Rachel Randell, MD
2022 Recipient of the Gary S. Gilkeson Career Development Award
Title of Project: Optimizing Adherence in Pediatric Lupus Using an App-Based Medication Diary
Mentor: Laura Schanberg, MD
About the Researcher
Dr. Rachel Randell is from Durham, North Carolina. She completed medical school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where her clinical rotations sparked an interest in caring for patients with chronic diseases as well as patient-centric research. Prior to graduation in 2015, she conducted several research projects using the internet to study inflammatory bowel disease which led to multiple publications and presentations. Dr. Randell completed Pediatrics Residency at Duke (2015-2018), where she discovered the field of Pediatric Rheumatology and joined the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance. She completed a year as Chief Resident prior to starting Pediatric Rheumatology Fellowship at Duke in 2019. During fellowship, she saw some patients have miraculous responses to treatment, while other patients had ongoing challenges from lack of response, intolerable side effects, or difficulty with adherence. It seemed like patients with lupus were more likely than patients with other diseases to have these types of challenges. To better understand why some patients respond well to treatment, and others do not, Dr. Randell decided to pursue additional training in Clinical Pharmacology. As part of this training, she is obtaining a Master’s Degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School and a completing a clinical research fellowship at the Duke Clinical Research Institute. Recently, she served as sub-investigator and medical monitor for iPERSONAL, the first “direct-to-family” trial in pediatric lupus. She is now working on several trials and observational studies of therapeutics. Dr. Randell is developing a unique combined skill set in Pediatric Rheumatology, Clinical Pharmacology, and Clinical Research, with an emphasis on patient-centric and “direct-to- family” methods that leverage technology. She is thrilled to work on a patient-centric project studying medication adherence, applying her research skills and interests while addressing a critically important issue affecting care for lupus.
Around half of children and teenagers with systemic lupus erythematosus do not take medications as prescribed. A consistent and accurate way of measuring how patients are taking medications is critically needed to investigate why this problem exists and how to fix it. I will partner with patients and families of children and teenagers with lupus to create a medication adherence diary as part of an existing app, and then test usability and satisfaction of the adherence diary app. These results will be used to design a future study to determine if recording medications on an app can help patients take their medications as prescribed and improve their health over time.