Sharing the Joy of Research: An Interview with Corrie Warren

Welcome to the fourth and final installment of the 2016 Member Appreciation Month Featured Member Interviews! During the month of May, we’ve featured a member each week; Read the previous weeks’ interviews here. We will continue to feature members through the featured member interview series once per month throughout the year, so be sure to check back for more. This week, meet Corrie Warren, research regulations specialist at University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler.

PRIM&R: When and why did you join the field?
Corrinne Warren (CW): I started with the institutional review board (IRB) in July 2013. I had never heard of an IRB and had to Google it before my interview. I liked the idea of assisting in the protection of people who were trying to help others. It makes me feel good to help people who are helping others.

PRIM&R: What is one tool you use every day that you could not do your job without?
CW: I could not do my job without the guidance of my supervisor. She allows me to tap into her head for assistance. She is excellent at what she does. She shows me where to go to find answers and helps guide me through the process. She explains the website lingo and uses examples that correlate with our particular situations. I also go to the chairman or co-chairman when I have questions.

PRIM&R: What’s one specific challenge that you have faced during your career, and how did you overcome it?
CW: My biggest challenge is taking minutes at the meetings. I thought I was a good “minute taker” until everyone on the committee started talking at once. Everyone has the most important comment and I try to hear and document them all. As far as overcoming this challenge, I’m still working on that.

PRIM&R: What is one thing you wish the general public knew about human subjects research?
CW: I wish everyone knew and understood how important human subjects research is and that someone was out there watching out for them; they aren’t guinea pigs. I wish I could tell each subject personally how thankful I am to them for their willingness to reach out and help others with the information received from these studies, especially when they may not benefit themselves.

PRIM&R: What changes in the research field most concern you? What changes are you encouraged by?
CW: Since auditing the informed consent process as the coordinators read consents to the subjects, I would like to see a more concise informed consent form. I am concerned that subjects may become bogged down with too much information when being consented. I am encouraged that this is being explored more.

PRIM&R: What motivates you to maintain your commitment to advancing ethical research?
CW: I tend to talk and share a lot. The more excited about research I can be, the more I can hope to make someone else excited about it so maybe they can become a volunteer and help other people. It motivates me to personally know how seriously the IRB committee members take their jobs and how committed they are to protecting human subjects.

PRIM&R: How has membership in PRIM&R’s community of research ethics professionals helped you to advance in your career or do your job better?
CW: I had a supervisor once tell me that you can’t rate an educational event when you first get back to the office; you have to wait six months to a year to evaluate. When you first get home from traveling, you are pumped up and wanting to go into things head first. He said to avoid knee jerk reactions to update or make immediate changes. Rather, evaluate as you go through your daily routine. A year after the seminar, if you are still making changes and advancements, and you are remembering the things you heard at the event, at that time, you realize it was a good event. All that being said, I attended a PRIM&R program in September 2015 and, many times a week, I find myself referring back to it and things that were said. I found that IRB Administrator 101 and 201 showed me new things in my job and reminded me of others.

Corrie, thank you for your enthusiasm for maintaining the highest ethical standards in human subjects research! We are encouraged by your commitment to your work and the research subjects you are tasked with protecting.

To learn more about Member Appreciation Month, visit our website.