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Brantmeier named faculty fellow in international research

Linguist with extensive international experience will advise investigators conducting research worldwide

by Julia Evangelou StraitSeptember 18, 2019

Washington University

Cindy A. Brantmeier, PhD, a professor of applied linguistics and education, has been selected to serve as the first faculty fellow in international research at Washington University in St. Louis.

In her new role serving faculty on the Danforth and Medical campuses, Brantmeier will advise faculty on conducting international research and achieving effective collaborations with international partners that are compliant with university policies and regulatory requirements and procedures.

Brantmeier was named to the new post by Jennifer K. Lodge, PhD, the university’s vice chancellor for research.

“I am thrilled to have Cindy as our inaugural international research faculty fellow,” said Lodge, also the associate dean for research and a professor of molecular microbiology at the School of Medicine. “She will provide much needed support and advice to our faculty who want to conduct research abroad by offering guidance on study procedures, recruitment of participants and informed consent, protocol training for on-site individuals, to name a few. Cindy will assist faculty in thinking through the best approach to making the research process efficient while simultaneously following the necessary regulatory requirements for conducting research abroad and at Washington University. Cindy also will advise university leadership on new matters affecting international research involving patients and other people as study subjects.”

Brantmeier, who is in her 20th year at the university, has decades of experience in conducting global research with people of diverse languages and cultures, and is an expert in International Institutional Review Board research protocol. She has conducted research or participated on research teams around the world, including in Nicaragua, China, Argentina, Costa Rica, Mexico, Chile, Spain, Malaysia, England, Norway and the Republic of Georgia.

Navigating international partnerships and regulations around international research can present a variety of challenging issues, including how to identify appropriate translators and cultural reviewers; understand country-specific laws and regulations around data collection instruments and procedures; transport and store consent forms and data; apply research identification standards; and conduct research at international sites that do not have institutional review boards or equivalent ethics committees.

“Protecting the rights and welfare of linguistically and culturally diverse human subjects in research, while advancing science, has always been an interest of mine,” Brantmeier said. “I am inspired to share my knowledge, learn a lot more and work in partnership with scholars and institutional support systems to promote research integrity. I am humbled by the confidence that Dr. Lodge and her colleagues have in me.”

Brantmeier will hold meetings at her Danforth Campus office in 135 Seigle Hall and travel to the Medical Campus to meet with faculty in their offices.

Julia covers medical news in genomics, cancer, cardiology, developmental biology, otolaryngology, biochemistry & molecular biophysics, and gut microbiome research. In 2022, she won a gold award for excellence in the Robert G. Fenley Writing Awards competition. Given by the Association of American Medical Colleges, the award recognized her coverage of long COVID-19. Before joining Washington University in 2010, she was a freelance writer covering science and medicine. She has a research background with stints in labs focused on bioceramics, human motor control and tissue-engineered heart valves. She is a past Missouri Health Journalism Fellow and a current member of the National Association of Science Writers. She holds a bachelor's degree in engineering science from Iowa State University and a master's degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Minnesota.