Multi-tasking is a must: An interview with Leigh Read

by Megan Frame, Membership Coordinator

Welcome to another installment of our featured member interviews where we introduce you to our members—individuals who work to advance ethical research on a daily basis. Please read on to learn more about our featured member’s professional experiences, how membership helps connect her to a larger community, and what goes on behind-the-scenes in her life!

Today, we’d like to introduce you to Leigh Read, manager, research compliance/assurance and programs, at Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, MA. 

Megan Frame (MF): When and why did you join the field?
Leigh Read (LR): I joined the institutional review board (IRB) field in October of 1999 after working as a clinical research coordinator. Working on clinical trials along with my previous work as a certified pharmacy technician sparked my interest in the rules and regulations that govern the conduct of clinical research. I transferred over to the IRB where I received hands on-training in the regulatory aspects of human subject research.

MF: What skills are particularly helpful in a job like yours?
LF: There are many, but organization and multi-tasking are a must.

MF: Tell us about one or more recent articles, books, or documents that you feel are particularly relevant to the field. 
LR: I recently read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. The book encompasses science, ethics, and the story of a woman and her family who were unfortunately wronged in the pursuit of scientific research. I feel this book should be required reading for IRB members and researchers.

MF: Have there been any PRIM&R events or talks that you have attended that have had a significant impact on your approach to your work? If so, what were they and how did they influence you? 
LR: The first PRIM&R conference I attended in December 1999—along with IRB 101—were events that significantly impacted how I approach my work in the field. The knowledge and passion of the speakers really influenced me to want to learn all I could about the regulatory process of human subjects research and become an important player in the conduct of human subject research at my institution.

MF: What is your proudest achievement?
LR: My proudest professional achievement was becoming a Certified IRB Professional. I am also proud of the advances I have made in the field over the years. From starting in 1999 as an IRB coordinator to my current role as manager of research compliance/assurance and programs, I have come a long way in the field.

MF: Is there anyone, living or dead, who has inspired you in your career and/or in life?
LR: I have been inspired by a number of individuals in my career, but the first IRB chairperson I worked with, Dr. James Warram, inspired me and took me under his wing at the start of my journey down the IRB path. His patience, guidance, support, and confidence in me have helped achieve my position in the field today.

Thank you for being part of the membership community and sharing your story, Leigh. We hope we can help you keep up with all the new regulations here at PRIM&R!

If you’d like to learn more about becoming a member, please visit our website today.