Clinical Research Co-ordinator
TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR ROLE
I am a trial manager within the Surgical Trials Intervention Unit; part of NDS. I manage trials on the SITU portfolio as well as working closely with the Operational and Development Lead on projects.
I am currently working on a trial looking at improving pain in patients with painful diabetic neuropathy (PENTAGONS) and a trial in set up aimed at patients with spinal cord injuries (DISCUS).
I qualified as a nurse in 1993 in Birmingham and specialised in Cardiac medicine and surgery. I worked in several trusts throughout the southwest and east; the pinnacle of my career being a sister in coronary care.
Whilst working on the cardiothoracic unit at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, Professor D Taggart, Cardiothoracic surgeon, began running a research trial called The Arterial Revascularisation Trial (ART) looking at the vessels selected in CABG surgery. I successfully applied to be the research nurse and began working for NDS from 2004 recruiting and managing 400 patients for 10 years post-surgery. During this time, I presented at conferences and published my own paper.
Once we achieved the primary outcome and the trial ended, still within NDS, I applied for my current role. I thought it would be a good opportunity to build on my skills and develop myself further; having looked after patients and worked with clinical staff to move into coordinating a research trial, ultimately improving patient care. My previous experience provided me a unique insight to apply to this role.
I am currently expanding my skills further working with the trial development lead on protocols and documentation at the initial stages of set up.
As I mentioned my role involves working on clinical trials as part of the SITU portfolio. As a trial manager I manage the project from beginning to end with the hope that once published it will be adopted and change clinical practice; benefitting patient care and treatment for future generations. These trials bring vital income into the division and contribute to its wider strategic goal as an international recognised centre of excellence.
WHAT IS THE MOST MEANINGFUL ASPECT OF YOUR WORK?
The most meaningful aspect of my work is working on the variety of research trials and themes the results of which have a direct impact on patients. Also working with clinical staff at research sites, especially having previously worked in a hospital environment; helping them to prepare to deliver these trials in their clinical area.
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT SOMETHING YOU’VE DONE, CONTRIBUTED TO THAT YOU’RE MOST PROUD OF?
As part of the departmental outreach team, I have had many opportunities to work with the public at events and science festivals showcasing our work. As part of the group, I have also run programmes with other team members in primary schools and with sixth form students aiming to inspire the next generation and challenge misconceptions of what it is like working in science.
My personal proudest moment was when I had an article I wrote published in a high profile cardiac nursing journal as part of the ART trial (mentioned previously).
WHAT CHANGES WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO SEE IN THE MEDICAL SCIENCES IN THE NEXT 100 YEARS?
I am sure there will be a whole host of changes and developments over the next hundred years especially looking at where we have come from in the last hundred with the use of stem cells and the emergence of nanotechnologies. There are certainly exciting times ahead.
Within Medical Sciences, I am sure if you asked any woman they would like to see more women in prominent positions. Our department has had many male heads of, so despite having a number of female professors currently in NDS it would be great to see a female Head of Department. What changes they would make and the how they would shape things for the future.