Shaun - From academia accomplishments to industry successes With a PhD in Immunology, Shaun understands the value of supporting drug development – starting with basic research and discovery work. His work in academia focused on studying inflammatory responses and investigating signaling pathways. Among other accomplishments, he used models of cancer to show the potency of JAK (Janus kinase) targeting drugs and chemotherapeutics and had three patents granted for the “Modulator of the inflammatory response.”

Despite his achievements as a basic and translational research scientist, Shaun wanted to explore later stage research and truly see the end results of basic research come to life. “Although I knew my work was important, I recognized it was only the beginning of a study. I wanted to see my work make a more immediate difference,” he explained.

Making the leap to industry
His first experience to bridge the gap between academia and clinical research involved a position managing a team that supported two Phase I/II clinical trials. Leveraging this experience, he joined Covance as a CRA for Phase II, III and IV studies and gained hands-on exposure to numerous therapeutic areas.

Compared to focusing on one specialty as he did in academia, Shaun appreciates the variety of indications. “I’ve supported oncology, diabetes, cardiovascular, rare disease and even pediatric studies,” said Shaun. “I’m always learning new things and meeting so many interesting people as part of my position.”  

Expanding his horizons
As a typical part of the CRA role, Shaun enjoys traveling and getting to explore new places. His outgoing personality serves him well within the Covance FSPx model working directly with the sponsor. “The position exposes you to new people and new ways of thinking – I think that’s what makes the job great for me.”

He also credits the training and management for his transition into the CRA role. “Covance gives you great training and invests in your success. I’ve formed a tight-knit relationship with line managers from both Covance and the sponsor. I feel completely supported in my role.”

Along with his connection to management, Shaun recognizes his relationships with his sites and fellow CRAs as keys to his success. “We all work together and share common goals. When the trial is locked and you reflect on what you have accomplished, you get that sense of achievement,” says Shaun. “It’s very rewarding and one reason why I absolutely love my job.”

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