What do you do, Mandy?

Mandy is a lead research pharmacist at Evelina London
Colourful question marks drawn by a child

""February 2024

What is your current role?

I have been the lead research pharmacist at Evelina London for well over a decade. Working alongside doctors, nurses, and other research staff, we look after children and young people taking part in clinical research studies. My role within the team is to make sure that studies are carried out to the highest scientific quality. I do this by putting in place systems for prescribing, preparing and giving clinical trial medicines safely (and this sometimes can be very complex!).

What made you want to work in pharmacy?

For reasons that I can’t remember I developed a real interest in wanting to understand how medicines work. It was this curiosity that led me to pharmacy.

How did this lead to a role specialising in children's medicines research?

My passion for research started early on in my career. I was determined to work in the pharmaceutical industry because I thought this was the only place where research happens. I was so excited when I secured one of the few training places available to spend 6 months working in a pharmaceutical company. Little did I know that the other 6 months spent training in a hospital would completely change my career.

After completing my hospital training, I jumped at the opportunity to work in a role which combined my interest in paediatrics and research. I didn't know what to expect as it was a unique role. What happened next was very much being at the right place at the right time. I embraced new opportunities to champion children's medicines research when there were legislative changes in children's medicines development. I have worked closely with the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network ever since.

Why do you love your job?

The most exciting thing about this job is seeing how children are benefiting from the new medicines that we're developing. It is extremely satisfying to see how meticulous planning and execution can lead to medicines becoming available to more children.

What are your proudest moments?

I am amazed by how much research has grown at Evelina London. When I joined Evelina London, we were taking part in one medicine research study. We now work on close to 70 medicines research studies at any one time. Our work ranges from phase 1 studies (which may involve giving a new medicine for the first time to the first child in the world, looking at side effects and what the right dose might be), to phase 3 studies which test medicines in larger groups of children who are ill.

On a more personal level, the proudest moment of my career was being awarded a competitive NIHR fellowship to complete my doctoral studies.

Tell us one fun fact...

Despite having my Chinese heritage, my preference is always to use a spoon (or fork) over chopsticks (please don't tell my mum!).

Colourful question marks drawn by a child

Thank you to the children and young people who have so brilliantly illustrated our blog pages.

What do you do?

We love highlighting our staff and their amazing career journeys.

Read other pieces in this series:

  • What do you do, Willis? As a counsellor, Willis supports the mental health of parents and carers so they can protect the children at the centre of their world.
  • What do you do, Eloise? As a senior health play specialist, Eloise helps care for children and young people who are having tests or scans in our radiology service.
  • What do you do, Pauline? Find out why Pauline is proud to work in Evelina London community services.

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