Today we are happy to spend a brief moment with Alicia Garcia, Head of Clinical Operations at MedSIR.
MedSIR Newsletter Team (MS): Thanks, Alicia, for spending some time with us here today.
Alicia Garcia (AG): Thank you, it’s my pleasure!
MS: What brought you to MedSIR?
AG: Prior to joining MedSIR, I had been working in mid and large size pharma companies for a long time and I was looking for a company with a different model. A company where I could feel more involved and contribute directly to improving the lives of patients.
MS: Interesting. So, it seems you have extensive experience in the field of clinical trials in Big Pharma. What was that change to a small company such as MedSIR like? Was it difficult for to you to make such a big jump?
AG: It obviously required a change of mindset. I moved from the very structured environment of Big Pharma, where every step had a defined process, to a small and very new company… I joined MedSIR in 2014. However, this has also been the most creative part: finding alternative solutions to old or new needs when implementing clinical trials. It has been challenging but also very rewarding.
MS: Sometimes our clients request us to define exactly how we work and what makes MedSIR so unique. How would you define MedSIR to our readers?
AG: I think that the name of MedSIR really contains one of its most valuable assets. This asset is Innovation. Innovation not only in the design of new therapeutic strategies that could improve the lives of patients, but also innovation in how clinical trials are implemented. At MedSIR, we are always open to new technologies, methodologies, and ideas that could make clinical research more efficient. There is a clear goal of generating, in a better and faster way, results that could improve clinical practice in Oncology.
MS: What’s your favorite thing about your job? And the worst thing?
AG: What I like the most is that no day is similar to the previous one. It is always necessary for all of us to keep learning and keep abreast of new clinical data and technologies. I also love the very close interactions with colleagues who have expertise in other areas. I love not only listening to our oncology experts discussing the rationale of new clinical trials, but also learning from colleagues working in finance or marketing.
What I like to avoid is too much bureaucratic work, and, fortunately, there is not too much of that (laughs).
MS: As Head of Clinical Operations, what do you think about your operational team (the Operations Team?)? Should some essential skills relevant to the International Trial Lead role be highlighted?
AG: I think I am very lucky to be part of such as a great group of people. The group is made of professionals with outstanding backgrounds in Biological or Clinical Research. There is always a “we can” attitude, nothing is seen as impossible. Even the most difficult situations are taken as a team challenge, where everyone is contributing their effort and enthusiasm to achieve a goal.
Even though we are not a large group, we are a very multicultural team. We have people from different countries and cultures including China, Argentina, Venezuela, Spain, Switzerland, The Dominican, etc… we even mix Barça and Real Madrid supporters or even some not interested in football at all… This diversity really is the source for the creativity and differential opinions that make up this team.
MS: And what about your hobbies? How do you distract your mind away from MedSIR?
AG: I am the mother of three children. This is a good way to free my mind from MedSIR (chuckles)… No, seriously, there are lots of things I like such as traveling or trekking. On one hand, I consider myself very Mediterranean in that what I enjoy most is being with my family and friends and participating in the life and events of my neighbourhood. But, on the other hand, I also need my down time and I enjoy reading, running, and gardening.
MS: Thanks so much, Alicia, for your time!