Marty Lee, VP, Scientific Affairs, spent 20 years in the world of patient care before joining the CRO industry. His experience as a research director and site investigator allowed him extensive exposure to the CRO industry before he joined PRA. CROs caught his interest when he realized he could have a wide view of the industry and understand best practices from multiple companies.
Whether it’s at the bedside or in a leading CRO, Marty has made it his goal to make clinical trials more accessible. He is laser-focused on developing trial protocols that make sense for the patient and what they’re personally going through.
Below, read more about Marty and the insights he shares about our industry.
In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge you face today in our industry?
The biggest challenge I see is how to effectively fit clinical trials into a busy clinical practice. The amount of work involved can be daunting, and the complexity of trials is ever-increasing.
Why did you become involved in clinical research? What sparked your interest?
When training in oncology in an academic center, clinical trials are part of the patient care culture. I found that the ability to study new drugs and other therapies provided me and my patients with a better overall quality of care.
In your experience, what has been the most important factor that has changed drug development?
It’s really the pace of development. Facilitated by the Human Genome Project and other basic research, the number of new drugs being evaluated is at an all-time high, as are the number of new approvals. All of this is good news for patients.
What is the biggest misconception people have about clinical trials?
I think the “guinea pig” mentality still exists among the general public. Education is making progress, though!
What advice would you give to the next generation of researchers?
Get involved early in your career. Learn as many new aspects of drug development as you can.
How has clinical research affected your life personally?
It changed my choice of medical specialties. It’s offered the ability to provide better care for patients, which is incredibly gratifying.
If you had to describe yourself in three words, which would you choose?
Logical, inquisitive and a little sarcastic!
If you think back, at what point could you have chosen a different career path and what would it have been?
I would have been a major league baseball player or a multi-media rock star if not for the complete chance that I lack talent in either area.
What’s a fun fact about your childhood?
I started playing the trumpet in 3rd grade, when I was barely big enough to hold it.
If you were to write a self-help book, what would the topic be?
Happiness is not sitting on a beach!
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