Pillars of PRIM&R

Our Pillars

Created in 2007, the Pillar of PRIM&R designation recognizes individuals who were integral to PRIM&R's founding and early growth, and who provided exemplary service and uncommon commitment to PRIM&R’s values and mission during the organization’s formative years. A fund was created to provide the Outstanding Poster Award in honor of the Pillars, to recognize projects or efforts that reflect a similar commitment to PRIM&R’s mission and core values. This designation was retired in 2021.

Joseph ByrneAs one of PRIM&R’s founders and a committed board director for 43 years, Joseph J. Byrne, MD has had an integral role not only in positioning PRIM&R for its future success, but in stewarding the organization through decades of growth and change. Dr. Byrne earned a PhD in chemistry from Purdue University, and went on to work for the Monsanto Research Corporation for a decade. But his professional home, for over thirty years, was Tufts University, where he served as an invaluable member of the 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 emeritus. Dr. Byrne served as PRIM&R’s treasurer for over two decades, a role in which he stewarded the organization’s finances, and growth with great wisdom, care, and a willingness to innovate. During PRIM&R’s early years, Dr. Byrne led the effort to integrate animal research subject protection and research misconduct and conflict of interest, all of which are now key components of PRIM&R’s educational offerings. Dr. Byrne’s humility, warmth, good humor, generosity, and effective leadership are gifts to PRIM&R and to all who know him.

Louis LasagnaLouis Lasagna, MD, (1923-2003) the "Father of Clinical Pharmacology," was a vital member of the PRIM&R board of directors for nearly twenty years. He first became involved with the organization when he spoke at one of our conferences in 1980. Thereafter, he consistently contributed time, wisdom, spirit, warmth, humor, principled leadership, and endless hard work to every PRIM&R project he undertook. When Dr. Lasagna first became involved with PRIM&R, he was already a giant and a hero, not only in the field of pharmacology, but also in the emerging area of the responsible and ethical conduct of research. Everything he did was informed by his humanity, as well as by his concern that science, and life in general, must be a search for "logic, wisdom, truth, meaning, and justice."

Herman WigodskyHerman Wigodsky, MD, PHD, (1915-2005) was actively involved in promoting research ethics throughout his over 60 year career. "Wig" served in the United States Air Force (USAF) during World War II as the director of research at the USAF School of Aviation Medicine from 1944 to 1947. He worked for the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission and then for the National Academy of Sciences prior to moving to the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio in 1950. Wig loved PRIM&R, and he was, in turn, loved by all those who met him over the course of his association with the organization. Wig was a broken mold, and when he gave a talk or facilitated a breakout session at one of our meetings, his comments were always strong, spicy, and usually right on target.

Sanford ChodoshSanford Chodosh, MD, (1928-2010) was a co-founder of PRIM&R and served as president of PRIM&R's Board of Directors from 1979 to 2001. Dr. Chodosh, a clinical investigator for more than 40 years, retired from the Boston University School of Medicine where he was an Associate Professor and from the VA Outpatient Clinic in Boston, Massachusetts, where he was Chief of Staff for 14 years and Chief of Pulmonary. Dr. Chodosh authored or coauthored more than 73 articles, 38 abstracts, and 40 chapters in books and monographs. He was involved in a number of hospital and organization activities and received numerous awards and honors. Dr. Chodosh served as the IRB chair at the Boston City Hospital from 1971 to 1984. Through the time of his passing, he continued to be deeply involved with the protection of human and animal subjects in research as a founder of PRIM&R and as a member of the Board of Directors. In 2005, he received PRIM&R's Founders' Award in recognition of his long service to the organization.

Harry RozmiarekHarry Rozmiarek, DVM, PhD, DACLAM (1939-2013) served as a member of PRIM&R's Board of Directors from 1990-2013. Dr. Rozmiarek had a long and distinguished career that spanned the armed forces and academia. His career was marked not only by his dedication to laboratory animal medicine and animal care and use, but also by his commitment to mentoring those who were just starting out in these fields. Upon his death, Dr. Rozmiarek was professor emeritus of laboratory animal medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, a visiting professor laboratory animal medicine at the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, and the laboratory animal facility director at the Fox Chase Cancer Center. He published extensively in the fields of immunology, toxicology, virology and infectious disease, and laboratory animal management and husbandry, and authored over 60 publications and presentations. Dr. Rozmiarek was an enthusiastic volunteer who lent his boundless energy, wise counsel, and skilled expertise to numerous organizations, including PRIM&R where he served as an active and valued member of PRIM&R's executive, finance, and certification committees, and as PRIM&R's board treasurer and secretary. Dr. Rozmiarek was the recipient of several awards, including the Nathan R. Brewer Award for lifetime achievement from the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine. Harry Rozmiarek's embrace of education, hard work, volunteerism, and family, combine to compose a life that defies sufficient description or adequate tribute.

