SCRI, Accord Scientific Team Up to Bring More Biotech Professionals to Tennessee
SCRI, Accord Scientific Team Up to Bring More Biotech Professionals to Tennessee
Nashville-based Sarah Cannon Research Institute (SCRI) has teamed up with Accord Scientific LLC, a professional placement firm, to help recruit top talent to fill the center's growing biotech needs.

The partnership, which began in July, is already bringing top researchers into the state and employment is expected to soon grow at SCRI from 160 to 220 since its announcement that it would also expand into the areas of cardiovascular illness.

SCRI is primarily known for its cancer research support, but now supports research in a variety of fields such as gastroenterology, cardiology, rheumatology and pediatrics. It is involved in more than 200 clinical trials in 25 states and has a national network of 500-plus physicians. SCRI specializes in clinical research support services for physician groups including contracting, budgeting, quality assurance and regulatory compliance. Through its clinical trials, innovative treatments and resources have been provided to patients and their families.

SCRI recently merged with Summit Research in Memphis to continue its research and is now one of the largest community-based research support programs in the nation. Currently, there are an estimated 1,700 patients in SCRI clinical trials and that number is expected to increase to 7,000 by 2011.

Laurie Crook, founder and CEO of Nashville-based Accord Scientific, said the partnership with SCRI is a great opportunity for the company. Accord Scientific focuses on staffing and recruitment of employees in the biotech field, clinical research and life science across the southeast.

"The Sarah Cannon Research Institute just started about three years ago and my company did about the same time," Crook said. "I was local and there were no other recruiters focusing on that niche. We have this ability to help them with their clinical needs, research nurses, clinical research associated, study managers and regulatory folks. To be able staff their team from infancy to now is great. It's growing fast."

Susan Fuqua, human resources director for SCRI, said Accord has been a valuable resource for SCRI's professional recruitment needs.

"They have accommodated the tremendous growth at SCRI by understanding the company, evaluating our specific needs and attracting qualified professionals for the job," Fuqua said.

To date, Accord has placed 14 professionals at SCRI and has another 19 openings currently being recruited.

"We qualify talent, interview them, and put them through the whole hiring process," she explained. "We're there to facilitate everything. Because HR gets bogged down with benefits and other administrative stuff, they didn't have anybody to help focus on their recruiting. We're the only recruiting vendor working with them. It's not an exclusive agreement, but we're the only one on-site. We know on our end that we can fulfill all their needs. We're so niched in biotech, we know that if they have a legal need, we'd have to outsource that. But, with biotech, research nurses, regulatory associates, study managers, quality assurance auditors and contract specialists, they trust us."

Accord Scientific's senior recruiter Jason Bradberry devotes time on-site each week to assess the institute's evolving requirements and ensure SCRI's needs are being met.

"It's exciting to be part of the growth at the Sarah Cannon Research Institute, one of our nation's most highly regarded research institutions that is pursuing critical treatments for the world's most vexing diseases," Crook said. "Our mission at Accord Scientific is to help improve public health by finding the best minds in biotech and matching them with the most accomplished and fastest growing businesses. It's an honor to use our resources locally and nationally to help the Sarah Cannon Research Institute achieve its very important mission."

SCRI was created by Tennessee Oncology PLLC and HCA in 2004 and is dedicated to advancing solutions for patient care through research programs; conducting oncology clinical trials; and offering management, regulatory and other research support services to drug development sponsors and strategic investigator sites in ten therapeutic areas.

"It's a wonderful company and easy to recruit for the because of the people over there," said Bradberry. "The people we recruit and have placed there end up loving it. Now, we've been asked to be on-site with a company called BioMimetic Therapeutics. They are a small but rapidly growing company with 60 employees, but have 43 openings for 2007. It's a great opportunity for us and for them to be the first to fulfill their needs."

SCRI plans to make more trials available to more people in the communities where they live. With a network of more than 500 physicians conducting clinical trials in 25 states, SCRI is one of the largest community-based research support programs in the United States.

April 2007