Interview with an Investigator: Dr. Joshua Kim

Discover the essence of clinical research through the eyes of Dr. Joshua Kim, an investigator at Paratus Central Coast, a pivotal part of the Pacific Clinical Research Network (PCRN). Dr. Kim, driven by a passion to contribute meaningfully to clinical areas in need, shares insights into his journey.

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Who is PCRN

Get to know our story, team, and approach that little bit better.

Meet Dr. Joshua Kim

The Pacific Clinical Research Network aligns three of Australia and New Zealand’s market-leading, privately-owned clinical research site organisations under one defining purpose: provide experience, dedication, and commitment to clinical research. PCRN consistently delivers on this promise by enlisting employees who individually demonstrate experience, dedication, and commitment.

Meet Dr. Joshua Kim, an investigator in the Paratus Central Coast facility, and learn a bit about him and how he delivers on the PCRN difference.

How did you get started in clinical research? How did you get started with Paratus?

I was drawn to clinical research as it embodied an opportunity to meaningfully contribute to the effort of bringing evidence-based solutions to clinical areas of need.

Paratus attracted me for the prospect of combining clinical expertise and patient care with the operational management required to successfully lead diverse teams to successfully fulfill the clinical trials. Paratus was in an exciting stage of growth, and I couldn’t resist the opportunity to be an influential part of its evolution and impact in the industry.

What trial are you working on right now?

While working across numerous studies at any one time, an exciting study we’re actively engaged with includes a medication from an Australian team that will hopefully play a role in reducing the cognitive impairment of Alzheimer’s Disease in the future. 

What’s your favorite trial that you’ve ever worked on?

It would be hard to forget the work we did on a Phase 1/2 COVID-19 vaccine study with Novavax investigating a nanoparticle vaccine directed against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Being part of the global effort to find a safe and effective solution for the pandemic always gives a great sense of pride – especially in appreciating the level of collaboration and commitment our teams demonstrated. It always brings warmth whenever I reflect on the dedication that each and every member of the clinical trial process, including the trial participants, contributed and should be proud to represent.

What do clinical research studies mean to you?

Clinical research studies represent the exciting interface where patient care meets a hard earned and successful translational medicine effort. For me, it’s the coalface where the scientific process and dedication of countless researchers merges with the altruism and dedication of a team of volunteers – all looking to improve patient care and do their part to improve the health and wellbeing of others.

If you could design your ideal clinical trial, what would it be?

My ideal trial prioritises the participant’s journey in the clinical trial process, so that it becomes a non-disruptive component and feels truly integrated into their standard care.

The elusive challenge to capture long-term and comprehensive health information with minimal impact on the participant’s journey remains. Exciting technological developments in at-home devices and remote trial conduct have increased this capability but the industry has significant opportunity remaining to shift the framing of clinical trials as part of “normal life.” 

What is the best advice you received about the industry before becoming an investigator?

“Forget everything you’ve learned” and “check the protocol” – though they might not be completely accurate, these pieces of advice did capture a sentiment and approach one should start with when becoming an investigator.

The industry is different from traditional clinical care and each project is unique – it’s critical to think differently and be flexible in navigating innovative solutions to make each trial a success.

Of course, it goes without saying that due diligence and appreciation of the effort that goes into the development of the study protocol is always at the forefront of work as an investigator.

What current events in the industry interest you right now?

The increasing movement and growth in remote capabilities and decentralised trials is a great space for potential. Like many other developments, COVID-19 has greatly accelerated the progress and growth in the space and I’m looking on with a keen interest in this field.

What do you like best about working as part of a large site network?

The widespread consistency of approach and quality trial delivery appeals to me. With the number and diversification of the trial sites, it ultimately instills the additional confidence that this effective trial recruitment, enrollment, and completion will be met as a wide team effort irrespective of unprecedented disruptions – something that has only grown in relevance with COVID-19.

How does PCRN embody Experience. Dedication. Commitment?

The Pacific Clinical Research Network represents a group of like-minded experts who have brought their balance of clinical experience to the fulfillment of the unique field of clinical trials.

PCRN have been leaders in the region not only founding this network but furthermore demonstrating perseverance through the establishment and maintenance of relationships in spite of numerous challenges. These not including shifting leadership, but also the universal challenges of COVID. 

The retention of key individuals through these events has been a testament to the commitment to the mission and care that has been permeated not only amongst staff, but as demonstrated by the dedication to the participants. 

What would you say to a sponsor considering this site location? What sets your site location and the network apart from others?

Paratus Central Coast is fortunate to serve a population that abundantly covers a broad representation of age cohorts that studies often find difficult to recruit for. The stability of these population groups, balanced by the depth of the community’s eagerness and dedication to be involved with clinical research sets the clinic apart from other sites.

This local engagement with clinical research coupled with the site staff’s unparalleled rapport is evident in the return of participants and their own network of referrals that eventuate. PCRN could not deliver the PCRN difference of experience, dedication, and commitment without exceptional investigators like Joshua. Stay tuned for features on more of our amazing staff at any of our 16 site locations. Learn more about PCRN today.

Pacific Clinical Research Network

PCRN is a research network of clinical trial facilities attached to or part of general practice. The founding partners of the network are the Southern Clinical Trials group and Lakeland Clinical Trials Group in New Zealand and Paratus in Australia. PCRN has driven the evolution of clinical trial facilities in New Zealand over 20 years and is now the largest clinical trial network in New Zealand.