Founders Awards

Founders Award

In 2005, PRIM&R was honored to recognize the notable achievements of four individuals who played critical roles in the founding of both PRIM&R and ARENA. Their leadership, dedication, and wisdom were, and continue to be, instrumental in our growth and success.

Joe ByrneJoseph J. Byrne first saw the light of day in Somerville, Massachusetts. With the exception of a few years spent at Purdue University earning a PhD in Chemistry, and a year in Stamford, Connecticut as a research chemist, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has been the constant benefactor of Joe’s charm, wisdom, and good judgment.

Joe worked for the Monsanto Research Corporation for a decade, but was, for over thirty years, a mainstay of Tufts University, first as an invaluable member of the Tufts Faculty, and later as Research Coordinator for the Tufts Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, Administrator of the Tufts Basic Science Research Center, Associate Dean for Governmental Affairs, Director of Government Resources, and finally, as the Associate Provost for Research.

No “"snapshot" of Joe’s life would be complete without mention of his deep devotion to his wife, Katy, and to his four adult children and their ever-growing families. A more hands-on father and “grandpa” would be difficult to find, and it’s a genuine mystery as to how Joe manages to give so much of himself to so many. "Ours is not to reason why," though, but only to be grateful for his generosity and dedication to such a large number of people and organizations.

But all of the above, glorious though it is, is not why we honored Joe at our Founders Awards ceremony in 2005. Instead, we honored him for his considerable role in bringing PRIM&R into the future. Joe Byrne was a founding member of PRIM&R and served as the organization’s Treasurer for over two decades. He has guided PRIM&R’s growth with caution and wisdom and generally shepherded organizational growth from a “no money in the bank” cottage industry to the thriving organization we are today. Thanks to Joe’s stewardship, PRIM&R survived the lean years and is now in its 32nd year of existence.

But Joe is no mere “numbers man.” He has generated ideas for many of our most successful conferences. It was Joe, for example, who recommended that PRIM&R get involved with both the animal research issue and the conflict of interest/misconduct areas, both of which are now key parts of PRIM&R’s educational offerings.

Joe Byrne is a man whose "calm-come-what-may" demeanor, endless wisdom, humility, brilliance, and effective leadership are gifts to all who know him, and we are honored to publicly present him with a small token of our huge debt of gratitude.

Sanford ChodoshSanford "Sandy" Chodosh, MD and PRIM&R are synonymous and for good reason! Sandy, too, was a founding member and served as President for 22 of the organization’s 32 years. He continued to serve on the Board and is active on the Finance Committee until his death on August 30, 2010. Sandy was a man of depth and talent, and he brought a sense of vision and professionalism to every task undertaken. Quite simply, we would not be here without him.

Ever since those early years when PRIM&R was a fledgling one-horse operation to its present status as a respected and earnest group whose basic purpose remains the promotion of responsible research through the facilitation of dialogue and the systematic sharing of information, Sandy was an organizational anchor. Without having at our helm for so many years someone who both believes profoundly in PRIM&R’s mission and who has the personal and professional skills to have helped us realize it, we would still be determined, but lonely, voices in the wilderness.

When PRIM&R was a shoestring operation (not that long ago!), Sandy’s “whatever it takes to get the job done” practicality often found him washing dishes following Board and Executive Committee meetings, stuffing packets at conferences, alphabetizing name tags, posting “no smoking” signs, and graciously greeting our old and new friends. Sandy drove PRIM&R conferees to and from dinners and hotels, filled in for absentee speakers at the eleventh hour, and in general, was always willing to roll up his sleeves and help.

It is precisely that blend of professional excellence and personal humility which made Sandy not only a valued founder and leader, but also an accomplished and respected clinical researcher as well prior to his well-deserved retirement. Sandy served as the Chair of the Boston City Hospital Institutional Review Board for many years. Throughout his distinguished career he has been a leader in the research ethics community and has never wavered in his unswerving concern for the protection of human subjects in biomedical and behavioral research. His grounding idealism always placed the respect and dignity of both patient and subject as the fundamental imperative.

