Inside the lab with CTAP coordinator Yasmine
Hi Yasmine! Can you tell us about your role?
As a CTAP early phase coordinator, my primary responsibility involves the organisation and management of phase I (early phase) trials designed for people with CF.
The trials I’m working on are centred around genetic therapy. Our research is currently targeted at people with rare mutations who do not take modulators, making it a crucial area of research for a smaller yet significant patient population.
While these trials demand a lot of time and effort from everyone involved, it’s an incredibly exciting area of research to be a part of.
Is taking part in an early phase trial different to other trials?
Yes, taking part in an early phase trial is slightly different from other research studies. Early phase trials are focused on checking if new treatments are safe and figuring out the right amount to use, and they usually involve a very small group of people. They’re the first step in making a new treatment. In other trials done later, the goal might be to find out if the new treatments work better than what's already used in clinic.
People who take part in early phase trials are really important in helping us make sure the treatment is safe.
How could these trials benefit people with CF in the future?
The hope is that early trials will show that these genetic therapy trials are safe for the participants and potentially lead to improvements in their lung function and overall quality of life.
Ultimately, the goal is to establish a treatment option that is accessible to everyone with CF, irrespective of their mutation. I appreciate some individuals may currently feel excluded from the benefits of CFTR modulators, and this research aims to bridge this gap.
What do you love most about working in research?
I love seeing first-hand the positive impact we can have on a person and their family. My area of research is a great blend of clinical and scientific elements, which, for me, is the best of both worlds!
Working on phase I trials, we are translating cutting-edge science into tangible benefits for people with CF.Yasmine, CTAP trial coordinator
What’s a typical day like for you?
A great thing about my role is the varied nature, with my days alternating between patient-centred clinic work and desk-based tasks.
A typical trial visit with a person with CF is very hands-on, with lots of running around. I’ll meet the participant and see how they’ve been doing since our last visit, making sure to document any changes to their medications and report any adverse events (e.g. a headache over the weekend). I’ll perform various clinical assessments like an ECG, sweat test and a spirometry assessment. Afterwards, while the participant is with the doctor, I’ll then organise their study drug collection and administration.
Days at my desk involve a lot of email answering and logistical planning for our clinical trials. Genetic therapy trials are intricate and involve numerous collaborating teams, which requires a lot of emails to various people (both within the hospital and the pharmaceutical companies). I also enter all my data collected during trial visits, which can be a lengthy (and slightly repetitive) task; I find listening to music really helps on those sorts of jobs.
How do you relax at the end of the day?
I’m really into all things health and fitness, so after a long day, I like heading to a local Pilates studio with a friend. I’m lucky as my hospital is based in central London, so I have a huge range of different studios to pick from. If I wake up early enough, I’ll attempt to squeeze in a gym session before work (but as I like my sleep, this is quite rare).
I also love going out for food! I recently made a lengthy list of different restaurants in London I’d like to try, which I’m slowly trying to make my way through.
Thanks so much for sharing your experiences, Yasmine!
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