2012 ARENA Legacy Award - Susan DelanoARENA Legacy Award – Susan Delano

Ms. Delano is a highly respected, longstanding, and tireless advocate for ethical research, and for the education needed to reach that end. She long ago came to understand that raising the professionalism of those charged with protecting human subjects was an important step for our field, and she has served as a core member of the group that founded and then nurtured the credentialing program for IRB administrators.

Ms. Delano has been a PRIM&R member for more than 18 years, and her devotion to the organization is evident in many aspects, but none more so than in the development of the Certified IRB Professional (CIP®) program. PRIM&R is thus especially grateful to Ms. Delano for her seminal role in spearheading the creation and maintenance of this credential for IRB professionals. She was there from the beginning when, in 1999, she participated in small meetings that led to the creation of the CIP credential. She became a founding member of the Council for Certification of IRB Professionals (CCIP) and then became chair of the CCIP in 2005, a position she held until her term ended in December 2011.

Ms. Delano is a regular presenter at PRIM&R meetings on a range of topics, including the CIP program, issues relating to vulnerable populations, those who are decisionally impaired, and informed consent. Her commitment to advancing ethical research is longstanding and deep; she first became involved with research protections in 1980 when she was hired as the IRB staff person at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Two years later, she joined the Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene, Inc. (RFMH), a nonprofit corporation affiliated with the New York State Department of Mental Hygiene located in Albany, NY. Ms. Delano became the deputy managing director of RFMH in 2001.

In addition to being a superb teacher, leader, and administrator, Ms. Delano is an active author. Her publications include chapters on “Research Involving Adults with Decisional Impairment” and “Certification of IRB Professionals” (Institutional Review Board Management and Function, 2006), articles in journals such as “Regulating Research With Vulnerable Populations: Litigation Gone Awry” (Journal of Health Care Law and Policy, 1998), “Uninformed Decision Making: The Case of Surrogate Research Consent” (The Hastings Center Report, 1997), “Protecting Mental Health Research Subjects Without Prohibiting Progress” (Hospital & Community Psychiatry, 1994), and “Protection of Persons with Mental Disorders from Research Risk: A Response to the Report of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission,” (Archives of General Psychiatry, 1999). Ms. Delano received her bachelor’s degree at the level IIA (the equivalent of an American master’s degree) in sociology, psychology, and research methodology from the Australian National University.

2012 Distinguished Service Award: MJ ShepherdDistinguished Service Award – Mary Jo "MJ" Shepherd

A self-proclaimed IACUC “geek,” Dr. Shepherd has been a tireless and effective advocate for her fellow IACUC administrators/coordinators and the critical role they play in ensuring quality animal care and use programs. She has actively promoted and participated in the education of all those who have expressed an interest in learning more about IACUCs, and that is but one of the many reasons why she is so deserving of this award.

Dr. Shepherd is also a generous and talented volunteer for a number of organizations working in the laboratory animal field. In fact, one can only wonder how she manages to maintain her “day job,” given the unending extracurricular activities in which she participates. The answers can be found in the reams of positive evaluations she receives each time she teaches, speaks, or writes, since, in addition to these considerable professional skills, it is Dr. Shepherd’s generous spirit, personal warmth, and easy humor that make her a beloved colleague to all who know her.

As the director of the Office of the IACUC at Columbia University, Dr. Shepherd administers two IACUCs for one of the largest animal care and use programs in the country. She has worked in the field of laboratory animal medicine since 1988, when she first became an IACUC member. Since that time, she has served as instructor, clinical veterinarian, attending veterinarian, IACUC member, consultant, scientist, and finally, as the professional administrator/director of several well-respected IACUCs, including at Pfizer, Merck, the University of Pennsylvania, and Columbia.

Dr. Shepherd has also volunteered for the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science at the local and national levels as a trustee, member of the editorial review board and branch president. For more than 10 years, she has been actively involved in the planning of the New Jersey Association for Biomedical Research’s annual IACUC seminar. Dr. Shepherd was also on the board of directors of Americans for Medical Progress for five years.

Dr. Shepherd has written numerous articles for magazines and journals, including Advances in Ocular Toxicology, Contemporary Topics in Laboratory Animal Science, Lab Animal, ILAR Journal, and Medical Device and Diagnostic Industries.

Beginning in 2001, she chaired multiple planning committees for PRIM&R’s annual IACUC Conferences, served as a faculty member at each of these meetings, and also been a central member of the pre-conference program faculties for Essentials of IACUC Administration. In addition, at the time of receiving this award, she was a member of PRIM&R’s Certification Committee, and was a founding member and past chair of the Council for Certified Professional IACUC Administrators (CCPIA). As chair of the CCPIA, she has worked hard to provide those in the profession with a highly visible and highly credible way to advance their knowledge and perform their duties in a professional manner. Largely through her dedication and the sheer force of her passion, Dr. Shepherd has been a key driver and sustainer of the CPIA credential.