Members Report on the 2008 Conference

Before the 2008 Advancing Ethical Research Conference, we asked two PRIM&R members to report back about their conference experience. Thanks to both Madeline Peyton and Sarah Marie Huban of Emory University for telling us about their time in Orlando.
2008 Advancing Ethical Research Conference – WOW!
By Madeline PeytonThis year’s conference officially began for me just before 7:00 AM on Monday, November 17, as I found my way to the registration area to collect my conference materials and name badge. I then allowed myself to be herded to breakfast, where, amid a crowd of hundreds, several of my co-workers and I discussed our expectations and hopes for the conference. The morning’s keynote address was preceded by a surprising selection of Latin and jazz music, so despite the early hour, I found myself quite happily tapping my feet. Watching the hall fill up with representatives from 29 countries, I instinctively knew the conference would prove to be an impressive event with a growing reputation destined to draw even more interest and participation.
The high level of energy continued through conference co-chair George Gasparis’ welcoming remarks and introductions of a few human subject protections’ superstars. I joined the applause for the remarkable ingenuity and effectiveness of the keynote speaker on the second day, Dr. Stephen Thomas, Philip Hallen Professor of Community Health and Social Justice at the University of Pittsburgh, and his team’s outstanding work in inner-city barbershops. For me, Dr. Thomas’ example stood out as a way to heal old wounds and gain the confidence of those who are skeptical of researchers. What a wonderful way to build the bridge connecting medical professionals with the communities they serve. Can we continue to reduce misunderstanding and distrust? Yes, we can!I believe the conference left us all with a feeling of carpe diem―nay, carpe omnium (seize it all)! Signed,Proud to be a member of the PRIM&R team


Shared Knowledge Energizes Attendees
By Sarah Marie Huban
I just arrived home from my first-ever Advancing Ethical Research Conference. Even though I’m exhausted, I came back to work feeling re-energized. I can describe my experience in one word—impressive. If you gave me a second word, I’d say massive.If you haven’t ever attended a PRIM&R conference, you don’t know what it’s like to be in a room of 2,600 people who know all about the alphabet soup of human subjects protections: IRB, CIP®, DSMB, OHRP, SACHRP…If you haven’t ever attended a PRIM&R conference , you probably don’t realize what a huge support group you have. Nearly everyone you meet deals with the same types of problems. It is so refreshing to not have to explain what exactly it is that an IRB professional does and what makes your job worthwhile. What a great way to develop a network of people from whom you can ask questions, get input, or just vent.If you haven’t ever attended a PRIM&R conference, you can’t imagine how many valuable sessions, impressive speakers, and different topics are available. The worst part is choosing among the sessions; they are all so appealing.If you haven’t ever attended a PRIM&R conference, you can’t possibly understand how hard the PRIM&R staff worked to put on such a well-organized and valuable conference.And, if you haven’t ever attended a PRIM&R conference, you should come to Nashville in ’09!