Rethinking Clinical Trial Engagement Through Collaboration

Rethinking Clinical Trial Community Engagement Through an End-to-End
Collaborative Approach

It’s no secret that improving clinical trial participation is essential, and it takes intentional
effort and careful planning to bring this goal to fruition. Rethinking how we approach
community engagement, with a focus on collaboration, can help drive results and build trust
in underserved communities.

In this presentation from Lightship’s Sepehr Shojaei and Acclinate’s Shayla Wilson,

  • Novel, collaborative approaches to community engagement for clinical trials, starting
    from the top of the research funnel
  • Case studies that demonstrate the success of our efforts in improving trial access,
    inclusion, and equity
  • Examples of innovative education and outreach strategies, from mobile research
    units (MRUs) to community volunteering

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About the Presenters

Sepehr Shojaei

Vice President, Design Solutions — Lightship

Sepehr Shojaei serves as the vice president of design solutions at Lightship, leveraging his
15 years of experience in clinical research operations to champion a patient-centric
approach. Motivated by a commitment to underserved populations, he joined Lightship to
prioritize access, choice, and equity in clinical trials, ensuring no group is left behind.
Drawing from roles at institutions like UCLA, USC, City of Hope, and Science 37, Sepehr
employs novel and innovative strategies to enhance clinical trials. Sepehr holds a Master of
Public Health from the University of Southern California and a bachelor’s in biological
sciences from UC Irvine.

Shayla Wilson

Head of Community and Digital Engagement — Acclinate

Shayla Wilson, Acclinate’s head of community and digital engagement, is a seasoned public
health advocate with a 15-year track record of fostering inclusive health communities.
Passionate about addressing health inequities in historically excluded communities, Shayla
leads Acclinate’s NOWINCLUDED community, spearheading unique initiatives to mobilize community members to make better-informed health decisions including participating in
clinical research. Formerly Vice President of Digital Strategy at Evoke KYNE, Shayla
directed award-winning global health campaigns for biopharma and nonprofit clients. Her
expertise also extends to public health communications research with the CDC and
Department of Veterans Affairs. Shayla holds a Bachelor of Science in chemistry from
Spelman College and a Master of Public Health in health behavior and health education
from the University of Michigan. Based in Washington, D.C., she balances her impactful
career with a commitment to her partner and daughter. Shayla thrives at the intersection of
science and communication, finding joy in delivering nuanced public health messages and
behavioral campaigns to diverse communities.