Register Now for First Session of CRO Career Conversations

If you ever wondered what it might be like to work for a contract research organization, you’ll soon get your chance to find out.

The North Carolina Biotechnology Center,, through its NC CRO Collaborative, is hosting the first of several CRO Career Conversations from 6 to 7 p.m. on March 17. The focus of this virtual event will be on contract research associates, a key position that is heavily involved in monitoring clinical trials.

All those interested in learning more about careers in this important industry are invited to register. The conversation should be particularly beneficial to current students and young professionals looking to learn more about these rewarding jobs in the Tar Heel state.

North Carolina is the birthplace of CROs. Pioneering contract research companies Quintiles (now IQVIA) and PPD were both founded here in the early 1980s. These companies and others like them offer a wide range of outsourced services to pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device companies and research organizations, including:

  • Clinical trial management;

  • Patient recruiting;

  • Project management; and

  • Regulatory affairs.

Today North Carolina is a state rich in contract research organizations. A total of 155 contract research and testing companies provide close to 25,000 jobs for North Carolinians. Those numbers are growing steadily. Twenty-one of these businesses currently are headquartered here, and more than 4,500 clinical trials are underway in the state.

NCBiotech created the CRO Collaborative close to three years ago. The goal was to help address the needs of the industry by providing a forum for CROs, academic institutions, and clinical sites to work together to improve and expand upon NC’s clinical research workforce , according to Laura Rowley, Ph.D., NCBiotech’s director of Life Science Economic Development. The Collaborative currently includes close to 20 industry and academic partners from around North Carolina.

CRO Career Conversations is one of the tools the Collaborative is using to help promote the industry and to attract the workforce talent it needs now and in the future. Rowley said approximately five “conversations” are planned for 2021 that will focus on different CRO career paths.

The moderators for the March 17 session are Christine Cantu, global leader of University and Early Career Programs at Syneos Health; and Dana Glisson, regional vice president, Clinical Operations Americas, Global Clinical Delivery at Covance by labcorp. Panelists include young professionals Alvita Amanchukwu, MSCR, manager of Clinical Operations, Clinical Delivery at PRA Health Sciences; Tony Connell, clinical research associate at Covance; and Michael Quinn, clinical research associate for Clinical Solutions, General Medicine at Syneos.

“We’re delighted to help bring together these members of the CRO industry to share their experiences and to inspire the next generation of clinical researchers,” Rowley said. “The CRO industry offers tremendous opportunities both for professional growth and to impact advancements in healthcare. We want to make sure more people are aware of them.”

Bryant Haskins, NCBiotech Writer
Tue, 03/09/2021 - 23:51