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New book describes career opportunities in clinical research and how to qualify for them

COLD SPRING HARBOR, N.Y. (July 27, 2010) -- For those with an aptitude in science and an interest in working with medical discovery teams, careers at drug, medical device, and contract research organization (CRO) companies can be fulfilling. A new book from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, Career Opportunities in Clinical Drug Research, introduces readers to entry-level clinical job opportunities and explains how to qualify for them.

"[T]his book will pull back the curtain on rewarding and lucrative career opportunities that are rarely mentioned in academic degree programs," writes the author, Rebecca J. Anderson, in the book's preface. For more than 25 years, Anderson held a variety of research and development roles in pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, and CRO companies. As a hiring manager in all of these organizations, she has reviewed and screened thousands of applicants for clinical research positions.

Anderson says that talented and interested applicants for jobs in clinical research often fall short because they lack clinical experience. "[U]ndergraduate and graduate students can acquire, in a number of ways, clinical experience that we will accept, and it is not difficult to obtain," she writes. Career Opportunities in Clinical Drug Research places a particular emphasis on how to gain this clinical experience.

The book begins with a brief overview of research and development in the pharmaceutical industry and explains how a typical clinical study is conducted. Each of the next eight chapters then covers one of the clinical specialties involved in conducting pharmaceutical clinical trials: for example, clinical research associate, clinical data manager, biostatistician, and clinical drug safety specialist. The chapters are written as personalized narratives, allowing the reader to follow the daily work of a clinical specialist as he or she supports a clinical study and interacts with the other study team members.

Practical information on how to find job opportunities in each specialty and how to obtain the experience needed to qualify for them is also provided, as are copious sources for specialized education, salary lines, and industry regulations. At the end of the book, a list of career options available to workers after mastering their entry-level clinical position, as well as a tool box for those seeking a position, are included.


Contact: Ingrid Benirschke
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

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