Can you introduce yourself please, Oyiza?
Hi everyone! My name is Oyiza Momoh and I'm a Clinical Data Manager at GSK. My role sits within Global Clinical & Data Operations in Pharmaceutical Research & Development (R&D). Essentially, I manage the data on clinical trials around the world. At the moment, I’m working on a clinical trial for COVID-19 patients around the world.
The clinical trials I work on are studies of potential medicines in humans. It usually takes a very long time for a molecule that is designed in a lab to be available as a medicine in a pharmacy or hospital. We need to collect a lot of evidence that the medicine is safe, effective and of high quality. My job is to collect and manage this data and make sure it’s ready to be analysed by statisticians.
How did you get into STEM and why does it interest you?
I loved Biology, Maths and Statistics at school. When I went to university, I studied Neuroscience and learned about the importance of all aspects of STEM in our daily lives, in health and disease.
What educational route did you take?
During my university degree, I took a real interest in Clinical Neuroscience. This touched on the biology of diseases, the chemistry of different medicines and the physics behind the tools we use to diagnose diseases. One summer, I worked with a Clinical Researcher at a local hospital to write about the association between mental health and brain conditions. We collected data that was available from completed clinical trials around the world, analysed it and reviewed it so that other researchers have useful information on the topic. After this, I worked at GSK for 1 year as an Associate Global Study Manager while I was still studying. This meant I worked on global clinical trials, aiming to help people with a range of diseases.
When I finished my degree, I came back to GSK as a Clinical Data Manager. This allows me to focus on the Data Management and Data Science involved in clinical trials.
What is the best part about your job?
I know the work I do today could result in a medicine for someone that really needs it. Even if the molecule we’re studying doesn’t make it to an approved medicine, it will improve our understanding of the science of it and the disease we’re working on.
I normally work on clinical trials that study the immune system or specific inflammatory pathways. When the COVID-19 pandemic started, we started clinical trials faster than ever before and I’ve been lucky enough to be part of the team that is designing, planning and running these trials for COVID-19 patients. We’ve adapted the ways we normally work and are using exciting technologies throughout the trial.
What is one thing most people would not know about your job?
I don’t work in a lab! As a Clinical Data Manager, I can work from an office (or from home right now). I think it’s important that people realise there are a lot of STEM roles that aren’t lab-based. I still work with lab-based scientists, nurses, doctors, clinical researchers, chemical engineers, pharmacists, statisticians, programmers and more!
What are you excited about for the future of your role?
As an early career scientist, I’m excited about the future of the Pharmaceutical Industry as a whole. Clinical trials are becoming more and more digital. The type of data we collect is changing and the way we collect it is becoming more modern. This means there are some interesting tools and systems coming through that can handle huge volumes and different types of data, integrate data, let us spot trends and patterns and improve the experience for us, patients and doctors. We’re also able to identify the people science shows are most affected by a disease. This means we can tailor our design and recruit from the most appropriate patient groups, so nobody gets left behind. Overall, it means that we can conduct our trials faster and better and hopefully get safe, effective and high-quality medicines to people that need them much sooner.