quite a few benefits that I enjoy. I like reading the Newsletter and having such great educational opportunities through conferences and webinars. The most important benefit is the network of professionals I can consult with and learn from.
With whom have you made a lasting professional connection through your membership?
I think the network of PRIM&R members is great, and I am even more thankful to have met PRIM&R members in the Colorado region. (Salute to my Mile High IRB Consortium peers!) I have also made wonderful connections with people in the field who have similar positions to mine, not just overseeing the IRB, but other regulatory bodies such IACUCs, IBCs, COIs, etc. These people have an enormous wealth of knowledge and scarily enough, they have human subjects, animal, and biosafety regulations at the tip of their tongue.
What motivates you to maintain your commitment to advancing ethical research?
My commitment in terms of the ethical side has to be about participants’ dignity and autonomy, and, of course, scientific progress. This applies regardless of the area of research, biomedical, social, behavioral, or educational research. Regulations in this area may be burdensome but ultimately we are all thinking about participants. My other motivation is to support our faculty and students in navigating the regulation maze and institutional processes, which are not always just about conducting ethical research.
Thank you for being part of the membership community and sharing your story, Sylk. We are glad to have facilitated your networking of peers in Colorado!
If you’d like to learn more about becoming a member, please visit our website today.