Q & A with Freda Lewis
Clinical Trials Administrator
"I am a single mother to my daughter who is now 34, I am from Birmingham and have lived here all of my life. I enjoy volunteering at the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama, Relay for Life, the Deep South Network for Cancer Control, and I am adviser to the Komen Foundation. I love reading and cheering on the Birmingham Barons and Auburn Tigers."
How long have you been at UAB?
"I have been at UAB for 26 years, 14 of which have been at the Cancer Center. I started in the Clinical Trials Network, which evolved to where I work today."
Describe a typical day in your job.
"I am responsible for getting all of the regulatory paper work done for clinical trials. I love my job. I really love what I do because one day these studies that we do will find a cure for cancer. We are helping these people. But a typical day is I work from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and I come in with the intentions of I'm going to do A, B, and C, but then I get a phone call or an email.... but really, it entails completing regulatory paper work which involves the Kirklin Clinic, UAB Hospital and the investigation drug pharmacy. A typical day has a lot of paper work, a lot of phone calls, a lot of emails, a lot of interaction with pharma and investigators. After that has cleared, then the site will have an initiation visit and the clinical team can begin enrolling patients."
How long does it take to get a clinical trial approved?
"Our target date is three months. There are times where we get them approved sooner than that. For phase 1 trials, we try to get those activated as quickly as possible. It is important to get patients enrolled in phase 1 to test if the new drug has any benefits."
Describe the clinical trials team in three words.
"Dedicated, team players, strong work ethic. Everyone works together for the common goal."
What do you enjoy most about working at UAB?
"In the clinical trials sector, we are able to help people who don’t have options. One day, these studies will provide the care for cancer. UAB is a diverse place that strives to put employees first. It’s a place that’s community based and wants to engage everybody. The research being done here is novel and cutting-edge, one day something great is going to happen and we will find the cure."