Introducing Andrew Davies, new lead of the Southampton ECMC
Congratulations on your recent appointment. Can you tell us a little bit about your background, and why you got into clinical research?
I am an academic medical oncologist, specialising in the field of malignant lymphoma. I have been in Southampton for over 10 years running a broad portfolio of trials from first in human to phase 3 all with strong correlative translational work. Before taking up my role in Southampton ECMC, I was Associate Clinical Director of the Southampton Clinical Trials Unit and Chair of the High-Grade Sub-Group of the NCRI Lymphoma Clinical Studies Group, so I bring a breadth of experience to the post. With my NHS hat on, I am Wessex Regional Lead for Cancers in Teenagers and Young adults, so I am keen to enable this group of patients not to be disadvantaged in recruitment to clinical trials.
What do you see as the biggest opportunity and the biggest challenge facing clinical research today?
There are many challenges facing the clinical research community. Beyond the usual administrative, regulatory and financial challenges, I feel that our enhanced knowledge of biology, and thus our ability to better stratify patients, makes for more challenging and complex trial designs, recruiting small numbers to particular biomarker groups. This is all great news, but we may have to screen many patients in order to find those that meet specific biological criteria.
Which aspects of your new role are you most excited about?
Working with a great team of professionals from a range of disciplines both in Southampton and the wider ECMC network to achieve our strategic aims.
What do you feel the strengths of the ECMC Network are and where do you see us delivering the most value in the future?
The ECMC Network has a huge range of different infrastructural capabilities for the delivery of early phase trials accompanied by high quality translational science. Working closely together, we will be able to deliver complex trials to time and target and be seen externally as a great place to bring clinical research.