Incoming ACRP Board Chair Looks to Expand Diversity, PI, Workforce Initiatives

David Morin

David Morin, Director of Research, The Holston Medical Group

“I like to restore things that are broken,” says Dave Morin via online chat from his home in Tennessee on a cold morning in December 2021. “I like to bring them back to their past glory.” At this moment, he’s literally talking about his side interest in woodworking, but in a sense, he could be talking about his entire professional career as a healer. “As a physician, I try to determine what’s gone wrong in order to mend it,” he adds.

Morin, MD, FACP, CPI, FACRP, takes the reins as the 2022 Chair of the Association Board of Trustees (ABoT) for ACRP in January as the next stage in his long and distinguished career and years of active volunteerism with ACRP. Currently Director of Research with Holston Medical Group, he has participated as a principal investigator (PI) in hundreds of studies (Phase I–IV) since 1989.

Far from broken, ACRP has a record of success and a strong foundation for future triumphs, Morin says. “I’m excited to help ACRP as an organization help its members further advance the quality of their incredible work,” he notes. “The clinical trial industry passed the COVID-19 test by working together with purpose, dedication, and talent. I believe our best days are ahead of us and I look forward to being part of it as ACRP’s ABoT Chair.”

Morin is passionate about enhancing the role of PIs in clinical trials and believes ACRP has a vital role to play in the work. “We need to confront several questions, including understanding what motivates a physician to become a PI, and what makes for a quality PI,” he says.

Morin is also a firm believer in the value of training and certification. “Certification is a surrogate marker for quality,” he says. “It’s about pushing yourself to become better.” He attained Certified Principal Investigator (CPI) status in 2007, became an ACRP Credentialed Clinical Research Trainer (CCRT) in 2010, and joined the ranks of ACRP Fellows (FACRP) in 2017. He also received the “Outstanding Physician Leadership in the Profession” award from ACRP and the Academy of Physicians in Clinical Research in 2012.

In addition, Morin is excited about helping ACRP members grow in the profession. “Decentralized clinical trials and other factors are changing the clinical trial landscape, and we need to help the workforce adapt so it can thrive today, tomorrow, and into the future,” he says.

As Chair of ACRP’s ABoT, Morin is committed to contributing to the Association’s diversity initiatives in both the professional workforce and trial participant populations. “Diversity is good science,” he notes. “We need to help widen the tent in clinical researcher to better represent the full population, both in the workforce and in the volunteers who make clinical trials possible.”

Morin also has a wide range of experience as an author, speaker, and entrepreneur. He is the Founder/CEO of Trike, LLC, which developed the SiteOptex® Software System currently being used at various U.S. sites to optimize research efficiency. Past activities include serving as adjunct clinical faculty for East Tennessee State College of Medicine, employee health director for Bristol Regional Medical Center, medical director of a contract research organization and accountable care organization, and as a consultant to the pharmaceutical industry.

Author: Michael Causey