PI Savors Opportunity to Advance Medicine

“Without clinical research, there would be little if any development of new medicines,” says Isabelle Schenkenberger, MD. “I’m proud and excited to be a part of it.” 

Dr. Schenkenberger is especially proud of her clinical trial research work in heart health, noting most new drugs never make it to market. She’s been involved in several trials that have made a difference for patients, including Entresto, a drug that’s been “a big step forward for heart failure patients,” she says. 

After working in COVID-19 related trials over the past few years, she’s also excited about research in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), arterial hypertension, and treatments for damaged knees. 

“It’s interesting and exciting” to be involved in the early stages of new drugs and treatments that may improve human life, she adds.  

“Before I moved into clinical research, I thought it would be boring,” laughs Dr. Schenkenberger, today, looking back a few decades before she became a Principal Investigator (PI), basing her opinion previously on only seeing a few protocol documents and other occasional encounters.  

Dr. Schenkenberger now believes making the move from physician to a full-time PI in 2004 was one of the best moves of her professional life. “As a PI, I’m able to build a much deeper connection with patients than I could in a traditional hospital setting,” she says. “It’s rewarding on a number of levels,” she adds. “I can take the time to really understand a singular patient’s health journey because I’m working over a longer period of time with fewer patients than when I was working at a hospital.” 

Dr. Schenkenberger appreciates the opportunity that being a PI gives her to “partner with patients” and be able to collaborate with them to provide more advice and options to improve their care.  

Shifting to PI work has also improved her work/life balance, she notes. “Being a PI is definitely more family-friendly, with almost no evening or weekend work,” which is very different from the life of a physician working in a busy hospital environment. 

An Internal Medicine Specialist since 2000, Dr. Schenkenberger has practiced at her own clinic since 2002. She studied human medicine at both the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg and the Free University of Berlin. After graduating, she worked at the Auguste-Viktoria-Klinikum in internal medicine with a focus on cardiology, angiology, diabetology and emergency medicine from 1990 to 2004. Dr. Schenkenberger has also served as a Principal Investigator since 2004. 

Founded in 2002 as Klinische Forschung Berlin GbR and acquired by Velocity Clinical Research in 2023, the experienced team at Velocity’s dedicated research site in Berlin conducts clinical trials across a broad variety of indications. The site has 2 full-time investigators and cooperates closely with specialists for internal medicine, orthopedics, neurology, and cardiology. 

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