MERIT Employee Spotlight is a series featuring team members introducing themselves, outlining their role at MERIT, and explaining why they chose to work in the clinical trials industry.
What do you do at MERIT?
As an Associate Medical Director at MERIT, I oversee our oncology medical affairs in China, and provide medical support to both US and China teams. Our medical team plays a crucial role in ensuring the integrity of imaging evaluations during clinical trials. From the development of the Imaging Procedure Manual and Oncology Imaging Charter to the implementation of image reading, we consider potential bias risks and factors that could lead to evaluation discrepancies at every stage. These considerations include the characteristics of the indications, the geographical areas where the trial is conducted, the number of subjects, and the details of the research protocol. We then take appropriate measures to minimize these biases and discrepancies.
In addition to considering the implementation details of the trials, I am responsible for optimizing operations for the team. By summarizing and learning from past clinical trial experience, we aim to make the implementation of the next trial even more high-quality and efficient.
What do you like about working at MERIT?
What I appreciate most about working at MERIT is the friendly and positive team atmosphere. Our staff are creative, dedicated, and enthusiastic, and we collectively find the best solutions for our clients. I admire MERIT’s commitment to being Your Clinical Endpoint Expert. This is reflected in our commitment to medical advancement and finding new treatments for patients. I also appreciate MERIT’s respect and trust in its employees, giving me the freedom to explore new ideas and methods. I gain a sense of fulfillment from my role and look forward to continuing my clinical research career at MERIT.
How do you see your position/department fitting into the company as a whole?
The medical team at MERIT spearheads imaging evaluation strategies for clinical trials and carries out quality monitoring during the image reading process. Professionalism, rigor, and exploratory spirit are the most important traits of our medical team. We ensure that our imaging evaluations adhere to the scientific nature of the latest research results while confirming the feasibility of the implementation plan.
We collaborate regularly with multiple teams such as Operations, Product Development, and Business Development. This cross-departmental approach allows us to fully understand the needs and expectations of clients and partners, making our work more efficient.
Why did you get into clinical research?
My journey into clinical research began when I was working as a radiologist at Peking Union Medical College Hospital. I worked as a Sub-Investigator (Sub-I) in some clinical trials. It was then that I first realized that I could help meet unmet medical needs and assist more patients in this way.
With the issuance of the FDA’s Clinical Trial Imaging Endpoint Process Standards Guidance for Industry in 2018, the importance of Blinded Independent Central Review (BICR) in clinical trials was recognized in China. This led to a booming development in the industry and an increased demand for the professional knowledge of radiologists. In response to this trend, I transitioned from being a radiologist to a full-time medical staff member at an Independent Reading Center (IRC), gradually accumulating experience in the clinical research industry.
My hope is that just as there are an increasing number of Clinical Research Physicians (CRPs) in Sponsor companies, there will be more Clinical Research Radiologists in the IRC field, providing professional support for the implementation of high-quality clinical trials.
What do you do in your free time?
Music is a passion of mine. After moving to a new city, the first large piece of furniture I bought for my home was a Yamaha U3 piano. In my spare time, I enjoy playing familiar melodies and learning new pieces, which allows me and my family to spend time together. During my student days, I loved playing badminton and volleyball, and participated in some school and city competitions. After starting work, I continued to explore new sports to stay fit and meet new friends. I hope to see my 4-year-old son enjoy the fun of cooperation and competition in sports, and to grow from failures and successes.
I also enjoy building with Lego, cooking, and baking. These activities allow me to try different combinations – whether it’s different Lego configurations or unique ingredients in recipes. While some combinations may not turn out well, there are always scenarios that bring me unexpected joy.
The fellow behind my head is Xuan Xuan, an 8-year-old orange cat. He has three companions, but he is the most affectionate towards humans. Whenever I sit at the computer, he jumps onto my lap seeking head pats. I adhere to the principle of ‘adopt, don’t shop’, and these four orange cats were once strays near my apartment. I am delighted to have their company. Despite occasionally messing up the bed and covering my favorite clothes in cat hair, I still enjoy their presence, especially when they sleep curled up beside me, purring contentedly.