Focus On Staff With Alison Kastl

Alison Kastl, director of clinical trials at the University of Cincinnati Cancer Institute, earned a bachelor of science degree in natural sciences from Xavier University in 1996. “I always had an interest in the medical field and began working for a small biotech startup company focusing on drug discovery for Alzheimer’s disease early in my career,” she says.

In that position, Kastl did research with nerve cells of chicken embryos and learned more about the drug development process which led to her becoming the study manager at Phoenix International Life Sciences. While at Phoenix, she learned how to manage a clinical trial and the regulations associated with the conduct of clinical research.

“Working at Phoenix was a great bridge to my career at University of Cincinnati Medical Center,” she says. “I was able to apply my knowledge and training to support the clinical trials program in the cancer institute.”

When did you begin working at UC?
“I began working here in 2000. During my time here, I have managed a large portfolio of cancer clinical trials. In my current role, I manage a department of 14 employees that support clinical research across five comprehensive centers and three disease programs.”

What made you make the move here?
“The University of Cincinnati Cancer Institute was working toward centralizing its cancer clinical trials office when I joined, and I felt like it was a good fit. There is a lot of research opportunity in cancer, and I wanted to understand more about the disease and contribute to the program.”

What are your regular job duties?
“I coordinate efforts with medical oncology, radiation oncology, surgical oncology, University of Cincinnati Medical Center, West Chester Hospital and the Department of Veterans Affairs Hospital Medical Center to provide access to clinical trials as a treatment option for cancer patients. I also provide a staffing structure to support the conduct of the clinical trials within the Cancer Institute and actively support the clinical trial budgeting and invoicing processes for trials managed by the department.”

What is your favorite part of the job?
“I like knowing that my work is meaningful and impacts the cancer care that patients are receiving at the UC Cancer Institute.”

What do you like to do in your spare time?
“Spend time with my family. I have been married to my husband, Bryan, for 12 years. We have a 6-year-old daughter, Lily. She keeps my schedule full.

What is one thing people might not know about you?
“Before I moved forward in the field of clinical research, I considered getting a master’s of science in forensic science. I also like to watch crime dramas in my spare time.”

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