2005 Lifetime Achievement Award Page 2

Presented to Robert J. Levine, MD

Bob Levine Award 1On December 4, at the 2005 Annual HRPP Conference, PRIM&R leadership was honored and thrilled to present the 2005 Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Research Ethics to Robert J. Levine, MD, for his leadership, his scholarship, and his many other achievements in the field.

Dr. Levine, known simply as “Bob” to his many friends both within PRIM&R and throughout the bioethics world, has been a Professor of Medicine and a Lecturer in Pharmacology at Yale University School of Medicine since 1973, having first arrived at Yale in 1962 as an instructor in medicine. His career at Yale has been long and distinguished, and he has been both a respected teacher and a cherished mentor to many students and colleagues alike. While at Yale, Dr. Levine chaired the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at Yale-New Haven Medical Center for over 30 years, served as Chief of the Section of Clinical Pharmacology, and is presently the Director of the Law, Policy and Ethics Core of Yale University’s Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS. He is also the Co-Chair of the Executive Committee of Yale’s Interdisciplinary Bioethics Project.

Dr. Levine has been on the PRIM&R Board of Directors since 1986, and, for almost all of those years, has been a member of the small but stalwart planning committees that organize PRIM&R’s conferences. In addition to his inexhaustible knowledge of the issues, Dr. Levine has been our very own version of a one man band; he has not only helped plan the meetings, identified and recruited many of the faculty, given many of the talks, moderated many of the panels and debates, and edited the conference proceedings, but has also served as one of our surest guides to PRIM&R’s professional galaxy.

Dr. Levine’s CV is long and impressive, and his accomplishments numerous. Highlights include his past service as a consultant to several federal and international agencies involved in the development of policy for the protection of human subjects, including the National Commission on the Protection of Human Subjects. Dr. Levine was the founding editor of IRB: A Review of Human Subjects Research, and served as that publication’s editor from 1979 to 2000. He is currently the Chair of its Editorial Board. He is presently preparing the third edition of his book, Ethics and Regulation of Clinical Research , which is a seminal resource for those who conduct and/or review research with human subjects.

Dr. Levine has also served over fifty other organizations including The Hastings Center, the American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethics, the Connecticut Humanities Council, the Society of Bioethics Consultation, the World Association of Medical Editors, and the Bayer Institute for Health Care Communications.

In addition, Dr. Levine has served on the Council of International Organizations of Medical Sciences
Bob Levine Award 4(CIOMS) as Chair of the Steering Committee for Revision of International Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical Research. He was the Chair for the Working Group for Revision of the Declaration of Helsinki at the World Medical Association. He has also served on the Ethics Committee at the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as on the Human Subjects Research Council Workgroup of the National Institute of Mental Health. He participated in the Project on Ethics in HIV Vaccine Trials for the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), and consulted on the Programme’s development of their Guidance Document for trials of preventive HIV vaccines. He was also a part of the Pan American Health Organization’s International Bioethics Advisory Board.

Dr. Levine’s contributions to protecting human subjects could fill volumes and, in fact, have! During his illustrious career, Dr. Levine’s research, teaching, and publications have all been an essential part of the canon for those involved with human subjects research, and he was selected for the Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Research Ethics as a result of these both wide and deep accomplishments. Researcher, clinician, teacher, writer, mentor, “testifier,” commentator, advocate, policy expert, chair of more IRB meetings than anyone can count, and always, a cherished friend to PRIM&R.

We might get bleary-eyed reading such a catalogue of achievements, but Dr. Levine never seems to tire of his globe-trotting quest to make research ethics a more principled and accessible endeavor. He is a very kind, very patient, very calm, very generous, and very smart man, and it is an honor and a privilege to bestow this Award upon him.

PRIM&R, and all those who know Bob, salute him, thank him, and look forward to many more years of our shared commitment to protecting those who participate as human subjects in research.

Joan Rachlin, JD, MPH
Executive Director

Read more about Dr. Levine’s role as a mentor, teacher, and friend, including a tribute from Angela Roddey Holder, a longstanding colleague of Dr. Levine's and a Professor at the Duke University School of Medicine.