Natalie ReatigNatalie Reatig, co-founder along with Barbara Stanley of ARENA, is a true original, and someone who is, quite simply, unforgettable! (with apologies to Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole – gotta love those “Natalies!”) Natalie Reatig attended PRIM&R’s first conference on human subjects research in April of 1977 and was forever enshrined as the “lady in red” as a result of the vibrant red cape she wore to that inaugural meeting. We were enchanted then and we have never stopped being enchanted! Natalie was quickly recruited to the PRIM&R Board of Directors and served for over ten years.

A born leader (in her own words, “keeping a low profile is simply not my style”) and a natural creator of community, Natalie is someone who has a bottomless wellspring of creativity, endless organizational skills, the ability to build bridges across disciplines, and, no small tribute, she is one of the kindest individuals it has been our privilege to know and work with.

Natalie spent her entire professional life at the NIMH. As a young research assistant in the then newly emerging field of psychopharmacology, she had a ringside seat as the science moved from “nurture” back to “nature” – from psychological to biological theories. Natalie eventually became responsible for programmatic administration of the research grants on pharmacological treatments for “special populations” such as those affected by Attention Deficit Disorders, Anorexia Nervosa/Bulimia, Autism, and persons with the dual diagnoses of Mental Illness/Mental Retardation. Natalie was also became a nationally recognized expert on consent in vulnerable populations and routinely brought that skill set to PRIM&R/ARENA meetings.

During her long and distinguished tenure at NIMH, Natalie served in a variety of capacities and was recognized with a number of awards, including the DHHS Secretary’s Award for Distinguished Service (1996), the National Association of Protection and Advocacy Systems, Achievement Award (also 1996), the Mental Health Service Administration, Administrator’s Award for Meritorious Achievement (1995), the Public Health Service, Special Recognition Award (1995), and the National Institute of Mental Health, Director’s Award for Significant Achievement (1987).

Since her retirement, Natalie has become an avid reader of ancient history, with special focus on the nomadic tribes of Central Asia. She walks, does yoga, rides horseback, and enjoys time spent at the beach or anywhere in nature.

Barbara StanleyBarbara Stanley is the co-founder of ARENA and a longstanding linchpin of PRIM&R. Her association with the organization goes back over 25 years when she first began facilitating workshops and giving talks at PRIM&R meetings on issues relating to informed consent, competency, and special populations.

She was elected to the PRIM&R Board a few years later, and, soon after her election, began to think about better ways to educate and inform the administrators who were the backbones of IRBs and IACUCs. Along with Natalie Reatig, Barbara was the co-founder and first President of ARENA, PRIM&R’s membership division.

Barbara’s singular stamp is evident in both ARENA’s founding principles and in its enduring commitment to respect, ethics, caring, and community. Barbara is someone whose genuineness and integrity are evident to all who meet her, and she is not capable of artifice of any kind. Instead, a bone-deep commitment to the pursuit of truth and the preservation of ethical principles are the coins of her realm, and she is the kind of researcher and professional who has toiled long and hard to preserve scientific integrity and to protect those who participate as research subjects.

In her "day job," Barbara is a clinical psychologist and research scientist in the Department of Neuroscience at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and on the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. She has conducted research on clinical factors, neurobiology, and on the treatment of suicidal behavior, self-injury, borderline personality disorder, and depression. She is the recipient of more than twenty years of continual funding from the NIMH and has also received grants from several private foundations.

She is the President of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention - Metropolitan New York Chapter and serves on its Scientific Advisory Board. She also serves on the Board of the Personality Disorders Foundation and TARA Association for Personality Disorders. She has served on several Institutional Review Boards and has been a consultant for the NIH Office of Protection from Research Risks. Barbara is the past chair of the Committee on the Protection of Human Participants in Research for the American Psychological Association.

Dr. Stanley has also served as a consultant to NIMH in developing guidelines to investigators considering including suicidal patients in treatment trials. She has published over 70 articles on suicidal behavior, self-injury, borderline personality disorder, depression, informed consent, competency, and research ethics.