What would you think if someone told you on the day you graduated from medical school in Spain that you were not going to practice medicine there, but instead embark on an exciting global career in clinical research?
If someone had told me when I was graduating from high school that a little over five years later I would be working on a research study on a disease yet to be discovered that would kill tens of millions of people, I wouldn’t have believed them.
It was the end of a very long, stressful week in my career as a Senior Clinical Research Associate when I received an email from ACRP and this was the first sentence: “Clinical research professionals like you are increasing the odds of longer, healthier lives for millions of people around the world.”
Ever since I was a child, I wanted to be a nurse. During the 17 years I worked at the bedside as a registered nurse, and further specializing as a pediatric nurse, I never imagined having a career in clinical research. Well, that is exactly what happened.
I am the only certified nephrology research nurse in the state of West Virginia. I have been involved in nephrology research since June 2000, and have had the opportunity to see many new therapies get approved for patients with chronic kidney disease, as well as end stage kidney disease.
Working as part of the design team for a first-of-its-kind rapid, robust C4/CD4% enumeration system, I had the opportunity to travel to decentralized clinics in HIV & AIDS endemic regions to train local health workers, perform product evaluations, and troubleshoot testing protocols.
The therapy I worked on that I am most proud of is Erivedge, an oral hedgehog inhibitor FDA approved for metastatic basal cell carcinoma. I was the research nurse for the Phase I clinical trial and dosed the first patient in the world on this drug (and for this novel targeted pathway).