August 30, 2017

Meet Michael Bailey, Translational Research Institute (TRI) Research Program Manager

Michael BaileyHow long have you worked at UAMS?
I have worked at UAMS in the Translational Research Institute’s Clinical Trials Innovation Unit for 3 years. I also attended the UAMS College of Pharmacy, graduating in 1983.

How long have you been in your current position? What is your favorite part of the job?
I have been in my current position for all three years. I serve in two capacities: one, acting as the CLARA Portal Facilitator, reviewing primarily investigator-initiated research protocols on their way to UAMS Institutional Review Board (IRB) review and providing documentation assistance of the same when asked; and two, I provide regulatory support for sponsor-initiated studies, managing the administrative aspects of FDA-directed research.

My favorite part of the job is, broadly, being helpful and service oriented to the UAMS research family. Specifically, I enjoy helping investigators successfully navigate what is often a complex and circuitous route from protocol submission to approval of the study by the IRB. Sometimes, I even help get this done.

Are there any challenges?
There are many moving parts to conducting clinical research under any circumstance. Additionally, these moving parts must take place within an administrative architecture made up of many differing resource centers one must draw from and the challenge is to first learn the overall system and then to keep up with its constant evolution. It keeps me busy.

In 2016, we processed 243 protocols (CLARA submissions; averaging 20/month). By processed, I mean that we checked each submission against a checklist, returning the submission to the investigator if necessary for revision before IRB submission. TRI provided investigator requested protocol review and editing services for 125 protocols (CLARA submissions; averaging 10/month). Thirteen industry-sponsored studies, ongoing in 2016 were provided with a coordinator, budget/coverage, clinical space, and regulatory services. In 2017, the numbers are tracking about the same and are fairly constant from year to year.

How does your research support functions interact with other, allied groups on campus?
The Translational Research Institute’s Clinical Trials Innovation Unit provides several services to the research community at UAMS. We have a coordinator unit that provides investigators research coordination in the clinic, a budget and coverage group that addresses the fiscal aspects of clinical trials, and a regulatory unit watching the requirements of research conducted under FDA oversight. For the investigator-initiated research, we serve as one-stop resource for support.

How do you/your group handle problematic issues?
I work with a team of smart and accomplished people, all with different areas of expertise. As a team, we evaluate all complex issues, deciding on the best course of action. I am never “out there alone” with this group and can always count on my co-workers for sound direction. My managers are empathetic and open-minded. Above that, I consider them all my friends.

Michael Bailey writing on a laptop with music collection on shelves behind him.How about after hours? What do you do for fun?
I am an avid reader with no favorite reading material, save for music. I love to read about, write about, listen to, and make music. I love attending music festivals with my wife, Dana, (who works in the Office of Education Development at UAMS), something that we can do more now that our 23-year old son has graduated college and found gainful employment (Whew!).

I am a senior contributor for the past 20 years to the on-line music magazine All About Jazz, where I have contributed just short of 2,300 articles, CD, DVD, Movie, and book reviews. I never got over my adolescent fascination of music. I am consumed by it.

What personal skill or hobby don’t most people know about you?
I write very bad poetry. In addition, I have played guitar for nearly 50 years, performing in bands and solo during college, pharmacy school, graduate school, and after. My friends told me I could not sing worth a hoot, but was much fun to watch singing badly.

Any last thoughts on your experience at UAMS?
I had previously worked 25 years at a small, local pharmaceutical research firm and coming to an enormous organism like UAMS was both thrilling and terrifying. That said, I make a new friend every day at UAMS. That is an experience for which I would trade nothing.