Meet Krishna Askoolam
Clinical Trials Administrator
“This is my first role fresh out of University having graduated with a First-Class Honours degree in Biochemistry from the University of Kent. I was extremely fortunate to be offered this entry level position at PHARMExcel and since joining the company in June 2021, I have been absorbing vast amounts of knowledge from across the team, covering aspects such as Good Clinical Practice (GCP), the management of essential documentation in a clinical trial, and study start up and monitoring activities.”
What is the role of a Clinical Trials Administrator?
As a CTA I provide specialist administrative support to the Clinical Study/Project Management (CSPM) teams in order to aid the development of new drug and device therapies. This entails maintaining and tracking clinical study documentation and coordinating study files in accordance with company procedures, GCP and ISO standards.
What’s a typical day like for you?
A typical day for me would be supporting the Clinical Study team with administrative duties and ensuring study documentation is distributed among the internal and external teams. Due to the fluidity of the job, there is no real set agenda for the day, as some days I work on coordinating and distributing essential documents to investigational sites and others I focus on tracking study documentation. However, my main responsibility is to set-up and maintain the Trial Master File (TMF) and Investigator Master File (IMF) to ensure we are complaint with GCP and project protocols. Maintenance and compliance of these files is critical for all our studies, so it is highly important I keep on top of this! I will also be supporting the implementation of the Trial Master File reference model which the company have recently adopted and I look forward to being part of this exciting transition.
What key skills and attributes are needed for you to fulfil your role?
The key skills that are essential to my role are being organised and having effective time-management abilities. With the ever-changing nature of the studies I work on, being able to prioritise workloads ensures I am able to meet deadlines effectively. Other skills and attributes that are required from me is having excellent attention to detail in order to spot any errors on essential documents and being a strong communicator (both written and orally), as this is crucial within the clinical industry to ensure tasks and deadlines are met.
What elements of the job do you like the most?
For me, being able to interact with such an experienced team is my favourite aspect of the job. This allows me to learn new things every day and allows me to carry out my role to the highest standards, thus supporting the team appropriately. I also enjoy the opportunities that are given to me here at PHARMExcel, in which recently I was allowed to attend monitoring visits shadowing the CRAs, which gave me invaluable insight into the conduct and monitoring of clinical trials.
What training have you received at PHARMExcel?
I have received a substantial amount of training since I started at PHARMExcel, with one of the essential ones being Good Clinical Practice (GCP) training. Within this, I learnt an exceptional amount of detail of the importance of participant safety and quality of data, as without these two fundamental points, a clinical trial could simply not run resulting in a reduction of pharmaceutical products on the market saving the lives of millions worldwide. I have also received various monitoring experiences and have had the opportunity to attend Site Initiation Visit (SIV) training which afforded me crucial awareness of the importance of data quality and how clinical trials are conducted at site. Shortly I will be attending the Institute of Clinical Research (ICR) monitoring course.
Why did you choose PHARMExcel?
What drew me towards PHARMExcel was their motto of being #OneTeam. Being able to work in a complex, multidisciplinary team has opened my eyes to many aspects of clinical trials that I couldn’t have possibly imagined. The relationships I have developed here have been central to my progression and development, and having the opportunity to learn something new enhances my passion for clinicals trials every day!
Lastly, tell us a secret talent no one knows about?
Now this is tricky…I’m not sure if I do have a secret talent, but if I do, it will have to remain a secret!
Find out more about our other employees, meet the rest of our talented team.
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