Laurin Mancour – Putting Herself in the Patient’s Shoes

“Everyone in research should consent a teenager at least once,” Laurin Mancour says, recounting a pivotal experience in her research career. “She asked me if I had ever been a research subject, and I had to say no.” The teenager walked out.

Laurin now makes an effort to participate in at least one study every year. “You can always find a flu shot study,” she points out. This experience has informed her current work with the Trial Results Communication Program at CISCRP, a program which helps researchers share study results with participants. Receiving trial results make research subjects feel like the valued stake holders that they are. “As a participant myself, I get it.”

Laurin started her career as far from the patient as you can get, studying biochemistry. An accident in college put her off her feet for a couple of years and mad lab work difficult. She finished her degree doing a paper review of tamoxifen research, which was her first step toward clinical trials.

Working at Duke University Medical Center, Laurin became involved in IRB submissions and started to meet patients at conferences. Knowing she would have to invest in more education to move from her laboratory career, she networked with everyone she could to find out what her options were. She even made a questionnaire with the key question, “Do you like your job?”

This lead Laurin to enroll in Durham Technical College’s Clinical Trials Research Associate program. Laurin completed several internships in the program and received job offers as a result of those internships.

Currently, Laurin serves on the board of the Association of Clinical Research Professionals and encourages everyone take advantage of their opportunities to network. She points out that the industry is changing too fast to keep up with on your own. Networking isn’t just about job connections, it is about obtaining the knowledge to do your job well.

Photo : Laurin Mancour and her son enjoying Disney.

Rob Romanchuk: Continued Education Grows a Career

After almost 19 years as a respiratory therapist, a friend of Rob Romanchuk’s asked him to come work for her as a research coordinator. Eighteen years later, now an experienced IRB member and multi-certified clinical research protections and operations consultant and president of Clinical Research Advisors, he said of the switch, “You retain this feeling that you’re adaptable and can learn anything, but entering the world of clinical research was quite an adjustment.”

Brian Wulff: Making Connections

Brian’s first job out of college with AmeriCorps saw him connecting volunteer mentors with underserved students, and he’s been making connections ever since. He found out about the clinical research industry and a job opening at Forte Research Systems through a friend. Brian wasn’t very familiar with clinical research but remembers, “My friend was always thrilled about the work he was doing.”

Jennifer Byrne: The Power of One

Remembering her first job as a study coordinator, Jennifer Byrne said, “As I think back to 1986 I had no idea what my job as a study coordinator was going to be. Now young people come in with clinical research degrees or they have been exposed to clinical research in the community. They choose a clinical research career instead of falling into it. That’s been the biggest change.”

Sam Sather: Building Balance

Sam Sather knew she wanted to be a trainer from her first days in the industry. “I started at PPD and the trainer was fantastic,” she reports. “I wanted to be her.” Of course the next step was work as a CRA, “traveling three states in three days and wondering what on earth had I done.” Now she is a consultant with Clinical Pathways Research, LLC.