MADISON, Wis.­ — Elizabeth “Betsy” Nugent will become the inaugural director of clinical trials development and accreditation /chief clinical research officer, effective September 3. Nugent is charged with leading the establishment of the School of Medicine and Public Health and UW Health as a premier clinical-research organization.


Nugent is internationally recognized for leveraging clinical trials to transform research into therapies that help treat diseases and advance human health. She earned her bachelor’s degree in zoology at Colorado State University and her master’s degree in public health at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. She is a certified clinical research professional, a designation that indicates excellence in the ethical conduct of clinical trials.


“We are delighted to welcome Nugent into this critical leadership role to develop a roadmap for growth of our clinical-trial portfolios,” says Dr. Robert N. Golden, dean of the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. “This is an inspiring phase in our work to advance health without compromise.”


Nugent’s 27-year career has been dedicated to creating quality-based clinical trials infrastructure. Her tenure with Kaiser Permanente culminated in 13 years as senior regional manager of clinical trials, where she managed a research network of 31 facilities and a research portfolio of nearly $20 million. Nugent oversaw clinical trial compliance and quality and strengthened partnerships with clinical trial leaders, research regulators, funders and government entities.


Nugent most recently served as director of clinical research and pharmacovigilance at Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center, a contract research organization within Denver Health and Hospital Authority.


The scope of her role at UW encompasses leadership, coordination, and oversight for the infrastructures that support industry-sponsored and investigator-initiated clinical trials and the strengthening of partnerships with clinical research participants, sponsors, and regulators.


Chief among Nugent’s priorities will be to position the academic health system for accreditation under the global quality standards developed by the Alliance for Clinical Research Excellence and Safety. This accreditation signifies an institutional commitment to the highest possible quality standards in clinical research.


“I am honored to use my background in analytics and adaptive clinical trial structures and my passion for transformational leadership to advance clinical trials at UW,” says Nugent. “Strengthening the integration of clinical research improves health in meaningful and tangible ways. I look forward to strengthening the collaborations between the clinical research community at the School of Medicine and Public Health, UW Health, our research sponsors and our patients.”


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