Bioethics Blogs

Maintaining Protections for Research Participants in a Rapidly Changing Environment: An Interview with Katherine Lerner

By Nora Murphy, membership assistant

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. During May, Member Appreciation Month at PRIM&R, we feature a new member interview every week! 

Please read on to learn more about Katherine Lerner, JD, CIP, associate director of the Social and Behavioral Sciences IRB at the University of Chicago, and planning committee member for PRIM&R’s 2015 Social, Behavioral, and Educational Research Conference.

Nora Murphy (NM): When and why did you join the field?
Katherine Lerner (KL): IRB work is my third career. Prior to entering the IRB world, I was a budget and policy analyst with state and local governments, and I then went to law school and was a lawyer with the federal government for over five years. When my kids were very young and I was home pretty much full-time, I became a community member on the IRB at Children’s Memorial Hospital (now Lurie Children’s Hospital) in Chicago and spent over three years in that role. I then served as a vice chair of that IRB for a couple of years, at which point, looking to take on more full-time type of work, I became IRB manager for the National Opinion Research Center (NORC). Working as the IRB manager for NORC was a great introduction to social science IRB work—and it’s a one-person IRB office, which was also a big change. I learned a huge amount quickly about social science IRB review and managing all aspects of an IRB office.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.