Advancing innovations in early stage oncology research: meet Amy

Many novel oncology treatments have brought new hope to people living with cancer, but these breakthrough medicines weren’t developed overnight. On average, it takes at least 10 years to create a treatment “from molecule to medicine.”

As a Study Director at Covance, Amy supports a key part of this process by helping pharmaceutical and biotech companies thoroughly evaluate their oncology drug candidates at the early stages.

“We help clients with the in vivo aspect of preclinical oncology studies,” explained Amy. “Part of that work involves pharmacokinetic (PK) sampling to determine how models handle the substance, along with studies on the maximum tolerated dose of a treatment, its toxicity and its efficacy.”

Amy supports her team as they carry out these tests, analyze the data and create reports for pharmaceutical clients to make key development decisions about their potential oncology treatments.

Her leadership skills were recognized after her direct reports nominated her for the Covance 2019 Global Chemistry Solutions & Early Development Employee of the Year Annual Awards: Amy was recently named employee engager of the year, which is defined as someone who engages their colleagues and serves as an inspiration to others.  

“Amy has been the most effective leader I have worked with,” wrote Megan, one of Amy’s direct reports. “Amy took the time to nurture my skills and gave me the freedom and independence to be able to take on study manager tasks within 18 months of working here. Through her leadership, I have been able to advance my career at an expedited pace.”

Motivated by a leadership role

Amy also relishes her role as a manager. “It’s been a really great experience for me to have direct reports because I’m able to help manage their careers and their day-to-day growth. If someone has never performed a certain procedure before, it’s awesome to be able to jump in, teach somebody and to watch them pick it up on their own. It’s motivating to see people grow after you taught them.”

She also grows in her own career and finds support from her manager and colleagues.

“We’re always getting new types of studies and new clients who may be looking for something different,” she said. “The people that I work with on a daily basis are always willing to help and my manager is a great asset for me.”

Part of a global enterprise

When Amy took on the role of Study Director, she had joined the organization formerly known as MI Bioresearch before it was acquired by LabCorp in 2019 to become part of their drug development business, known as Covance.

“Covance, as a global organization, has many people from different backgrounds, and they come from both academia, pharmaceutical companies and even other CROs [contract research organizations]. Having all of those skillsets in one place is a really valuable resource for me,” she said.

“I think there’s definitely a lot more opportunities,” she added. “I just heard about the Women’s Empowerment Network [a LabCorp enterprise employee resource group] and about drug discovery classes and online training. I think just having a broader network of people at different sites has been really great for us too. When people realize the scope of the enterprise and how large LabCorp is as a whole, we know we’re going to have easier access to all these opportunities.”

Recognizing her energizing purpose

Beyond helping her team grow in their careers, Amy recognizes the bigger impact of her work on improving health and improving lives.

“Having known so many people who have been affected by cancer, it is exciting to see some of these treatments that are actually having positive effects and may even be curative. For example, our site also performs bioluminescence imaging, where we can visually witness the effects throughout the course of treatment in unique therapies, such as CAR-T or antibody dosing. It’s just amazing to see those images and it gives us hope for the future of cancer treatments and where we’re going from here.”

Ready to join people like Amy and be energized with opportunities to advance oncology research and change lives? Learn more about careers at Covance, the drug development company of LabCorp.

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