Jestina Doe Anderson, PhD

Jestina Doe Anderson is a Medical Affairs Scientist with Leidos Biomedical Research Inc., which operates the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (FNLCR), a federal national laboratory sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Previously, she was an independent consultant, and held management positions with UCB Pharma, and Daiichi Sankyom.  Dr. Doe Anderson was educated at Howard University.

Dr. Doe Anderson played a key role in Liberia’s response to the Ebola epidemic, working with the Liberia government and the PREVAIL study group with a special focus on ethical conduct of key clinical trials of vaccine and treatments candidates in the Liberia context. This work led to the key article below:

Beating the odds: Successful establishment of a Phase II/III clinical research trial in resource-poor Liberia during the largest-ever Ebola outbreak
J. Doe-Andersona, B. Baselera, P. Driscollb, M. Johnsonc, J. Lysanderc, L. McNayd, W.S. Njoha, M. Smolskisd, L. Wehrlene, J. Zuckermand, for the PREVAIL I Study Group
Contemporary Clinical Trials Communications
Available online 24 June 2016
Open Access
Abstract
It has been argued that a country such as Liberia, not fully recovered from the devastation of decades of civil unrest, lacked the appropriate ethical and regulatory framework, basic human and health care services, and infrastructure to carry out clinical trials according to international standards of quality during a public health emergency. However, as Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea were being ravaged by the largest and most devastating Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak ever recorded, the topic of conducting clinical trials of experimental vaccine and treatment candidates in these resource-poor countries generated the keen interest and concern of scientists, researchers, physicians, bioethicists, philanthropists, and even politicians. Decisive action on behalf of the Liberian government, and a timely positive and supportive response from the United States (U.S.) government, led to the formation of PREVAIL (Partnership for Research on Ebola Vaccines in Liberia) – a clinical research partnership between the two governments. Within a span of 12 weeks, this partnership accomplished the unimaginable: the successful initiation of a Phase II/III vaccine clinical trial for EVD in Liberia. This paper will discuss the dynamics of the research collaboration, barriers encountered, breakthroughs realized, key elements of success, and lessons learned in the process.

David CurryFellow