NORDP 2018 Conference Cameo: Matthew T. Rondina

#NORDP2018 starts Monday, May 7 in Arlington, VA. Keep checking back here at the blog and on our Twitter feed (@NORDP_official) for live conference updates. Register here: http://www.nordp.org/conferences.
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Who: Matthew T. Rondina, MD, MS
Where: University of Utah
Number of years in research development: 10
Length of NORDP membership: 2
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 1
How do you unwind? In my off time, I unwind by traveling and I enjoy a variety of sports, such as climbing and biking. Last year I was fortunate enough to travel to Scotland and mountain bike the Scottish Highlands. I have a true love for the outdoors and adventures.

I started my research career in medical school. Early on, I recognized the need for research development professionals. At that time, kind and patient people helped me learn the ropes of preparing IRB proposals, recruiting participants, writing grant applications, and collecting data. Those experiences and others embedded within me the desire to build collaborative, productive relationships with research development professionals.Matt Rondina

Fast forward a few years, and now my day looks a bit different. In addition to seeing patients in the University of Utah Thrombosis Clinic, I serve as Precision Medicine Foundation Director for the Utah Center for Clinical and Translational Science and am the Associate Director of the Molecular Medicine Program. I am also fortunate to have an NIH-funded translational research lab and work with many talented people, such as Antoinette “Toni” Blair. I could not possibly do my research without a team of dedicated and knowledgeable people willing to work collaboratively.

While I have always relied heavily on the guidance of research development professionals, I don’t think I completely connected these dots until I attended the NORDP conference in 2017. In my various positions, including my role as a research mentor, I always advocate for research development. I feel it is important that we empower research professionals to feel comfortable proposing, developing, and implementing ideas for research. As one concrete example from my own research program, we historically tended to recruit participants through standard approaches, such as newspaper advertisements. When my project coordinator, Toni, suggested that we consider an alternative strategy for recruitment and amend our IRB’s resources to add Research Match (www.researchmatch.org), I was initially skeptical. However, I trusted her instincts and Toni very quickly brought this important recruiting tool onboard for our studies. This resulted in us meeting and, in some cases, exceeding our recruitment milestones. I am immensely grateful that Toni took the initiative to leverage this important resource for our program, as she has done innumerable times since.

I am a strong advocate for research development at my institution. I believe we should fully support efforts to build and develop a robust community of research professionals that help each other and the greater scientific community. While uncomfortable at times, we need to recognize the increasingly dynamic environment of research and be nimble enough to adapt with change. I have identified my project coordinator, Toni Blair, as a rising star in the community of researcher professionals. We are proud to support her attendance at her first NORDP conference in 2018. I look forward to participating in what will undoubtedly be an outstanding meeting.

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We hope to see you at the Conference, which will be held May 7-9, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, VA.  For more information about the conference program or to register, visit http://www.nordp.org/conferences. Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2018 updates.

NORDP fosters a culture of inclusive excellence by actively promoting and supporting diversity, inclusion and equity in all its forms to expand our worldview, enrich our work, and elevate our profession.

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