Hi and welcome, I’m Marc and I’m a SEND nerd. I’ve been a SEND nerd for 8 years, 3 months and 22 days. The last time I referred to the SEND Implementation Guide was 2 hours and 16 minutes ago. This is what my life has become. That is what SEND does to you, and I can’t get enough of it…

I suppose to introduce myself correctly I should tell you that I’ve been in the business of creating nonclinical software for over 23 years and for the past 8 years, 3 months and 22 days I’ve been a CDISC volunteer developing the standard and I’m currently leading the team that is developing the standards for Pharmacokinetic data.

I can vividly remember my first SEND meeting. It was at FDA’s White Oak facility and I was the new kid on the block. I’d been volunteered to volunteer by my boss as the discussions were now focusing on DART and I’d designed and written large parts of our Provantis ReproTox data collection system so, I knew my stuff … or so I thought. As the discussions started, I soon realized I was way out of my depth. These people were actually speaking another language. There was talk of “Oh Rez” and “Strez Sea”. I had no idea what was going on, and I had 3 days of this. These were smart people; these were good people; these were nice people; but why couldn’t they just speak English?

My contribution over those 3 days was minimal. I spent the whole time running to catch up, and in the space between meetings, I was busy quizzing people about what these strange words actually meant. But at some point during those eventful three days, something happened…

I found the debate enchanting, captivating and fascinating. Learning about these strange SEND concepts and passionately exchanging ideas about how to use them to best represent the nonclinical data, got to me and I was hooked. And I’ve been a SEND nerd ever since.

I caught sight of myself in the mirror the other day and the lyrics of Robert Palmer echoed through my mind “You might as well face it; you’re addicted to SEND”.

I’m such a SEND nerd, that I’ve even taken to blogging about SEND. I want to share my thoughts and experiences on the challenges of working with SEND today, as well as optimistically thinking about the wonderful possibilities it offers for tomorrow.

Where will SEND be in a few years’ time?

What new things will SEND allow us to do?

This will be a bi-weekly blog and, thinking back to that first meeting at the FDA, I will start by sharing my thoughts on the unspoken question of “SEND: Why did they have to make it so damn hard?!

Be sure to check out that post on October 21st.


Published by Marc Ellison

Self-confessed SEND nerd who loves geek-ing out about everything to do with SEND. Active CDISC volunteer and member of the CDISC SEND extended leadership team. Director of SEND solutions at Instem responsible for all our industry leading SEND products and services.

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