Barb Taylor, CCRC, COA

Clinical Research at UI

The Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences has a group of certified and trained staff conducting clinical research within the Eye Clinic. These team members help our physicians identify, recruit, and follow patients in clinical trials involving treatments, medications, or medical devices. Clinical research coordinators also conduct diagnostic testing and assist with the care of patients enrolled in clinical trials.

Barb Taylor, CCRC, COA

What does the ‘CCRC’ in your title designate, and how does someone obtain that certification?

COA is certified ophthalmic assistant and CCRC is certified clinical research coordinator. The Association of Clinical Research Professionals grants the CCRC certification for meeting specific educational requirements, a certain number of work hours in research, and upon successfully passing a written exam that covers all aspects of ethical and responsible clinical research. I met the educational requirement by having a bachelor’s degree. I passed the written exam in 2007 and have maintained my certification with continuing education.

How long have you been in the department and involved in clinical research in the Eye Clinic?

I started working in ophthalmology research in July 2004, so I’m going on 13 years already!

How would you describe your position?

Every day is different in this position. I have five studies now where I am the primary study coordinator, so I juggle schedules with patients, physicians, refractionists and visual acuity specialists, photographers, imagers, techs, nurses, pharmacists, and outside study monitors. I’ve performed many refractions and visual acuity tests, taken intraocular pressures, instilled drops, etc. I record study data and make sure we are conducting research according to the protocol. There is paperwork involved with starting, continuing, and finishing a study. We have ongoing training, as there is always something to learn. I most recently learned how to use a microperimeter and how to measure corneal curvature.

What do you enjoy most about work?

I really enjoy working with all the study patients, especially the ones with age-related macular degeneration. It is rewarding to watch people benefit from some of our studies. I also enjoy working with the physicians and my co-workers.

What is an interesting project or study that you’re working on now?

I am most excited about the new GALA (geographic atrophy lipoic acid) trial we just started. We’re hoping to slow down the progression of dry macular degeneration. Except for the AREDS2 eye supplements, we don’t have anything to treat the dry form of AMD. So far, the participants are excited about it, and we’ll know more in about two years. I am always hopeful that the next study will be the one to make a breakthrough.

Monday, March 27, 2017