You hold a PhD in retinal vascular biology from the University of Sydney, what made you choose retinal vascular biology?
I have 15 years of experience in academic and clinical research, from the University of Newcastle where I worked for many years in research related positions, from biostatistical support, content creation and publication metrics amongst other positions. My PhD came out of a position I held at the University of Sydney, where I managed the day to day operations for a research laboratory. In that lab, I had begun a Masters of Philosophy via an internal scholarship program, and that research work continued to grow and develop, leading me to convert to a PhD program.
How and when did you first cross paths with GreenLight Clinical? What is the journey like so far?
I joined GreenLight following the completion of my PhD in 2016 as a Clinical Site Manager, focusing on ophthalmic devices. I had previously worked on academic research programs with our founding Chairman, Dr. Andrew Chang, and Senior Medical Advisor, Dr. Meidong Zhu which led to me joining the company – which has grown and developed ever since.
You’ve had tons of experience in various role, from preclinical study design & execution, clinical monitoring, business development and medical liaison management, which role did you enjoy the most?
Moving into the Head of Medical Affairs position from early 2019 has been the most rewarding role I’ve had here at the company, as I have had the chance to build, and lead a team of multi-disciplinary experts with vast experience and skill, to ensure we provide safe, accurate and effective medical advice and communications to our clients, and ensure the highest levels of patient safety for our participants
If you could work on any therapeutic area, which indication would it be and why?
Diseases of the eye, especially those which affect kids have always been of strong interest to me, and I really enjoy working with sponsors who share the same interests and values as me. I’ve had the chance to work with some amazing companies and clinicians in surgical, drug and interventional programs in vision science here at GreenLight and it will always remain a big focus for me.
You are leading the Medical Affairs & Communications team in GreenLight Clinical, what is your leadership philosophy?
My leadership philosophy is to listen to my team, reflect upon their feedback, respect their knowledge and experience – and then work collaboratively with them to help them do the best work they can. When your team feels empowered to make their own decisions, has a clear sense of direction and know they are supported by their leadership, the organisation grows as a whole and the quality of work produced is immeasurably improved.
When people feel they are not listened to, feel like they are disempowered, or their concerns are not acted upon, they can’t do their best work – and both the employee and organization suffer collectively.
What are you learning or finding challenging in your role right now?
COVID-19 has been a major challenge in terms of clinical research, restricting access to sites, capital and resources, companies tightening their purse-strings, and generally making recruitment of participants in all types of studies difficult. How we pivot, adapt and learn from this experience will be a very interesting case-study in years to come, given how much we’ve learnt in just 4 short months of the COVID era.
What are the factors that separate GreenLight Clinical from its
The strength of our cross-disciplinary teams, a willingness to listen to our sponsors and to come up with novel, robust solutions in tight timeframes is what I believe sets GreenLight Clinical apart from other companies in the CRO space. We bridge the gap between the big CRO and the boutique CRO, by offering our sponsors access to highly-experienced teams, and first-in-class systems – combined with a true, genuine and responsive partnership between our research professionals and our clients.
Over the last 12 months, GreenLight Clinical has experienced phenomenal growth; what is your management strategy that enables your team to excel while continuing to support the growth of the company?
People are the number one asset we have here at GreenLight, and to empower them to deliver, and back them up with the resources and training they need is my number one goal. Nobody can do everything themselves, and supporting your teams to do their job effectively not only grows them as employees and people, but also produces superb outcomes for our client partners.
I am immensely proud of the quality of our Medical Affairs and Proposals teams, as they embody this spirit which I have tried to champion, and the glowing feedback we get from our sponsors, clinical sites and vendor partners is evidence of this. The quality of their work, backed up by their diligence and concern for sponsor and patient needs sees our repeat business growing year on year – which will be a driving force for the growth of the company into the future.