“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.