November 2005, Issue 5

The Louis Lasagna, MD, Outstanding Institutional Review Board Member Award

The IRB of Tufts University Health Sciences and Tufts–New England Medical Center created this award to pay tribute to Louis Lasagna, an active member of the IRB from 1986 until his death in 2003. The award will be given annually to an IRB member who best displays Lasagna’s approach to human subjects research.

Lasagna will be remembered for his many accomplishments during his career in clinical pharmacology and his dedicated service to Tufts as dean of the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences for nearly two decades. His colleagues on the IRB also remember his extraordinary care for research subjects and his advocacy of candor in the design and execution of clinical research. Lasagna worked tirelessly to improve the informed consent process for research participants, the rules governing conflict of interest, and national standards for human subjects research. He was also a thoughtful and accomplished essayist, who authored a revision of the Oath of Hippocrates that is recited by many medical students (including those at Tufts) at graduation. One passage displays his gift as an essayist and his compassion for patients:

I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.

Edward L. Decker, PharmD, clinical manager of the Pharmacy Department at Tufts–NEMC, was chosen by his colleagues on the IRB to receive the first annual Louis Lasagna award. Decker has worked in the Pharmacy Department of Tufts–NEMC for 27 years and has been an active member of the IRB since 1979, serving as vice chair since 1984. Decker’s colleagues note that his pharmacy background and years of experience thoughtfully addressing the details of human subjects research allow him to bring a unique perspective to IRB meetings. The IRB staff and members congratulate Edward Decker on his exemplary dedication to keeping concern for the subjects at the forefront of human subjects research.

 

 

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