Sandra recently joined the AGITG and GI Cancer Institute as Clinical Trials Project Manager.
HOW DID YOU COME TO WORK IN RESEARCH/CLINICAL TRIALS?
My father introduced me to a neighbour who worked in clinical trials, when I was a fresh graduate with a BSc (Pharmacology). I applied for my first role in the industry as a Clinical Trial Assistant at PAREXEL International (clinical research organisation) in 2005 and never looked back. There is a special sense of community in research, working with a multitude of collaborators to ultimately better patient outcomes.
BEFORE JOINING THE AGITG AND GI CANCER INSTITUTE, WHAT WERE YOUR PREVIOUS ROLES?
Prior to joining the AGITG and GI Cancer Institute, I worked at the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre as a Clinical Trial Operations Lead where I managed the AGITG-CTC research portfolio for three years. During this time, I was also the Project Manager for TOPGEAR, MASTERPLAN and ASCOLT. With 17 years’ experience across investigator-initiated and commercial clinical research, I commenced as a Clinical Research Assistant and advanced to Clinical Research Associate, Site Start Up Specialist, Associate Site Start Up Team Lead, Regulatory and Start Up Country Lead, Project Manager and Clinical Trial Operations Lead, over various organisations.
WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO THE ROLE AT THE AGITG AND GI CANCER INSTITUTE?
Cancer is one of the leading noncommunicable diseases in the world. I experienced the loss of family and friends to cancer as well as witnessed the journey of cancer survivors within my family, which enhanced my interest in cancer research. The AGITG and GI Cancer Institute have conducted significant, practice changing research and continue to grow exponentially in the GI cancer space. I’m thrilled to be part of the team and contribute to a vital area of research, working with dedicated clinicians to improve patient outcomes.
HOW HAVE YOU FOUND THE ROLE OF TRIAL PROJECT MANAGER SO FAR?
It’s only been a week in the role of Clinical Project Manager but I’m keen to dive in and commence start-up activities for Neo-POLEM, STOPNET and RoLaGIN, under the In-House Trial Coordination framework.
WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACHIEVE IN THE ROLE?
My role as Clinical Project Manager mainly encompasses developing an in-house trial coordination model to run small-scale Phase II trials. Whilst in its preliminary stages, I’m immensely proud to be part of an important milestone for AGITG and GI Cancer Institute. My vision is to develop effective measures to enable patient access to treatment alternatives through clinical trials with minimal delay.