Warren AsheDr. Ashe had a self-described love affair with Howard University from childhood, when he dreamed of being involved in the medical school. After receiving his bachelor's degree in psychology from Howard, Dr. Ashe enlisted in the US Marines Corps. He remarked that the day he enlisted was both the best—and the worst—day of his life. "[The Marines] have a motto that I still remember. They say, 'the difficult we do immediately; the impossible takes a little time.'…I live my life on that principle."

After an honorable discharge in 1953, Dr. Ashe was hired at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He worked at NIH for 20 years, and was the first African-American to become a senior scientific advisor at the National Institute for Dental Research. In 1961, after spending time studying the herpes simplex virus, he published his first paper in the journal, Archives of Oral Biology. In 1962, he earned a master's degree in microbiology from Howard.

In 1971, Dr. Ashe received a call from the dean of Howard University College of Medicine, asking him to join the administration. Dr. Ashe began his work at Howard later that year, starting as an assistant dean and instructor of microbiology. In 1976, Dr. Ashe enrolled as a PhD student in the department of microbiology, working during the day and taking classes at night. He completed his longed-for doctoral degree in 1984.

When Dr. Ashe first arrived at Howard, there was no formal process for reviewing research. He formed the Human Research Review Committee, charged with reviewing all human research in the College of Medicine, which eventually transformed into the first institutional review board (IRB) at the University. He served as executive secretary for the IRB from 1971 until 2006.

While involved with the IRB, Dr. Ashe began attending PRIM&R conferences, and was invited by William Freeman, a PRIM&R Board member, to speak at a conference sponsored by the Applied Research Ethics National Association (PRIM&R's former membership division) on a panel titled Can Tuskegee Happen Again? Held in 1998, this conference marked the beginning of Dr. Ashe's involvement with PRIM&R; he was elected to PRIM&R's Board of Directors that year, serving until 2010.

During his time on the board, Dr. Ashe and Dr. Freeman created the organization's Institutional Capacity Building Scholarship Program, which was established to help individuals from under-represented minority institutions take advantage of participating in PRIM&R's annual conferences. The program continues today, and has been instrumental in bringing professionals from historically Black colleges and universities, tribal colleges, and Hispanic-serving institutions to PRIM&R events for more than a decade.

Charles R. McCarthy

Charles R. McCarthy, PhD, served on PRIM&R’s Board of Directors from 1983 to 2012 and was involved in both PRIM&R and Applied Research Ethics National Association (ARENA was the membership division of PRIM&R from 1985 to 2006) activities from 1978 onward. Dr. McCarthy was a co-creator of the IRB 101sm course, served as a faculty member for several IRB 101 workshops, and for more than 30 years was a faculty member at virtually all of PRIM&R’s national conferences. Dr. McCarthy represented PRIM&R/ARENA in hearings before the US Congress, and before several national commissions. From 1978 to 1992, Dr. McCarthy served as Director of the Office for Protection from Research Risks (OPRR), within the NIH. In that role he was responsible for the early development, promulgation, and implementation of federal regulations for the protection of human research subjects in the United States. Dr. McCarthy was the recipient of PRIM&R’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Research Ethics in 2003.

Paula L. Knudson

Paula L. Knudson served on PRIM&R’s Board of Directors from 1984 to 2011, helping guide the organization from its early years to the thriving entity that it is today. Ms. Knudson was one of the first Board members to recognize the need to reach out to research oversight committees outside of North America, and served as faculty for international workshops in Africa, South America, and Southeast Asia. She hosted and organized four extremely successful PRIM&R human subjects conferences, including the 1986 conference that was the “birthplace” of the Applied Research Ethics National Association (ARENA), PRIM&R’s former membership division. Ms. Knudson was the executive coordinator for the Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects for 27 years and for the last 17 years served as the special advisor for human subjects research and faculty in the Center for Clinical Research and Evidence Based Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center Houston (UTHSCH). Ms. Knudson served as creator and editor of PRIM&R Through the Years, a compilation of presentations from more than 50 PRIM&R conferences held between 1974 and 2005. Ms. Knudson was the recipient of the 2014 PRIM&R Distinguished Service Award.

