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NIH Record - 75th Anniversary - National Institutes of Health

Volunteer Weiner Ends 30 Years of IRB Service

Weiner displays her plaque

Marilyn Weiner displays a plaque recognizing her 30 years of service to NIH as a volunteer on institutional review boards.

Photo: Rich McManus

Marilyn Weiner attended her final NIH Intramural Research Program IRB (institutional review board) meeting on June 22, ending 30 years of volunteer service to NIH. As a non-scientist and non-NIH affiliated IRB member, Weiner brought to the IRB the community and participant perspective, which is key to effective review. She is the longest serving member on any of the combined neurosciences (CNS) IRB panels and among the longest at NIH overall—she has rarely missed a monthly meeting.

Weiner originally joined the NIDCR IRB back in 1986, at the invitation of a friend. At the time, she had never heard of an “IRB” but was eager to learn about the process. She subsequently outlasted five IRB chairs over the years of her service—and can still name each one. She also persisted through 2012, when NIDCR joined the CNS IRB leadership and switched from reviewing protocols solely from NIDCR to a broad portfolio of neuroscience-related research from multiple ICs.

She has witnessed a number of other changes at NIH and in the IRB over the years. At NIH, she noted the drastic increase in security, particularly after 9/11. She appreciated that NIH intramural IRBs have become more professional as well. She found that increased IRB support from the institutes and the addition of dedicated, trained IRB professional staff were very helpful in her role as an IRB member.

Her favorite part of the IRB experience has been all that she learned. She particularly enjoyed the “informational items,” such as articles about IRBs, ethics and human subjects protections issues provided by the IRB leadership at each meeting. She will miss her fellow board members.

Over the years, Weiner has managed to balance her dedication to NIH with her career as a marriage and family therapy and addictions therapist. In addition, she is the mother of 3 and the grandmother of 6.

“Ms. Weiner has been a valuable member of the NIH Intramural Research Program’s NIDCR and, subsequently, CNS IRB,” said NINDS’s Dr. Pamela Kearney, deputy chair of the CNS IRB. “She will be greatly missed.”

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