'Fascinated by the new research'

'Fascinated by the new research'

By Communications Staff

August 2, 2016


After 40 years of service at Queen’s University, Kathy Reed is an expert in the human research ethics review process.

As the Research Ethics Coordinator for the Health Sciences and Affiliated Teaching Hospital Research Ethics Board (HSREB), Ms. Reed is the main point of contact for researchers and research coordinators involved with health sciences research studies that involve human participants.

[Kathy Reed]
Kathy Reed is the main point of contact for researchers and research coordinators involved with health sciences research studies that involve human participants.

Since starting in her current position in 1991 with the creation of the centralized ethics board – spearheaded by Dr. Albert Clark – Ms. Reed has seen a tremendous increase in the number of studies she manages to nearly 4,000 active files in 2015.

“Over the years, it has been amazing to see the increase in the number of ethics submissions from medical residents, medical students, graduate and undergraduate students within the health sciences field,” she says.
When a research study requires ethics certification for the enrollment of human participants, researchers or their support staff submit their applications to Ms. Reed to begin the process and can contact her for assistance. Ms. Reed is then responsible for placing applications under the appropriate review process, communicating with the researchers about their applications, communicating with the chair, as well as the HSREB to ensure that the ethics review process goes smoothly for researchers and the board members. She also coordinates reviews to ensure all parts of the application are in place.
Through her role as an intermediary, Ms. Reed communicates with a vast number of researchers about the different steps in the ethics process. She oversees hundreds of new study applications each year, and coordinates reviews of major or minor modifications to previous ethics approvals. Additionally, she oversees the yearly ethics renewal process with the assistance of Elizabeth Heinricks, Ethics Assistant, for all research projects currently active.
Instead of being overwhelmed by thousands of active files, Ms. Reed says she thrives in the position.

“I love the relationships that I develop with the researchers and their support staff, and I’m fascinated by the new research that arrives with each application,” she says.  “I also enjoy working with the engaging and dedicated board members, especially the extremely hardworking chair, Dr. Clark.”
With the assistance of the Research Support Fund, administered by the Tri-Agency Institutional Programs secretariat, positions like Ms. Reed’s are made possible. The RSF provides funding for many overhead costs associated with research to ensure that institutions can employ research facilitators, support training in workplace health and safety, maintain libraries, cover a variety of administrative costs including those for patenting, and invest in cutting-edge facilities. 

The most recent report on the RSF for Queen’s has been posted to the website of the Office of the Vice-Principal (Research).
The financial support of the RSF has ensured that Ms. Reed can continue to coordinate, for example, the thousands of clinical trial ethical approvals needed to support some of Queen’s innovative health research. In 2015, her commitment and positivity were honoured with a Special Staff Recognition Award at the Principal’s Holiday Reception.