"I always wanted to contribute to improving lives"
Gracy pictured here with her husband, Ramesh, and daughter, Ashira.
Gracy Gompana will very often not entertain a query unless you have your basic facts right. There is a reason for that. Having completed her Masters in Human Genetics she worked as a lecturer for five years before entering the field of clinical research. Beneath that professorial air, though, PATH's Project Manager for a rotavirus vaccine Phase 3 efficacy trial currently underway in India, is a hard-core professional and—yes—somebody who will not rest until an issue is sorted out.
She moved to PATH in 2011 from the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), where she worked as a Program Officer for two years in the areas of project management, clinical operations, advocacy, and knowledge management. Prior to that she worked at Bioinnovat Research Services as a clinical research coordinator. The mother of the lovely Ashira, Gracy hails from Vishakhapatnam on the Eastern coastline of Southern India and has been in Delhi since 2008.
Tell us about your work on the rotavirus vaccine study.
I work as the Project Manager for the ongoing Phase 3 efficacy trial of a bovine-human reassortant rotavirus vaccine (BRV). My work involves keeping the team abreast of ongoing project activities. I prepare timelines for the project and ensure that the timelines are adhered to - which can sometimes be very challenging. I also prepare and share the project reports with the team and with external stakeholders. I oversee operations of the clinical trials, too, and manage and update our internal file hub.
It's a very exciting phase in the project right now. We recently completed enrollment - which is a major milestone. Further, as a team, we are looking forward to completing the administration of dose 2 and dose 3 for all the subjects by the end of July.
You completed your Masters in Melbourne. How is that helping you in your current assignment?
I pursued my higher studies at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and earned a Masters in Applied Sciences. It was an enlightening experience in terms of the way they impart education: the resources, basic infrastructure, and state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories, to name a few. The experience of interacting with students across the globe gave me a unique perspective about how to think and deal with day-to-day situations across cultures. To support myself, I worked as a manager in WatchWorks Australia. This work experience gave another dimension to my perspective about how to understand and deal with people. Melbourne still remains very close to my heart.
What do find most exciting about the work you do in PATH?
I have been working in PATH for the past three and half years in the areas of project management and clinical operations. It gives me a lot of satisfaction that I am working in an organization which works to improve the health of underprivileged people across the world. Its approach is unique, right from vaccines to devices, and encompasses the whole gamut of healthcare. I have always wanted to work in a field that contributed to improving health and quality of lives.
Tell us about a passion of yours.
I am pretty addicted to televisions shows on National Geographic, History Channel, and Animal Planet. I love to cook, too!