Fellowship Spotlight on the Inaugural Cohort

  • Photo of Archna Bajaj, MD, MSCE

    Archna Bajaj, MD, MSCE

    Fellowship in Clinical Trials, 2018-present

    Fellowship in Clinical Trials, 2018-present
    Current Position: Instructor, Department of Medicine, Division of Translational Medicine and Human Genetics, University of  Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

    Archna applied to the program because she was interested in receiving more formal training to become a clinical trialist, and for the protected time it offered her to work on an early phase trial to get an in-depth experience in trial design and development. She is working on development of a phase I first-in-human clinical trial for a gene therapy product for LCAT deficiency — a very rare genetic disorder of cholesterol metabolism with high morbidity/mortality from early and progressive renal sequelae of the disease. She is working on the pre-IND submission, including development of the trial design which will involve using a non-traditional adaptive design given the rarity of the disorder. She has also found the fellowship to "be helpful for connecting with other fellows who share an interest in clinical trials and share experiences on trial development and the resources and/or educational opportunities we've each found to be useful."

    Check out Archna's publications on Pub Med.

  • Photo of David Fajgenbaum, MD, MBA, MSc

    David Fajgenbaum, MD, MBA, MSc

    Fellowship in Clinical Trials, 2018-present

    Current Position: Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Translational Medicine and Human Genetics, University of  Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

    David applied to the program because he identified a need for mentorship and protected time to effectively run a clinical trial. Data that he  generated using orthogonal basic and translational research techniques suggested that there was increased mammalian Target of Rapamycin  (mTOR) signaling in idiopathic multicentric Castleman disease (iMCD) and that it may be a critical therapeutic target for the disease. Off-  label use of an mTOR inhibitor in iMCD suggested that it may be a safe and effective approach for treatment-refractory patients. David is currently testing this hypothesis in a clinical trial with support from the Clinical Trials Fellowship. The program "has provided me with critical mentorship to prepare for launching my first interventional clinical trial as a PI. I have received targeted feedback on launch plans and enrollment strategies." David was able to take a bioinformatics course during his protected time, that the fellowship provided. He has also “enjoyed getting to know and connect with other ITMAT Clinical Trials Fellows."

    Check out David's publications on Pub Med.

  • Photo of Ethan Weinberg, MD, MS

    Ethan Weinberg, MD, MS

    Fellowship in Clinical Trials, 2018-present

    Current Position: Assistant Professor in Clinical Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

    Ethan is interested in being a site PI for industry-sponsored trials and composing single-center and multi-center investigator-initiated clinical  trials. Since beginning the Clinical Trials Fellowship, he has opened a therapeutic trial for the use of ursodeoxycholic acid in hepatic sarcoid  (https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03602976) and successfully recruited subjects into the study. He is taking one graduate level course per  semester on clinical trials and has been able to publish some of his work from these classes. The Clinical Trials Fellowship has provided the  resources and salary-support for him to pursue an investigator-initiated clinical trial into a rare disease, hepatic sarcoid, that is understudied.  "This work and my studies would not have been possible without the support of this program."

    Check out Ethan's publications on Pub Med.

Do you want to learn more about their experience?

The fellows would be happy to meet with those interested in learning more about their experience in the program. Contact Jessica German to be connected.


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