Cynthia Pearson

Cynthia R. Pearson

Research Professor
Director of Research, IWRI
PhD, University of Washington

  / Room 

As Professor—School of Social Work, Adjunct Professor, American Indian Studies—and director of research at the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute (IWRI, P60MD006909), Dr. Cynthia Pearson provides oversite for IWRI research activities including development of institute and tribal partnership polices, quantitative and qualitative methods, data-related activates (collection, analyses, storage), as well as human subject protocols. Since 2006, Dr. Pearson has collaborated with American Indian (AI) communities in designing and implementing community based prevention interventions and in the development of tribally approved research polices (data use agreement, research and publication guidelines).  

Dr Pearson research focus is on the historical and cultural determinants of physical and mental health, HIV/AIDS, and substance use disorders. Dr. Pearson also produced rETHICS, a research with American Indian and Alaska Native community human subjects’ curriculum that satisfies IRB training requirements  (R01HD082181). She has over 55 peer-review publication and been the PI or Co-I on over 41 NIH funded grants. In all these community-based projects, Dr. Pearson has worked closely with communities designing and adapting culturally driven interventions and supporting tribal communities in disseminating information in peer-review publications and community venues

rETHICS - Research Ethics Training for Health in Indigenous Communities
Publication: A culturally tailored research ethics training curriculum for American Indian and Alaska Native communities: a randomized comparison trial 

Access the rETHICS human subject training curriculum

Dr. Cynthia Pearson and colleagues have produce a rETHICS training toolkit. The toolkit consists of the rETHICS curriculum, facilitator guides, PowerPoint presentations, and case studies presented in six modules. Also included are quiz questions, an answer key, and a certificate of completion. Each PowerPoint presentation is matched with a step-by-step facilitator guide that includes in-depth information of each human subjects training content area and a scripted guide. A copy of the ETHICS peer review article - A culturally tailored research ethics training curriculum for American Indian and Alaska Native communities a randomized comparison trial is also included. The toolkit provides approximately 6 hours of training. A nontransferable copyright is provided to one trainer for each trainer toolkit. There is a charge for the toolkit and copyright. More information can be found at or contact Cynthia Pearson at