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Career Growth & Inspiration: Catherine's Clinical Data Journey

Posting date: 08/04/2024
Author: Inside ICON

At ICON, a global leader in drug and device development services, Catherine Blake has found an environment that fosters career growth and inspires her to excel. As a Director of Clinical Data Science, overseeing a team of 17, Catherine's role is pivotal in managing critical data deliveries for high-profile projects across oncology, vaccines, and immunology. 

Catherine's Role as Director of Clinical Data Science

As a Director of Clinical Data Science and Account Group Head for a large pharmaceutical client, Catherine oversees a multidisciplinary team of 17 professionals. The team she leads comprises Account Leads, Program Managers, Clinical Data Science Leads, and a small number of Clinical Data Coordinators. Together, Catherine's team spearheads the management of critical data deliveries for numerous high-profile projects and programs across three pivotal therapeutic areas: oncology, vaccines, and immunology. 

Under Catherine's leadership, her team generates and implements initiatives aimed at enhancing quality and timeliness. Collaborating closely with ICON's senior leadership and her client's leadership team, Catherine's guidance enables her team to consistently meet company goals, objectives, and client needs while delivering exceptional results on these crucial projects that impact patient lives.

The Path to ICON and Professional Growth

With over two decades of experience in clinical research, including 15 years at another CRO, Catherine joined ICON (formerly L-PRA) in 2019, drawn by its better cultural fit. She shares her experience of ICON's support for her professional development: "I have been astonished at the level of support I have received from the leadership team in my career growth. From my first Manager, who gave me additional opportunities to grow my skillset to my most recent Leader who is mentoring me in my new role, I have consistently been spurred forward and encouraged by leaders at all levels of the business. It has been inspirational to me."

Client-Focused Drive and Career Inspiration

Catherine's inspiration to become a Director stems from her deep commitment to client satisfaction and delivery excellence. "I am very client and delivery focused," she explains. "As a Project Manager (previously) I feel the need to make things better and delight our clients. In this role I can work with my colleagues to establish what we need to do to improve and I can take the initiative to make it happen."

Proudest Achievements at ICON

Reflecting on her accomplishments at ICON, Catherine expresses, "The day I became Director was one of my proudest, I don't think I would have achieved that level as quickly if I weren't at ICON." She also takes immense pride in her Account Leads, praising their tireless efforts: "They work tirelessly every day to improve delivery to our client and support their direct reports. They are endlessly positive and encouraging of our team."

Embodying ICON's Value of Agility

ICON's value of 'Agility' deeply resonates with Catherine, who explains its significance: "We pivot as needed, we encourage and manage change, we find new ways, we look further and we push the boundaries of what can be achieved. We are one team sharing knowledge and we use that combined knowledge to succeed."

The Power of Colleagues and Camaraderie

For Catherine, the most cherished aspect of working at ICON is the camaraderie she shares with her colleagues. "It has to be my colleagues," she affirms. "Every day, no matter what challenges I face and even though we are on different continents (in many cases), I work with people I am proud to know, many of whom I can now call friends."

A Personal Mantra: 'We Don't Walk By'

Catherine's personal mantra perfectly captures her commitment to proactively addressing challenges and supporting others: "'We don't walk by'. Basically put, if something needs to change or someone needs support we don't ignore it, we always try to help/improve." 

Through its supportive culture, emphasis on professional growth, and embrace of agility, ICON has created an environment where talented professionals like Catherine can thrive, achieve their career goals, and deliver exceptional results for clients while fostering strong camaraderie among colleagues. 

If you're looking to join the industry or explore new opportunities, now is the time to browse Clinical Data jobs and take the next step in your career with ICON.

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