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From the President and CEO


Our place in history

A few months ago, I attended the 2022 Northwest Association for Biomedical Research (NWABR) IRB conference, including Ernie Prentice’s powerful plenary address, “The Dawn of Research Ethics and the Evolution of the IRB: From Tragedy to Outrage to Federal Regulations.” For younger members of our community, Ernie’s presentation provided an invaluable historical perspective on research protections. For many of the “less young,” his talk reminded us why we were drawn to this field. 

For all of us, his address was a call to carry on—and a caution about what’s at stake if we don’t.

As AAHRPP President and CEO, I was surprised and gratified that Ernie singled out AAHRPP as the biggest driver of positive change in research protections history. Even more, I was thrilled that he encouraged every organization engaged in human subjects research to attain AAHRPP accreditation. His was a ringing endorsement from one of the most respected, authoritative voices in our community. We share some of his insights in this issue of AAHRPP Advance.

Ernie’s remarks affected me in another way as well. They reminded me how easy it is to get so caught up in our day-to-day responsibilities that we fail to consider the long-term impact of our efforts. His presentation made me realize that, in our own, albeit small, way, we have a place in history. Research and research protections are better because all of us have committed to this work. 

Other stories in this issue of Advance provide information to help support that commitment. For those pursuing accreditation or reaccreditation, we’ve included tips on how to avoid errors that can delay your application review. Another article showcases our recent webinar on “Successful Tools for Educating and Evaluating HRPP Teams.” 

Finally, since it’s always nice to have something to look forward to, I call your attention to a long-anticipated enhancement and some upcoming events. We are making great progress on our Online Accreditation Management System (OAMS); watch for more information on our 2023 launch. Also in 2023, we will be continuing our popular, new webinar series, “Ask AAHRPP.” 

Planning is well underway for our 2023 AAHRPP Annual Conference: Challenge and Change in Charm City, May 16-18, in Baltimore, Maryland. Based on your positive feedback, we will once again offer the option to attend in person or virtually, but we hope to see most of you in person. Save the dates, and stay tuned for more information about the conference on our Annual Conference page.



Elyse I. Summers, JD

AAHRPP President and CEO