Melody S. Benton was raised in New Orleans, LA, but moved away for 14 years after graduating from high school. Ms. Benton returned to New Orleans in September 2010, bringing with her an abundance of clinical research experience. Prior to joining the SCCSL, she was involved in the management of several clinical trials, while at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles and also participated in several clinical trial networks including Children’s Oncology Group and Society of Clinical Research Associates. She currently oversees all clinical trials in sickle cell disease ongoing at the SCCSL and has a history of success with the development and implementation of IRB protocols at Tulane University School of Medicine. Ms. Benton’s focus is to improve the quality and awareness of clinical research in sickle cell disease. She feels that engaging the patient is key in order to improve participation, health literacy, and dissemination of ideas and resources to increase patient participation in clinical research.