Vision - Enhancing clinical research quality and safety through specialized nursing practice.

Mission - The International Association of Clinical Research Nurses is a professional nursing organization.  Its purpose is to define, validate and advance clinical research nursing as a specialty practice and to support the professional development of registered nurses who directly or indirectly impact the care of clinical research participants across all clinical specialties.

IACRN Board of Directors and Officers


Margaret McCabe, Ph.D., R.N., P.N.P., is the director of nursing research for medicine patient services at Boston Children’s Hospital. In this role she educates and mentors staff in the conduct of evidence-based practice (EBP) and clinical research. At the same time Dr. McCabe maintains her own program of research that focuses on using a biobehavioral framework to better understand the symptom of fatigue in children. Dr. McCabe holds a faculty appointment at Harvard Medical School and has taught undergraduate and graduate nursing courses at several schools of nursing. Dr. McCabe is a founding member of the International Association for Clinical Research Nurses. Through the course of her career Dr. McCabe has worked in roles providing direct patient care, managing care units for patients participating in clinical research, educating nurses and conducting independent research.


Mary Jane Williams, DNP, MPH, RN, NE-BC is the nurse manager of the Clinical Research Unit at the University of Wisconsin’s academic medical center in Madison Wisconsin.  Her nursing career spans a range of research experience that began in 1988, as a research coordinator for Department of Cardiology.  Since that time Mary Jane has been in a variety of research positions that include management, regulatory, and education.  

Mary Jane began her nursing career in 1979 in medical-surgical ICU, moving later to cardiovascular critical care, and on to cardiology research.  In 2003, she became manager of the Clinical Research Unit (CRU) at UW hospital.  She earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in 2011 for Rush University – Chicago and a Master of Public Health (MPH) in 1999 from Tulane University – New Orleans.  To enhance her knowledge of research she took an additional course in Research Design and Analysis at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Public Health.  She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Missouri- St. Louis in 1994 and Associate of Science in Nursing in 1979 from the University of Arkansas – Little Rock.

Mary Jane, along with six other research nurses from across the United States, founded IACRN in 2009.  She is co-chair of the Scope and Standards of Practice Committee that recently gained ANA recognition of clinical research nursing as a specialty and resulted in ANA publishing the Clinical Research Nurse Scope and Standards of Practice

In addition to her current responsibility as manager of the CRU at UW Hospital, Mary Jane teaches Research and Evidence-based Practice at the UW School of Nursing.  She serves on the UW Nursing Research and EBP Council, Human Subjects IRB, and is presently co- investigator on a research study entitled Nurses’ Perception of Nurse-Physician Collaboration and Patterns of Communication. 


Susan Peterson, MBA, RN, CCRP, Treasurer-elect for 2016 is a Nurse Manager for a combined clinical and research unit at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). Susan’s nursing career has included oncology nursing, pain management, and ambulatory post-operative nursing prior to clinical research nursing. Susan has spent the last fifteen years in clinical research at OHSU.  She earned her MBA from Maryhurst University and concluded with her capstone project titled: Pediatric Research: Increasing Nursing Resource Utilization.”  During this time she has supervised a study coordinator unit, and three nursing units under the Clinical & Translational Research Center (CTRC).  Susan has served on the OHSU Research Council, and has been an IRB member for the last six years.  Her current role is managing nursing resources for the Oregon Clinical & Translational Research Institute under the NIH CTSA grant in conjunction with OHSU’s healthcare mission in a combined Research and Epilepsy Monitoring Unit, as well as managing the CTRC outpatient research unit. The units conduct Phase I – III studies across a spectrum of diseases in both the inpatient and outpatient setting. Susan is a founding member of the International Association for Clinical Research Nurses and has served in the role of Treasurer in the past. 


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. Catherine’s dissertation, “Frail Older Adults’ Experience of Participating in Clinical Trials,” explored qualitatively the experience of older adults who were participating in clinical trials. She maintains a continuing interest in the research experience of older adults, balancing that with her concurrent interest in pediatric peanut allergies. 

Member at Large

Candida Barlow, MSN, RN, CTN is the Director of Clinical Research for St. John Clinical Research Institute, which is a part of a health system comprised of seven hospitals with over 7,000 employees.  Mrs. Barlow has been a clinical research nurse for over 10 years and established the St. John Clinical Research Institute integrating all service lines across the health system.  She also leads the Ascension Clinical Research Steering Committee which was formed to integrate clinical research across the United States for Ascension Health Systems.

Mrs. Barlow is currently the president of the Northeastern Oklahoma local pilot chapter of the IACRN.  Mrs. Barlow has been an active member of the IACRN for the last five years and for the last three years has served on the Governance Committee working to establish local IACRN chapters to continue the growth and advancement of clinical research nursing.

Additionally Mrs. Barlow is proficient in informatics related to clinical trial conduct and has implemented clinical research electronic systems across the St. John Health System comprising seven sister hospitals and over 7000 employed physicians. Mrs. Barlow is integrating clinical research trials into the EMR system and pioneering a paperless source and regulatory document system to improve human subject protections and rigorous compliance regarding the conduct of clinical trials.

Mrs. Barlow holds a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Langston University and a Master of Science degree in nursing with an advanced specialty focus in clinical research from Drexel University.  Mrs. Barlow was recognized for her continued work and education in Clinical Research with a Lifelong Achievement award from Drexel University in 2012.  She also received the 2016 Nurse Research Award from the Oklahoma Nurses Association. 

Member at Large

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.

Global Member at Large

This position is currently vacant.

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