We sat down with Signant Health’s newest addition to our in-house team of experts, Dr. Danielle Middleton. Danielle leverages her experience as a doctor and general practitioner in the NHS to support Signant’s clients on all aspects of clinical assessments, including but not limited to instruments and author requirements.

  1. Tell us about your journey to Signant.    

I’ve never been one to conform to the idea that we have “one true calling” in life – I have simply followed my interests. It’s often said that curiosity is the elixir of life, and this is something that really holds true to me; although I have always had a desire to work at the interface between science and medicine.

My career started in scientific research, where I gained an undergraduate degree in chemistry with a focus in molecular medicine, and subsequently earned my PhD in organic chemistry. I completed my medical training at the University of Cambridge, followed by a tenure within the NHS and specialty training in General Practice.

  1. How do you tap into your combined degrees to serve Signant’s customers?  

My background in scientific research, coupled with my medical training and hands-on clinical experience, mean I bring a unique skillset and an ability to innovatively approach complex problems. As an experienced doctor, I have a broad foundation of clinical knowledge and experience. I am also confident in my ability to amass detailed knowledge within limited time frames. I can additionally leverage my membership to both the Royal College of General Practitioners and the Royal Society of Chemistry.

  1. Prior to joining Signant, you were a doctor for close to a decade. With your hands-on experience working with patients, how do you feel about clinical trial technology?  

My clinical experience has taught me that today’s patients are frustrated with the trials process for several reasons: They feel that new treatments are taking too long to reach the market, study participation could be easier, and that their everyday experience isn’t being applied to develop new insights for their benefit.

People benefit daily from the altruistic actions of those individuals who have contributed to science, by participating in clinical trials. Clinical trials must transition from rigid, traditional methods and systems to a more responsive model that accelerates scientific validation and the utilization of new treatments.

The era of personalized medicine is here, and the way clinical trials are designed and conducted has to change accordingly. Technology is at the forefront of driving clinical trial evolution, and these technological advances have the potential to transform the research landscape. Only then will we be able to conduct better, faster, and more efficient trials – all while providing greater access. Clinical trials could look very different in the future, so to me, it’s an exciting time to join the industry!

  1. What therapeutic area do you find the most interesting and why?  

As a former General Practitioner, I remain a generalist, keeping my breadth of clinical knowledge up to date over many specialty areas. I am thankful I can maintain this range in my current role and hope to enable the company to continuously expand its portfolio, especially outside Neurology and Psychiatry.

  1. Tell us a bit about the role and Signant team.

My position is new within the company and my responsibilities are equally split between two key functions: supporting the Science and Medicine team’s eCOA group and aiding the VP for Internal Medicine, Anthony Everhart.

For the eCOA group, I’m lending my scientific expertise to further improve the digital capture of clinical outcome assessments and the use of connected health devices. I’ve enjoyed pitching in and learning from Dr. Everhart, while providing additional medical support.

  1. Do you have any upcoming projects you can share that you’re excited about? 

I have several exciting projects that I am currently working on. With our sales teams, I’m providing pre-award solution development input, developing proposals, and preparing bid defenses. I have also been collaborating with the clinical science team to provide medical support and guidance for a sponsor’s specific clinician rater training needs. I am very excited to be involved with the product team’s efforts to enhance our sensors and wearables integration experience.

Additionally, I have been training our new hires on clinical-related training to ensure everyone has a strong understanding of clinical study design components in addition to an appreciation of the regulations governing clinical trial conduct.Not everyone within the company will work directly on clinical trials, but I believe we should all have a good basic understanding of the industry.

  1. Why do you enjoy working at Signant Health?  

I love the variety – no one day has been the same since I started! It’s always been important to me that my work combin my passion for science and medicine, that there’s opportunity for professional growth, and that I can work with likeminded colleagues with a shared purpose.

I have discovered Signant is a proactive, innovative, and engaged company that invests in its employees and their future. There isn’t anywhere else where I could collectively make a difference to patients, healthcare, and society.

  1. What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of your job?  

I have only been in my post for a few weeks, so for me, the most difficult task has been getting up to speed with all the different solutions Signant offers and the key benefits for each, as well as updating my knowledge on the key regulatory guidance and studies that govern how, why, and what we do.

However, as someone who has dedicated my life to continued learning, I relish expanding my knowledge base and applying these learnings to guidance for customers.

  1. What do you enjoy doing in your free time? 

My husband and I have two young children, so they occupy most of my time outside of work. We explore the beautiful countryside as a family with our two dogs. To unwind, I enjoy running. I recently started to learn the piano, but as enjoyable as I find it, I’m not sure I will ever be a maestro at it!

I currently serve on a board of governors for the local primary school, and I very much enjoy being able to influence the educational opportunities offered to the children in my community.

  1. What are some of your professional goals?    

After I settle into my new position and get a firm grasp on all that we offer, my goal is to offer our customers and internal teams evidence-based, scientific best practices. I also aim to ensure any new capabilities of our products will meet the scientific requirements of future implementations.

Long term, I hope to drive company innovation to further support clinical drug development with a focus on scalability and real-world evidence. It would also be nice to be a vanguard for the adoption of wearable devices.

Want to meet our in-house experts? Interested in having Danielle’s invaluable expertise on one of your upcoming studies? Contact us today.

Signant Health

Signant Health is the evidence generation company. We are focused on leveraging software, deep therapeutic and scientific knowledge, and operational expertise to consistently generate quality evidence for clinical studies across traditional, virtual, and hybrid trial models. For more than 20 years, over 400 sponsors and CROs of all sizes – including all of Top 20 pharma – have trusted Signant Health solutions for remote and site-based eCOA, eConsent, IRT, supply chain management, and data quality analytics.

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