We're About Relationships: NWABR Lands Community Member for Benaroya Research Institute

Our members utilize key research oversight committees that review proposed research in three areas: research with humans, animals and biosafety.  Each committee benefits from input by not only professionals from within the organization but also from community members.  The role of community members is to dig deep and ask questions about the proposed research that an insider might not.  While many publics are interested in the sciences, it can be difficult to identify community members who are eligible to serve on research oversight committees. As a member service, NWABR identifies, evaluates and recommends community members for these committees.

I first met Mr. Kristian Kofoed in 2009 at a peer-to-peer communication training presented by NWABR. Since this was one of the first events I personally supervised with NWABR, I remember being keenly focused on all the new faces and quality of the training.  Kristian had created a presentation to be workshopped by peers, which was unlike any I had ever observed.  He wanted to spread the word about a new public policy game he developed for the City of Seattle that would help people understand their own environmental impact.  During the workshop Kristian was fully engaged with other attendees and both accepted and provided helpful direction for the featured presentations.

A few years later, Kristian began attending NWABR's Community Conversation Series in Seattle and he remains a core participant in these discussions.  Kristian is an attourney and offers special insight to these Conversations which highlight prominent biomedical research with ethical and legal considerations.  It is through these Conversations that we invite further engagement with the biomedical research community, including serving as a community member on research oversight committees.

Given his history with NWABR and his commitment to science communication, it should be no surprise that Kristian was recently placed on the IACUC at Benaroya Research Institute.  Dr. Lynn Rose, Director of Science Administration, couldn't be happier with his appointment.

If you are a member of NWABR and you would like assistance placing a community member in one of your research oversight committees, please contact Jen Wroblewski at engagement@nwabr.org.

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