Working Together News

Advancing Science for Better Patient Care:
Meet Our Clinical Research Directors


Emily Tremlett

Regional Director, Clinical Research Operations
Saint Joseph Hospital

What led you to become involved in clinical research? My passion for research comes from personal experiences. My son had social-interaction difficulties, communication challenges and unusual repetitive behaviors. It took many years and countless tests, medications and therapies to determine he is autistic. His disruptive, antisocial behavior led to isolation and even outright rejection by other children. If diagnosed sooner, we could have provided different interventions and support that he desperately needed and deserved. 

In hopes of preventing late diagnosis for other children, my own family participates in a study that provides researchers with medical and genetic information to advance the understanding of autism and provide meaningful information and resources.

Clinical research helps to answer questions, which leads to better ways in treating our patients. 

How do you feel about the future of clinical research? It is an exciting time to be involved with clinical research. Technology is changing rapidly and impacting the way we develop and run research. The most common technology changes include cloud-based storage, mobile devices and real-time analysis of clinical data. 

How does clinical research impact the community? Participating in clinical research allows patients access to new, cutting-edge medical treatment, providing valuable insight for future treatments and methods of prevention. Hospitals that participate in research make a clear statement to their patients: They are committed to improving patient care.

What was your favorite subject in school and why? I enjoy the challenge of searching for answers, which is why I liked science. I am committed to being a life-long learner and helping others understand the importance of asking questions. As health care professionals, we need to provide the most effective care that is available, with the aim of improving patient outcomes.    

What is one item on your bucket list? To be published in a peer-reviewed journal.

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Katherine Sanner

Executive Director, Research Administration
National Jewish Health

What led you to become involved in clinical research? Not having a scientific background, I was really inspired by the impact clinical research has on people’s lives and wanted to be a part of that in some small way. When you or someone you love is diagnosed with a chronic condition or illness, I think we all want the same thing: the best clinicians and the best care possible. Clinical research allows us to continue to search for better answers to the illnesses we treat. For example, years ago, our patients who had cystic fibrosis didn’t live to be very old. Now we have the largest adult cystic fibrosis clinic in the nation, right here at National Jewish Health.  This would not have been possible without clinical research.
How do you feel about the future of clinical research? It is important to remember that a few years ago, our current standard-of-care treatments were only available in clinical trials. Clinical research participants have access to the latest medications and technology before everyone else. They can get no-cost medical evaluations and study medications, and we spend a lot of time educating them on their disease. The human body, in many ways, is still a mystery so there’s always more to learn.
How does clinical research impact the community? Clinical research participants are truly medical heroes.  They come from all walks of life — every age, every background. And our physicians who do clinical research partner with those participants to further medical knowledge and ultimately find cures to save lives and improve the quality of life for people all over the world.
What was your favorite subject in school and why? Believe it or not, I originally hoped to join the diplomatic corps, so I took lots of foreign languages and political science. Somehow, though, I ended up with a business degree.
What is one item on your bucket list? To get a bucket list drafted! Recently, though, I’ve visited some smaller towns in Mexico, away from the resort coasts, and really enjoyed myself. I think I’d like to do more travel off the beaten path.