Happy Anniversary to PRIM&R!

Posted by Joan Rachlin, executive director

Now that our year-long 35th anniversary celebration is officially underway, I wanted to share with you some milestones in PRIM&R’s history, including an account of its founding that was written by Neil Chayet, a Boston-based attorney who was the moving force behind the organization’s creation.

Neil captured those early years in great detail and with great gusto, and for those history buffs among you who are interested in finding out what those post-1974 years were like, I refer you to Sandy Chodosh “Reflections on My 20 Years With PRIM&R“.

Sandy also prepared a timeline which highlights many of the watershed moments over the past three and a half decades. Among the peaks cited are:

1974 – PRIM&R is incorporated!
1977 – First PRIM&R “Protection of Human Subjects/IRB” conference
1977 – First edition of the PRIM&R newsletter
1977 – Gwen O’Sullivan, a then PRIM&R Board member, suggests to the National Commission a system for accrediting IRBs
1978 – Board proposes that PRIM&R become a national organization
1980 – The President’s Commission contracts with PRIM&R to work on a guidebook for IRBs
1981 – First PRIM&R conference outside of Boston is held in Asilomar, CA
1982 – The Office for Protection from Research Risks (OPRR), under Charlie McCarthy’s leadership, collaborates with PRIM&R on a series of one day conferences around the country
1983 – The PRIM&R Board begins planning first animal care and use conference
1984 – Board member Natalie Reatig suggests that PRIM&R form a national association for IRBs
1985 – Board members Natalie Reatig and Barbara Stanley are authorized to develop a plan to form a national association for IRBs within PRIM&R; David Bernhardt suggests that it be named “Applied Research Ethics National Association (ARENA)”
1986 – PRIM&R and UTHSC host meeting in Houston celebrating the 20th anniversary of IRBs
1986 – ARENA launches, and Barbara Stanley is the first Council President
1986 – IACUC Guidebook prepared and published by ARENA
1988 – PRIM&R holds a conference on HIV/AIDS with C. Everett Koop as keynote speaker
1990 – PRIM&R sponsors a conference on conflicts of interest in conjunction with Massachusetts General Hospital
1991 – PRIM&R “breaks even” for the first time in its history!
1991 – PRIM&R holds a conference on ethics committees
1992 – ARENA has 500 members!
1993 – PRIM&R forms a consortium called the National Educational Alliance in the Life Sciences (NEALS) to bring all those working in the animal research field into an umbrella organization
1994 – PRIM&R holds its first of six conferences on the responsible conduct of research
1995 – PRIM&R holds the first conference in San Diego, and attracts over 600 attendees
1996 – AAMC provides the technical support for the creation and launch of a PRIM&R/ARENA website
1996 – ARENA begins to explore certification for IRB administrators/professionals
1997 – PRIM&R staff begin using e-mail
1998 – PRIM&R holds a conference on central review boards
1999 – Jesse Gelsinger dies in a gene transfer study at U Penn
1999 – PRIM&R’s 25th Anniversary celebrated
1999 – The PRIMR& Board endorses the concepts of certification for IRB administrators and accreditation for institutions conducting human subjects research.
2000 – Administration of the first certification test for IRB professionals (CIP)
2001 – Jay Katz Receives 1st PRIM&R Lifetime Achievement Award
2001 – AAHRPP is organized as an independent organization
2002 – PRIM&R staff triples in size, growing from 3 to 9
2002 – ARENA has more then 2,000 members
2003 – Charles McCarthy receives the second PRIM&R Lifetime Achievement Award
2004 – PRIM&R turns 30!
2006 – ARENA is officially retired, and PRIM&R formally becomes an organization with members
2007 – PRIM&R offers the first certification test for animal care and use professionals: CPIA
2008 – PRIM&R exceeds 3,300 members
2009 – PRIM&R turns 35!

Thank you for joining us on this organizational path. It would be a lonely journey without our community alongside, and we look forward with optimism and great gratitude to the next 35 years.