Meet Megha Master
Our Inaugural Clinical Research Management Fellow
Megha Master, Inaugural Clinical Research Management Fellow
Megha Master, MS is completing a 6-month NJ ACTS Clinical Research Management Fellowship in the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Research Center (CRC). The Workforce Core recently spoke with Megha to learn more about her journey and career development. Click the topics below to find out what we learned:
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Megha received her Bachelors degree in Chemistry in India and then pursued a second degree in Biochemistry from Rutgers University on Cook Campus. After graduating, she worked in industrial quality management and eventually found herself with an opportunity to obtain a Master’s degree from the Rutgers Clinical Trials Sciences program with a specialty in Clinical Regulatory Affairs. During her post-graduate didactic training, Megha completed a Capstone Project as an Institutional Review Board (IRB) intern on the Rutgers Health and Sciences IRB review board in Newark, NJ. She graduated in 2019.
Her Program Director, Dr. Doreen W Lechner, was a major advocate for Megha and inspired her to apply for the fellowship program after finishing the Master’s degree.
Experiences as a Fellow
During the fellowship, Megha has been assigned monthly activities and submitted biweekly summaries of her work to encourage feedback and collaboration. During the first 2 months, Megha shadowed an expert in each position at the CRC; this was a great way to learn about all the roles required for effective clinical research management. Megha was also assigned the task of generating new clinical research Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) of her choice and making revisions to an additional SOPS that were up for review. Megha was also expected to follow two clinical studies by participating in the enrollment process, patient visits, follow up care, and observational evaluation.
Most impactful experience
The study that inspired Megha the most was observing the PROMISE study; an observational study designed to follow patients with cystic fibrosis before and during treatment with a new triple combination drug approved this past November. Megha described how incredible it was to see participants come in with debilitating symptoms of their illness ill for their enrollment appointment and to watch the positive change in their health over time. At the end of her experience with this study, she presented the clinical research to trainees and faculty from the Clinical Research Management program. Megha also discussed the broad experience she has had throughout the fellowship and how greatly it has impacted her.
Megha’s final task was to assume a leadership role on one of the projects that the CRC was in need of completing to improve day-to-day management. Megha was given a number of options and chose to tackle the development of a crisis communication plan; a plan designed to assist personnel in responding to inquires surrounding a major unanticipated event, especially in the involvement of media. This required Megha to collaborate and reach out to a number of offices and departments across Rutgers. Her ultimate goal, once the plan is approved, is to generate a very simple flow chart that can answer “what do I do?” in a moment of crisis. Original plans for Megha to present this research had been derailed by the current COVID-19 pandemic and, in the meantime, she has taken to generating a tool for Rutgers project managers and employees that allows them to go through a number of questions in the event of a potential crisis and provide an action plan specific to that event.
Megha will pursue work in regulatory components of clinical research in either industry or academia.
Overall impression of the Fellowship
Megha found the fellowship to be an amazing opportunity to collaborate and learn about the complete process of clinical research. Her time as a fellow allowed Megha to really understand and experience the process from the eyes of the patients and their families.
Advice to future Fellows
“… take full advantage of the vast range of experiences the program has to offer and always take the time to appreciate the perspective of the patient.”