Meet the PRIM&R Blog Squad at the 2012 AER Conference: Royell Sullivan

by Royell Sullivan, Institutional Review Board (IRB) Education Specialist at the New York University (NYU) School of Medicine

I first entered the field of human subject protections about three years ago. When I first started, I knew there was plenty of administrative work. I knew there were top-secret meetings that took place every two weeks. I knew that we were there to ensure the safety and protect the rights of all those who choose to participate in research at our institution, but I was uncertain as to how we accomplished that goal. I did not understand why we had to do things one way instead of another. The field intrigued me and the more I learned, the more I discovered how much more there was for me to understand.


Today, I am an advocate for IRB education. I currently serve as an IRB education specialist at the NYU School of Medicine where I assist in the development and running of educational programs for our institution’s research community. Attending the Advancing Ethical Research (AER) Conference last year, I was excited to find myself in an environment that emphasized IRB education, yet I was overwhelmed by the vastness of it all. This year, I am really looking forward to the conference. I have settled into my role and am eager to gain valuable information that I can teach and apply at my own institution. I want to share my challenges and successes and learn from the experience of others. Being a PRIM&R Blog Squad member at the 2012 AER Conference offers me a wonderful opportunity to do just that.


I am specifically looking forward to:

  1. Connecting with others who head IRB education programs and activities at their institutions;
  2. Meeting my fellow PRIM&R Blog Squad members in person;
  3. Attending the pre-conference program IRB 301: Review and Application of the Regulatory Criteria for Approval—furthering my understanding of the approval criteria is something that I really want to focus on this year;
  4. Attending Developing and Implementing an Education Program at an Institution with a Small Research Program (B25), because this topic relates directly to my day-to-day responsibilities; and
  5. Attending the sessions on research with vulnerable populations—I always find those interesting.

I am ready to meet, greet, and grow. See you soon!