Kathryn Allred '17

Kathryn Allred quote


Kathryn Allred ’17, biotechnology, is a clinical research coordinator II at dōTERRA, an essential oils company based in Utah. Her research is focused on natural products, and she is currently pursuing her master’s degree in pharmaceutical chemistry from the University of Florida. Here she tells us a little more about what she’s doing and how UVU prepared her for to conduct clinical trials.

What was one of your favorite memories at UVU?

I loved my time at UVU and remember the years I spent there fondly. However, I think my favorite moments happened during my internship with InnovaBio, the on-campus research program for biotechnology students. I worked on a project in which I helped identify the origin of the blood meals in locally collected mosquitoes. This project gave me a lot of practical lab experience and also allowed me to explore the intricacies of mosquito biology and the impact of feeding patterns on mosquito-borne disease transmission. I loved that I was able to delve into a niche, yet fascinating, research area.

What was your path to your current career and why did you make these choices?

After finishing school in December 2017, I was left in a bit of a quandary. Due to personal circumstances I decided to not apply for graduate school at that time, and the path I had foreseen for myself didn’t appeal to me anymore. I took a few months to explore other opportunities and career options and eventually took a position as a Scientific Technical Writer at dōTERRA. While my degree was certainly useful in this position, it was perhaps a less common job role compared to the laboratory roles that my classmates would have taken. I accepted the position in March 2018. That same week, I received the notification that I was selected as a valedictorian to represent College of Science in the May 2018 convocation ceremony. This week represented a bridge between two eras in my life — the ending of my UVU days with an immense honor and the beginning of a bright career.

I’ve been with dōTERRA since 2018. I was introduced to clinical research in my last semester at UVU, and in my time at dōTERRA, my interest and enthusiasm for clinical research as a career blossomed. With the help of mentors and colleagues in the company, my role gradually shifted into clinical research. I was the first employee of the newly formed clinical research department back in 2019. Now I’m part of a growing team of researchers committed to exploring natural products through the lens of clinical research.

What are some of the key responsibilities of your role? What does a “day in the life” look like for you?

My primary responsibilities center around the preparation of the documentation for a clinical trial. I am the primary author of the research protocols, informed consent documents, recruitment materials, participant correspondence, and internal SOPs that accompany each clinical trial dōTERRA runs. I also facilitate the review of these documents by an institutional review board (IRB) to make sure we protect our research participants and run the clinical trials ethically. My day-to-day typically focuses on these processes.

When we have active clinical trials running, we begin our days bright and early as our participants come into our clinic for study visits. Study visits usually involve a series of questions, measurements, and assessments, and typically conclude with a blood draw. All our clinical research staff are certified phlebotomy technicians. After we’re done seeing participants for the day, we are busy maintaining the paperwork to keep our current studies running, as well as designing future studies. We also meet with collaborators, both internally and externally, to keep dōTERRA clinical research up to standard and moving along.

What is your favorite part of your job or what are you most proud of and why?

Because our department is still young at dōTERRA, I was in a unique position to witness the growth of the clinical research process from the ground up. I’m an analytical person, and I like that I’m able to build and scrutinize our processes. I get to think critically about how we’re running our studies and seek opportunities for improvement. I’m proud that I’m able to find innovative solutions to the logistical problems we encounter.

What is one of the key issues your industry is facing and your thoughts on addressing this challenge?

Natural products research is not a new field, but robust clinical research on natural products is sparse. The greatest challenge facing this industry may also be one of the best things about it — there is still a lot of work to do. It’s exciting to be part of the endeavor to contribute to the clinical research in this field.

What advice do you have for someone interested in clinical research?

In the past, UVU has offered a special topics course on clinical research. This was my first exposure to the history, regulations, and requirements of clinical research, and it has had a profound effect on my career. This is a great stepping stone and introduction for anyone interested in clinical research. In addition, there are many free certifications for Good Clinical Practice and Ethics in Human Subjects research. Both provide important foundational knowledge for clinical research and will be required for any job in the field.

What are three skills that you think contribute to professional success?

  • 1) INNOVATION MINDSET: Seek innovation in even the smallest ways. If you can find ways to improve your job’s routine, even minorly, it’s worth your investment.
  • 2) SELF-DEVELOPMENT: Take it upon yourself to develop your professional skills outside of work. Join societies and read scientific publications or journals in your area of interest.
  • 3) SELF-IMPROVEMENT: Learn how to give and receive feedback. Be vulnerable enough to ask your peers how you can improve and take their answers seriously.

What’s something about you that might surprise people?

Despite my laboratory training and experience, which my degree prepared me for, my strength and interest is mostly around scientific writing. My time at UVU helped me build a strong scientific foundation and gave me many opportunities to present my research, and these very tangibly prepared me for my career now.

Why does UVU matter to you?

I cherish my time at UVU and the many opportunities I was given while I was there. UVU genuinely embodies engaged learning and that gave me a fully immersive and satisfying college experience. I knew I was receiving a high-quality education with top-notch instructors at a university that constantly made room for me to get involved. I suppose that’s why I still love UVU so much – it truly was a place for me.


Utah Valley University is proud of the impact our more than 100,000 alumni make in diverse industries. Visit uvualumni.org for more Wolverine Stories and alumni and student networking programs. For opportunities to give back to UVU, go to uvu.edu/evergreen.