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 Julia Spesivtseva, MBA, CIP, senior IRB coordinator at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

PRIM&R: When and why did you join the field?
Julia Spesivtseva (JS): I joined the field of clinical research, and subsequently the institutional review board (IRB), almost seven years ago. I have found it to be both fascinating and complex, and one of the fields where science and ethics are truly integrated.

PRIM&R: What is [...] Read more


The Belmont Report serves as the ethical basis upon which regulations on the use of human subjects in research are based. These principles do not technically govern the research process, and yet are essential to ensure that research is done ethically. At the 2014 Advancing Ethical Research Conference, Gigi McMillan interviewed Ilene Wilets, PhD, CIP, executive director of the institutional review board (IRB) at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, for People and Perspectives. During her interview, Dr. Wilets [...] Read more


The Power of Mentoring

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Every year, PRIM&R’s Mentoring Program connects hundreds of members to one another, in order to share knowledge, grow people professionally, and help solve short- and longer-term challenges. PRIM&R routinely checks in on these mentoring pairs to see how their conversations are progressing, and to assure the match is a good one. Quite often, their feedback reminds us of the importance of this program, and our members’ willingness to support one another.

Today, we are pleased to offer a snapshot into one mentoring relationship between Paul Reitemeier, PhD, corporate director of bioethics at Beaumont Health in Royal Oak, MI, and Ann Morrison, [...] Read more


Collaborative discussions are not unique to the research ethics community. One can assume that every day, all over the world, there are many groups sitting in rooms trying to come to consensus on issues.

Given our near-universal constraint of time in a day, and the range of knowledge in any given room, these discussions can—often inadvertently—lean towards “groupthink,” where the attempt is made to minimize conflict, and in doing so reach a consensus without considering all viewpoints. Think of it as one of those “everyone agree?…[brief pause]…good, moving on...” situations.

When this happens, some in the group may feel uncomfortable dissenting, and a decision is made without considering all opinions. [...] Read more


Due to PRIM&R’s unique position in the research ethics field, we are often approached by organizations and investigators who wish to tap into the PRIM&R community for their specialized skills, unique perspective, and dedication to conducting research with human subjects to the highest standards. This post is one such example of that. Nancy Shore, PhD, senior consultant at Community-Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH) and principal investigator, and her study team would like the assistance of the PRIM&R community in furthering their research, which is co-sponsored by CCPH and the University of New England (UNE) with support from a grant from the Greenwall Foundation. Read on to see how you can help.Read more