Caroline Piekarski, Vial’s new Clinical Research Project Manager, discusses her background and what brought her to the Vial team. Caroline joined the Vial team in July 2022. To learn more about opportunities at Vial, visit our careers page and follow us on LinkedIn.
Tell us about your background.
I joined Vial coming from a project management role managing Interactive Response Technology software, or IRT, in the clinical space; however, my interest in the industry began much earlier. A chemistry teacher I had in high-school first sparked my curiosity in the field, and I went on to learn more about the industry and major in the science in college. Knowing that clinical trials are the path to curing diseases and illnesses that inhibit people from being able to live their most fulfilling life, I knew that this is the career field that I wanted to pursue and have not looked back since!
In your past few roles, you’ve seen the challenges of drug development and discovery upfront, where do you see room for technology enabled infrastructure to support startup biotechs?
When conducting clinical studies, many sites prefer collecting data on paper for a variety of reasons. While convenient in the moment, paperwork is a headache to sift through when retroactively analyzing, particularly when it comes to trial data. Modern technology paves the way for not only simplified and organized data collection, but also for more efficient analysis tools, which can lead to extremely successful clinical trial outcomes as well as spark new ideas for future studies. By incorporating a technology-enabled infrastructure, startup biotechs have the opportunity to transition from our present-day clinical trial model (largely part-paper, part-tech) to a modern-day model that is more efficient and seamless using the latest software platforms and integrations that we have available specific to the industry, such as EDC, IRT/RTSM, CTMS, eCOA, eConsent, etc.
What advice do you have for the founding teams of startup biotechs that are new to clinical development?
The more guidance and advice, the better! The clinical trial world is one that is constantly changing, whether it be with the latest technology, the ‘it’ indication in a therapeutic area, or the latest revolutionary scientific discovery, there is always something unexpected just around the corner. For this reason, it is extremely important to listen to those who have been in the industry and have seen the progression throughout the years, while also keeping an open mind and adapting quickly to change. Each person brings with them their own unique background from a different piece of the puzzle, and by integrating these subject matter experts with new and fresh ideas, the clinical space continues to be strengthened and improved.
What led you to join Vial?
As much as I had enjoyed my time on the vendor side, I’ve always been intrigued by the challenge of working on a broader scale in the industry. I’ve had the opportunity to work with with some excellent CROs in the past, and knowing this was what I wanted to do, I couldn’t say no when the opportunity presented itself with Vial. Here, I am not only able to incorporate my knowledge of clinical trials, but I am also able to incorporate my industry-specific software experience to reinforce the tech-enabled infrastructure that we have built.
What are you most excited about over the next year at Vial?
I’m most excited about being able to contribute to the growth and success of the company by ensuring that our trials will run as smoothly and successfully as possible. The team that we have here is incredibly experienced and talented – our directors, department heads, mentors, marketers, and business development reps, just to name a few, are truly one of a kind. I’m excited to work with each member of the team here to grow one step closer to achieving our vision, to empower scientists to cure all human disease, day by day.