In many ways, being the director of clinical operations at Lyndra is my dream job—even though when I was in high school and college thinking about careers, I never imagined myself entering a career in Clinical Research. Back then, I was working at Starbucks, soaking in every bit of training and experience they offered. At 19, I became the manager of Starbucks’ Tremont St. location in downtown Boston. I was one of the youngest store managers Starbucks had ever had, and I stayed there until I was 26, convinced that I was meant for the business world. But then my career took an unexpected turn towards clinical research.
It happened because my sister’s friend needed administrative help at the New England Institutional Review Board (IRB). I took the job, happy for the stability of a 9-5 workday and open to a new challenge. While there, I learned about research protocols, FDA regulations and all other aspects of the review process from the ground up, eventually earning promotions to educator and then renewal coordinator. I grew more and more passionate about protecting human subjects, realizing that businesses may be driven to get their products to market, but that they can’t be successful unless their product is deemed safe and that clinical trials are conducted in an ethical manner.
From the IRB, I found my way to a CRO and then to Alkermes, where I worked for nine years as a clinical trial manager, helping in the development of medicines for people living with mental illness and addiction. I had lost a loved one to addiction and mental illness, and it was particularly gratifying to contribute to research about how long-acting injectables can help better manage these underserved populations. But on some level, I felt like there was more that could be done, and in the end, that is what attracted me to Lyndra.
At Lyndra, we are working to change the way people take their daily medications. Our long-lasting oral option is being designed to relieve the burden on patients and caregivers and ultimately, that will save lives. The brilliance of the people here amazes me every day, and the environment is very learner-driven. There’s a recognition and an understanding that we are pioneers, learning and growing each in our own way, and for the good of others, as well. One of my favorite aspects of working here is that I get to teach and elevate others. Here, I know that by elevating others, I help elevate the company, and that, in turn, has the potential to reduce patient burden and to create a healthier world. This truly is my dream job.