Meet the PRIM&R Blog Squad at the 2013 AER Conference: Stephanie Pyle

by Stephanie Pyle, MFA, Manager of Community and Communications, Schulman Associates IRB

PRIM&R is pleased to introduce another member of the Blog Squad for the 2013 Advancing Ethical Research (AER) Conference. The Blog Squad is composed of PRIM&R members who will blog here, on Ampersand, about the conference to give our readers an inside peek of what’s happening November 7-9 in Boston. 

I have a confession: when I started in clinical research, I knew basically nothing about the industry. I was a total n00b. Research ethics was similarly foreign. Before I began working at Schulman Associates IRB, I’d been a college composition instructor and creative writing student. So when I first started at Schulman, I’ll admit there were times I worried that I’d gotten in over my head. However, as I talked with my colleagues at the IRB and learned more about the work they were doing each day, I became intrigued by the many issues and nuances associated with research ethics. Fascinated, I wanted to find out all I could about this multifaceted, incredibly important aspect of clinical research.

It’s been five years since I made the leap from poems to protocols and from rhymes to regs (sorry, I couldn’t resist!), and I’m still eager to learn all I can about research ethics. Clinical research is an ever evolving field, and in research ethics every single situation is unique. As manager of community and communications at Schulman, I really value the role that thoughtful discussion and collaboration can play in examining these unique situations and ensuring that the rights and welfare of human research participants are protected. Those discussions and collaborations are what I’m looking forward to the most at PRIM&R’s 2013 Advancing Ethical Research (AER) Conference.

I’m also excited to be attending this year’s meeting as a member of the PRIM&R Blog Squad. As a past exhibitor at the conference, 2013 marks my third year in attendance. It’s the first year, however, that I’ll be able to explore the aspects of the conference occurring outside of the exhibit hall. I’m eager to take advantage of everything the conference has to offer, and I look forward to sharing with you the intriguing ideas that arise from the discussions and presentations.

So many talented research ethics professionals will be gathered in Boston to examine old challenges and share new views on ethical issues. There’s something amazing about this coming together–the personal interactions, the brilliant conversations–that can only happen when so many great minds convene in one place. Through these conversations we’ll discover new approaches and unexpected solutions to persistent problems.

I think this year’s AER Conference will be a wonderfully revitalizing event. We can sometimes get bogged down by the daily challenges and details of our individual jobs, and this conference is a great way to re-energize ourselves. I hope the stimulating conversations we have in Boston will send us home reinvigorated and ready to accomplish our goals of protecting human subjects and advancing clinical research innovation.

Personally, I can’t wait for the AER Conference. See you in Boston!

Stay updated on the 2013 AER Conference by following PRIM&R on Twitter. Conference updates will use the hashtag #AER13.