Michele Sample, BSN, MSci

Vice President Late Development Oncology Clinical Operations
AWIS member since 2023

“Never give up when you know you are doing the right thing for patients.”

AWIS Member Michele Sample

What’s the most important leadership lesson you’ve learned?

One of the most important lessons was it’s about the people you are leading and less about you.

What do you consider to be your most important career achievement or milestone?

Building an organization in Oncology that had one asset to developing more than three with approvals in different indications.

What do you aspire to accomplish in your career and why? What obstacles will you overcome?

My aspiration is to coach, mentor and develop the next generation of leaders in Oncology clinical operations. The responsibility to conduct clinical trials, inclusive of patients that can benefit from cancer therapy, is the most rewarding position. Oncology clinical operations is the combination of science and execution, both critically important to the success of new medicines. My ability to have leaders that can continue the work already started would be tremendously rewarding. The only obstacles are the various pressures of the industry and clinical trial execution; combined with other opportunities in the wide range of STEM careers, individuals often leave this field.

Describe an amazing opportunity in your STEM career.

I had the opportunity to work in a pre-clinical laboratory, it was my opportunity to learn the basic science of drug development which helped me later in my career.

How was AWIS helped you professionally and/or personally?

Although I just recently joined, I have followed some of the presentations, events and activities that have encouraged my development.

What is your favorite word?


How do you define it?

Ensuring you are in harmony with yourself, nature and those around you. In order to have “peace” you must first embrace harmony.

How has this word influenced or inspired your career?

Encouragement from members of AWIS I have interacted with during my career, the women have supported and mentored me.

What are you currently reading or listening to?

Behold the Dreamers

What do you consider the best professional or personal advice you’ve ever received?

Never give up when you know you are doing the right thing for patients.

Michele Sample is a trained clinical operations expert with over 25 years of clinical trial experience. She joined AstraZeneca in 2020 as the Vice President of Late Development Clinical Operations and leads the global team of Clinical Operations experts to execute the Oncology portfolio. Michele is passionate about reimaging clinical trial execution with a focus on-site engagement and decentralization of clinical trials. Her main research interest include oncology clinical trial execution excellence, increasing diversity in clinical trials and health disparity and equity.