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A Day in the Life of… Manuela Seixas

What exactly happens in the Clinical Trials Unit?! Find out with Manuela Seixas, Director of the Unit, in our latest “A Day in the Life of…”

  1. 22.4.2016

    We spent a beautiful sunny day with Manuela Seixas, head of the Clinical Trials Unit. Manuela has been working here in this field for 14 years, focusing on personalised, patient-centred care and working with her team towards developing and improving oncological treatments.

    This is an important part of the Champalimaud Foundation for me personally, because every time I pass this spot it reminds me of a very important day in my life! On the day of my decision I realized that I was given the opportunity to be a member of this excellent team. I felt honoured, but I also had the sense of a bigger responsibility: I had to work more, work better and be able to provide new possibilities of treatment to the patients, creating a specialised team that would work side by side with the investigational medical team and with the patient to proceed with the clinical trial study.  The clinical trials are one more possibility of fighting cancer with new approaches and therapies.

    I chose this photo because this is the place where I think about all the structure of the Unit, the goals and the policies that we would like to follow, the Units that we are thinking about developing, the connections we would like to establish, the team that has to be assembled… everything! This place is the Head of the Unit!

    My office is the place where I come back to think when something doesn’t work as expected in a clinical trial and a new strategy has to be generated. The success of the clinical trials can’t be achieved alone. There is a full team dedicated to their trials and patients. No clinical trials are done without a qualified, responsible, reliable and dedicated research team (doctors, nurses, coordinators, technicians, pharmacists, etc.). I am responsible for coordinating all these teams. I have to make sure that they can work together, providing the best care for the patient.

    This photograph shows the debate and communication that must take place in all team work. As we Coordinators can’t do our work without the medical team, it is important to establish direct communication with the Investigators and doctors. Our combined aim is to achieve the best result for the patient and therefore for the clinical trials and future patients. This is the key to success for the clinical trials - communication!

    Of course we can’t forget the centre of all our efforts - the patient. The patient is the who we fight for on a daily basis. We must always try to maintain the patient’s physical and psychological stability, welfare and management of the costs, provide the best schedule and dates for the treatments, as well as always being available to listen to their concerns and doubts.

    As all days are very busy, running around from one place to another, and also very hard sometimes, our team likes to de-stress by doing some kind of physical activity together. This helps us to communicate more easily, and also to build a stronger team. At the same time, it gives us the energy we all need to continue our work and our fight against this dreadful disease.

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