Despite an incredibly illustrious career, Lia just like many university graduates and career changers didn’t know about clinical research as a career path when she graduated with a BSc in Chemistry from Essex University in 1990. That’s part of the reason she founded CGX: to train and empower the next generation of clinical trial practitioners (CTPs) and researchers with the knowledge to navigate their careers and work on ground-breaking trials with full confidence and capability.
When you start out, it can feel daunting asking certain questions – you’re just expected to know it – but I wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t ask questions. With CGX, I wanted to make a training company where participants can ask about even the smallest detail without judgement and learn from industry experts who can pass down their anecdotal experiences and wisdom.
There are so many exciting reasons. We’ve had one of the worst pandemics since the Spanish Flu and there’s a lot to be done to ensure we don’t experience what we’ve experienced over the last two years ever again. Aside from Covid, there are many diseases and illnesses that get overlooked because they are so rare or deemed non-profitable.
However, some diseases particularly affect certain racial groups, regional populations, or women etc; diseases such as endometriosis, sickle cell and Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome. These need more trial investment to ensure medicines are available for the whole wide world.
The landscape is changing for medicines in terms of how they’re designed and administered, such as personalised medicine, gene therapy and an increased desire to make trials more convenient and patient centred. You don’t just have to come from a natural sciences background either, as more Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being adopted that requires strong computer science knowledge and skills.
There’s never been such a wide range of technologies, therapeutics and advancements and we really need a large, well-trained personnel to get them to the market.
We’re also designing advanced courses where participants will be able to come to our facilities and get hands-on experience with mock scenarios as if they were going to an investigator site or office. Most practitioners don’t get the opportunity to practice and plug the holes in their knowledge before their trials start. A lot of training is on the job, but it’s imperative CTPs get this opportunity if we want clinical trials to be at their most optimal and cost-effective.
It’s okay to try different things – you shouldn’t be stuck in something that’s not suited to you and you don’t enjoy. At the start of my career, I thought I’d be in a job that I’d have for the rest of my life. But I realised I could move on, and when you discover all the paths you can take, that’s when you really start to feel empowered.