Barbara H. Stanley

Barbara H. Stanley, PhD, served on PRIM&R’s Board of Directors from 1984 to 2015. Dr. Stanley's long-standing commitment to research ethics education strengthened in 1985 when she co-founded, with Natalie “Natasha” Reatig, the Applied Research Ethics National Association (ARENA), PRIM&R’s former membership division. Dr. Stanley served as the first president of ARENA and on PRIM&R’s Program Committee, Nominations Committee, Ad Hoc Committee on Structure, and Public Policy Committee. A longtime faculty member at the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Dr. Stanley facilitated workshops and spoke at ARENA and PRIM&R meetings on issues relating to informed consent, competency, and special populations in psychiatric research, including with participants at elevated risk of suicide. Dr. Stanley organized and co-chaired two national meetings on the social and behavioral sciences. Dr. Stanley was a recipient of PRIM&R’s Founders Award in 2005.

Leonard H. GlantzLeonard H. Glantz, JD, served on PRIM&R’s Board of Directors from 1985 to 2014, serving as Chair for four years, including the years 2006-2008, during which he skillfully guided the organization through a major reorganization and strategic planning process that enabled PRIM&R to become an international resource for research ethics education. In addition, he served as a member of a variety of PRIM&R Board committees, including the Executive Committee and the Finance Committee, and was on the planning committee and faculty for most of PRIM&R’s human subjects conferences. As a beloved faculty member and later associate dean at the Boston University School of Public Health for over 30 years, Professor Glantz’s work often centered on the need to protect human beings in research, and he always worked to ensure that ethical themes remained integral to PRIM&R’s programming. As Chair of the Public Policy Committee, he led the organization in formulating thoughtful and influential contributions to public agencies’ development of policy, producing PRIM&R’s own policy recommendations on important topics, and enhancing its public policy profile.

William L. FreemanWilliam L. Freeman, MD, MPH, CIP, served on PRIM&R’s Board of Directors from 1994 to 2010. Prior to that, he was an active member of Applied Research Ethics National Association (ARENA), in 1988 serving as its President. Dr. Freeman played an active role in PRIM&R’s effort to develop accreditation standards for the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP). He taught IRB 101 sm workshops and facilitated countless breakout sessions and panels at PRIM&R’s human subjects conferences. Dr. Freedman has dedicated his life’s work to advancing the health, well-being, protection, and equitable inclusion of American Indian/Alaska Native populations in research, including through community and participatory engaged research. Dr. Freeman served in the Indian Health Service (IHS) for more than 25 years, first at the Lummi Indian Tribal Health Center then as director of the IHS Research Program. For 10 years, Dr. Freeman organized OPRR/OHRP "regional IRB meetings" co-sponsored by the Indian Health Board (IHB). Inspired by his work with the Indian Health Service, Dr. Freeman was and continues to be a major force in promoting greater attention to diversity and inclusion within PRIM&R’s membership and programming. Dr. Freeman was the recipient of the 2008 ARENA Legacy Award.

Joan RachlinOver the course of her thirty-nine years as Founding Executive Director, Joan Rachlin, JD, MPH, led PRIM&R from its infancy to its current status as the premier educational organization and professional home for the research oversight community in the United States. She created a membership program with more than 3,500 persons from around the world and organized conferences attended by thousands of people every year. Collaborating with two of PRIM&R’s Board members, she produced PRIM&R’s first distance learning tool for researchers, Investigator 101, the rights to which were acquired by the federal Office for Human Research Protections for distribution to every major academic health center and university in the country. Ms. Rachlin guided the development of PRIM&R’s certification programs and contributed to the development of more than 200 conferences, short courses, webinars, and e-learning platforms. Under her leadership, PRIM&R was a co-founder of the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP). Ms. Rachlin was the 2013 recipient of PRIM&R’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Research Ethics.

Natalie “Natasha” ReatigNatalie “Natasha” Reatig (1941-2019) served on PRIM&R’s Board of Directors from 1984 to1995. In 1984, Ms. Reatig suggested that PRIM&R form a national association for research oversight professionals, and in 1985 she co-founded, with Barbara Stanley, the Applied Research Ethics National Association (ARENA), PRIM&R’s former membership division , that served as the professional home and peer network for IRB and IACUC personnel. In 2006, ARENA officially merged with PRIM&R, becoming the membership arm of the organization. As a member of PRIM&R’s Board of Directors for over ten years, Ms. Reatig shared her vision, passion, and energy during some of PRIM&R’s most formative years. As an employee of the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH) for 31 years, including serving as director of the Protection and Advocacy Program for Individuals with Mental Illness, Ms. Reatig spoke at PRIM&R conferences going back to 1979 about the importance of working with special/vulnerable populations and informed consent.  Ms. Reatig was a recipient of PRIM&R’s Founders Award in 2005.