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2021 Board of Directors


Jennifer Allison is the Matron of the National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Facility in Southampton, England, facilitating collaborations across the Southampton research partnership. She manages over 40 research nurses who work on more than 400 research projects in all areas of disease with adult and paediatric patients and healthy participants. She sits on the Senior Management Team of the UKCRF Network and is Lead for its Workforce and Education Theme. An early member of the International Association of Clinical Research Nurses (IACRN), she was presented with their Distinguished Clinical Research Nurse Award in 2011 and was later Member-at-Large to the IACRN Board of Directors. A research nurse for over 25 years, she has co-authored a number of papers, presenting nationally and internationally.

Past President

Mary E. Larkin RN, MS, CDE is the Nurse Manager and Assistant Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Diabetes Research Center. She started out at the Center as a research nurse coordinator after having had experience as a hospital staff nurse and nurse educator. As a certified diabetes educator, research nurse and nurse investigator with years of experience in the design and conduct of clinical trials, she has earned the rank of Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School. She collaborates in the planning stages of studies, contributes to the scientific validity and feasibility of the research protocol and oversees all studies and staff. She has published as a lead author and has lead sub and ancillary studies. She has also authored results of her own research in diabetes, effective research staffing models, and more recently on the role of the research nurse and ethical challenges experienced.

She has been a member of IACRN since inception and has been an author on posters/oral presentations at every annual meeting. She has served in leadership roles with IACRN as a Board Member at Large (2012-14), Chair of the Chapter Governance Committee (2014-16), and and was founding member and first President of the Boston IACRN chapter. She received the Distinguished Clinical Research Nurse Award from IACRN in 2015, truly a highlight of her career.


Laura Baker

is the the Director of the Pediatric Clinical Research Center and Research Nursing at Seattle Children’s, and has held this position March of 2017. In her role at Children’s Laura is responsible for all research nursing at Seattle Children’s, and daily operations of the PCRC. Recently Laura has been focus on shared governance for research nurses, competencies, and research integration throughout the Seattle Children’s system. Prior to her role at Children’s, Laura has served as the manager of the Research Coordinator Core at the University of Washington, and as a Clinical Coordinator on the Clinical Research Unit at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Almost Laura’s entire nursing career has been in clinical research, and is honored that she gets to work at making every day better for research nurses. Laura’s inspiration and passion for research comes from her mom who has been a research nurse for over 25 years.


Sheryl Forbes, MEd, BSN, RN, CCRP is a Senior Research Nurse at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. Sheryl has worked as an oncology nurse at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center for six years, three of which were spent in lymphoma research. She has extensive experience managing clinical trials in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma containing novel agents. In addition to practicing specialized nursing care, she is also actively involved as an elected representative in two Institutional nursing committees including the Nursing Practice Congress and the Clinical Research Nurse Committee. Her role as a representative includes evaluating clinical practice nursing standards, ensuring high standards of professionalism, and enhancing the specialty practice of the research nurse.

Sheryl received a bachelor and master’s degree from the University of Houston and a bachelor degree in nursing from the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. She is currently in candidacy for a PhD in nursing at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston focusing her research on enhancing the understanding of the role of the oncology research nurse.


Doyle Bosque, RN, BSN is currently the Associate Director Nursing Program Research at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. He has been a nurse for over 27 years with 15 years in the research nurse arena. He is responsible for assisting in the oversight and direction of the Research Professional Community, which manage the clinical trials at MD Anderson and are responsible for ensuring compliance and patient safety. Doyle is a strong advocate within MD Anderson for the research nurse role and discovering new approaches and practices in advancing the research community into the future. His primary charge is bringing together the research community and the frontline staff through collaboration and education to ensure clinical trial compliance, delivering excellent care to patients on clinical trials, and preserving patient safety.

Member at Large

Catherine A. Griffith, PhD, RN currently works as a Clinical Research Nurse in the Massachusetts General Hospital Translational and Clinical Research Centers, Boston, MA. Balancing both direct patient care and research protocol administration, Catherine is involved with both patient and staff education related to maintaining patient safety with protocol specific procedures. Catherine has partnered with principal investigators from MGH Allergy Associates and helps to maintain nine active pediatric peanut allergy protocols which are moving oral and epicutaneous (skin patches) immunotherapy toward open label use.

Prior to her work with the MGH Clinical Research Center, Catherine served for 12 years as Clinical Nurse Specialist for the 18-bed MGH Cardiac Surgical ICU and 36-bed Cardiac Surgical Step-down Units. She has served as Adjunct Faculty for 5 years in the University of Massachusetts second degree nursing program. Catherine earned her MSN from the MGH Institute of Health Professions, Charlestown, MA, with a specialty in adult acute care and her PhD from Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA. 

Member at Large

Tamara Kempken Mehring, MSN, RN, CCRC. Tamara has over 22 years of nursing and clinical research experience. She has worked as a Clinical Research Nurse in several capacities; clinical research coordinator, staff nurse, Care Team Leader, and is currently the Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) on the Clinical Research Unit (UW-CRU) at University Hospital in Madison, WI. Tamara has been a member of IACRN since 2010, she has served on the Scope and Standards committee and the Education committee and is currently to board liaison for the 2020 Conference Planning Committee.

Global Member at Large

Elize Pietersen, PhD, RN started her clinical research career at the University of Cape Town. During the 24 years as a clinical research nurse she has been involved in studies related to psychiatric genetics; colorectal cancer genetics; latent tuberculosis infection among health care workers and a randomised control trial related to colorectal adenoma polyp prevention.

Elize holds a Hons. B.Soc.Sc degree in nursing and also in psychology and a post-graduate diploma in Nursing Education and Administration. Her PhD focused on molecular epidemiology, susceptibility profiles, outcomes and transmission dynamics in patients with extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) in South Africa.
She continues her clinical research career as an independent nurse researcher. She authored several journal publications, including as first author, and presented her research findings at local and international conferences. Elize is the author of 2 chapters in Mental Health Nursing, 7th edition and serves on the editorial board of Primary Health Care Research and Development, Cambridge press.

International Association of Clinical Research Nurses

PO Box 7
Mullica Hill, NJ 08062, USA
(609) 519-9689 (Phone)

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