New year, new beginnings: PRIM&R and the IRB Forum

By Kimberly Hensle Lowrance, Managing Director

The New Year is a time for new beginnings, and at PRIM&R, that idea is especially true. We marked the start of 2012 by moving across town and are now busy unpacking and settling into new office space. But we’re not the only ones with a new place to hang our proverbial hats (and mittens, scarves, and coats—the first snow of 2012 arrived today in Boston)! Effective immediately, the IRB Forum, a resource-rich online community for research protections professionals, now has a new home at PRIM&R.

We look forward to adding the IRB Forum to PRIM&R’s network of rich educational resources. Jon Merz, a professor at the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, is the IRB Forum’s current independent moderator and will continue in that role. We are very grateful for Jon’s dedication to the community, as his balanced approach to the site’s information-sharing has been key to its success. Retaining Jon as the site’s moderator is important to encourage the free flow of ideas and dialogue, as well as to foster the very helpful answering of everyday IRB-related questions.

Our appreciation also goes to Robert “Skip” Nelson, the IRB Forum founder, for his ongoing support and counsel, and to the leadership of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania for their commitment to the Forum and for working closely with PRIM&R to make this move possible.

PRIM&R’s immediate plans are to update the technical operations of the site and to increase its visibility. Membership in the site will remain free.

Though you can still find the IRB Forum at, PRIM&R’s new office address is 20 Park Plaza, Suite 720, Boston, MA 02116. Our phone number, 617.423.4112, remains the same, but all extensions are now three digits. Please see our staff listing for updated contact information.

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to be in touch. Thank you, and Happy New Year to you and yours!