Leila Janani, Research Fellow (Clinical Trials Statistician), Imperial Clinical Trials Unit 

“I am involved in trial design, data management and analysis and preparing reports.”

I work as a Research Fellow (Clinical Trials Statistician) at Imperial Clinical Trials Unit (ICTU). Clinical trials are a fundamental tool for investigating the safety and efficacy of treatments, and I think that during the pandemic, most people realised their important role in health.  

Before joining Imperial in January 2021, I completed my PhD at Tehran University of Medical Sciences and then worked as an Associate Professor at the Iran University of Medical Sciences, where I taught Biostatistics and undertook research.  

However as someone who’s really interested in working on clinical trial studies, I decided to change my career and start my journey to Imperial Clinical Trials Unit. I arrived in the UK at the start of the year during the big lockdown. This made it really difficult to settle in and to focus on my projects. During these challenging times I have really appreciated the help and support of my lovely manager Dr Victoria Cornelius, friends and all ICTU staff. 

A turning point in my UK career happened in March where I become involved in the COVBOOST trial lead by Professor Saul Faust. The trial has been trying to find out which COVID-19 vaccines are most effective as a booster vaccination, depending on which vaccine was used to provide the initial prime-boost course. This was even featured as a BBC news article. I am one of four statisticians in the team and I am involved in trial design, data management and analysis and preparing reports.  All members of the research team are experienced and excellent, and I have already learnt a lot. 

These days I am working hard, and I don’t have much free time, but I would really like to travel to different places in the UK and all over the world. I love football and I have supported Barcelona since I was three years old. I really enjoy watching matches and I would like to experience being in a stadium and watching football live. I also enjoy playing and would really like to start playing in London.  

I think that the COVID-19 crisis reminded us of the value of health, family, friendship, and the scientists and health workers who have worked so hard during this pandemic.

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