Meet Martha Nabunjo
Clinical Research Associate I (Clinical Monitor)
“I’ve worked at PHARMExcel almost a year now and I must say in this short space of time, I am very lucky to have had the opportunity to work on some very high-profile studies. What I enjoy most about my role here is that every day brings different challenges, so I’m learning and developing my career all the time”
What does a Clinical Research Associate’s role entail?
As a clinical monitor, I work on several regulatory approved clinical trial protocols, and act as a point of contact between the sponsors (that design them) and the research sites (that execute them). My main duties span from site monitoring and management, to ensure smooth-sailing and most importantly, compliance with good clinical practice (GCP), patient’s rights, safety, and wellbeing.
What does a typical day look like?
Honestly, there isn’t a typical day in my role and that really keeps me on my toes. My time varies from keeping on top of my study’s administration requirements and facilitation. However, if I am conducting a monitoring visit, I put aside some time to carefully plan and prepare for my visit beforehand which usually involves reviewing the study monitoring plan, study documents as well as the trial database to ensure a successful and efficient visit.
As time is limited once onsite, I work swiftly to complete tasks which may vary from reviewing the investigator’s site file, trial case report forms, participant’s medical records as well as pharmacy and drug accountability records, ultimately, ensuring they meet the protocol and regulatory compliance requirements. In addition to this I always make sure to take the time to draft my monitoring visit report, as well as catch up with the site team to discuss the progress of the trial and any findings and data queries that require attention and resolution.
What is the most exciting project you are working on right now?
It’s got to be the COVID-19 trial: ‘COV-BOOST’ and its many sub-studies https://www.covboost.org.uk/home
Our work has helped advise the UK Government on the most effective vaccine boosters which were subsequently rolled out to the public as part of the UK’s National Booster program. It is also so rewarding to know that the work we do is directly impacting public health in real-time. Not only that, but we also made it onto the big screen as well as publishing our work in a major scientific journal, the Lancet.
What are the toughest challenges in your role?
I have to say working on such demanding studies can be unpredictable. One of the challenges is adapting to the ever-changing timelines and successfully balancing this with other studies. What helps is staying organized, focused, and communicating when I need a helping hand.
Lastly, tell us a secret talent no one knows about?
I’d tell you but I am not sure I’ve got a secret talent (at least not one I’d be willing to share!)
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