Clinical Trial Manager
Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences (NDS)
Tell us a bit about your role
I currently run the FUTURE-GB Trial, a 2-stage study looking at the use of additional imaging before and during surgery to improves outcomes for people with a type of brain tumour called glioblastoma.
I came to clinical trials after many years working in pre-clinical research labs. I had spent my life in a very niche area of research and wanted to expand my horizons, and so took on a study-coordinator role in NDS. Working with patients and clinical staff was such a breath of fresh air, I realised that trials might be where I would excel.
Clinical trials really epitomise the ethos of the medical sciences, and the University as a whole. An institution built on learning and discovery, but also so invested in improving healthcare and the lives of people. Clinical trials span both of those pillars, making the ideas and innovations into testable, empirical data, and then allowing those insights to be deployed across the world.
What is the most meaningful aspect of your work?
For me, it’s seeing the passion of the clinical staff involved in the trial, taking all that momentum and helping them turn it into something, knowing that what we’re doing can benefit patients all over the world. The possibility that something we do could change someone’s life for the better, that’s what means the most.
Can you tell us about something you've done, contributed to that you're most proud of?
Aside from my last trial, NINJA, which was so successful it closed to recruitment six months ahead of expectation, I think it was when I worked on the OxAAA study and organised an open day for study participants, their families and others affected by AAA (Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm). It was a huge event made up of talks and interactive health stations, but was amazingly successful - thanks to the cooperation of so many great people involved in the study. And it gave those attending a real insight into their disease and a chance to speak to clinicians and others affected by it. This kind of event really helps to demystify the disease and give reassurance, and that is invaluable.
What changes would you most like to see in the Medical Sciences in the next 100 years?
I would like to see more women as chief investigators and leading research. I know we have some fantastic women doing amazing things in the University, but I think there’s a wealth of talent and ideas that’s overlooked or squandered.