Profile: Connie Rangel, RN, BSN

Connie Rangel, RN, BSN, VTEU Project Manager Baylor College of Medicine

How long have you been with the VTEU?

I have worked in the Baylor College of Medicine VTEU for 33 years and have worked on more than 100 vaccine and treatment trials.

Tell us about your path to clinical research.

After graduation from college, I went to work for Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH) in the Texas Medical Center for two years. Near the end of my second year working at TCH, I received a phone call at the nurse’s station while working on the pulmonary unit. The woman on the phone introduced herself as a recruiter at Baylor College of Medicine. I told her that she had the wrong person as I did not know her and had never heard of Baylor College of Medicine. She explained that her husband who was a second-year resident at TCH had been telling her about me and recommended me for recruitment into a position at Baylor. She asked if I would be interested in applying for a clinical research position at Baylor. I agreed, was offered the position, and have been here since that time. I worked as a study coordinator for two years after which I served for 26-years as the Research Clinic Manager. I am currently the VTEU Project Manager, a position that I have held for five years.

Briefly describe the IDCRC-supported trials you’ve worked.

Our site has participated in the ACTT 1-4 COVID-19 treatment trials (20-0006), the COMPASS COVID-19 prevalence study, and Moderna and Novavax COVID-19 vaccine trials. We also will be conducting the Moderna Pediatric, Gritstone (20-0034), Mix and Match (21-0012), and the Maternal (21-0004) trials. Read more about IDCRC studies

Of these trials, what has been the most impactful or highlight of the work?

The COVID-19 vaccine trials have been stressful, but productive. I enjoy meeting and talking with the study participants especially as we have targeted enrolling high-risk people for these vaccine trials. It is rewarding to be able to answer their questions and to offer them potential protection, which otherwise would not have been an option for them.

In addition, providing information to members of the community that helps to relieve fear is a highlight of the work for me. The question that I have received the most is “How were the vaccines developed so quickly without compromising safety?” Providing an understandable explanation that is based in fact alleviates fear and empowers people to make informed decisions. My participation in communicating such information is satisfying and encouraging.

What would you want others to know about clinical research or what is a popular misconception about clinical research?

I think of clinical research as a behind the scenes mechanism for improving bedside medicine. I would like for others to understand that research is about answering questions that will provide additional treatments, procedures, preventions, etc. to clinical medicine and that safety is never compromised. Clinical research ultimately benefits society at large often through the clinical medicine process.