Our third Staff Spotlight focuses on Clinical Research Coordinator Iris Pounds, a 10-year veteran of the Division. Ms. Pounds talks to us about the human and scientific sides of her work, her dual degrees in business and health administration, and collecting costume jewelry.
How long have you been at Duke? How long have you been at the Division?
I’ve been simultaneously employed at Duke and the GIM department for a little over 10 years now, and I’ve enjoyed my time here thus far.
What does your work as a Clinical Research Coordinator involve? What does a typical day for you look like?
I recently transitioned from being a Research Assistant (RA) to a Clinical Research Coordinator (CRC). For me, the best way to describe this transition is to envision it as a journey via railroad, with two distinct sides that inform my work. On one side of the track there’s the RA part of me that will always enjoy the face-to-face interaction with the medical community that include patients or study participants and medical staff. I like to refer to this track as the “human side.”
On the other side of the track are the protocols which include proposed outcomes, measures and interventions, IRB approvals and modifications, policy/regulation adherence, as well as the other nuts and bolts of coordinating study activities. This side I like to refer to as the “scientific side.” Once these two tracks align, my typical day becomes fast-paced and a little bumpy, but always headed towards the final destination of successful study results which will hopefully be applied in the community we serve.
You have master’s degree in both business and health administration. How did you decide on that combination? How do these degrees inform your work?
My initial goal was to get my master’s in Health Administration because I was working full-time at a university hospital and had grown to love any capacity of healthcare. About a quarter of the way through the program, I realized that an additional few hours and some strategic class scheduling would afford me a dual degree in business and health. Both have yielded me the ability to remain and grow in the healthcare field.
What do you enjoy most about working at the Division?
What I enjoy most about the Division is being a part of a bigger cause that truly focuses on prevention, early diagnosis and treatments of common disorders that affect everyday people. I also enjoy working with an administration that understands the need for diversity, particularly in the area of research.
What passions or hobbies do you have outside of the Division?
My passions include any opportunity to do fun and loving activities with my family, especially with my children. I also enjoy interior decorating and hosting parties. And my guilty pleasure is collecting and wearing “chunky monkey” (better known as statement pieces of costume jewelry).