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Staff Q&A: Garett Griffith, MPH

Garett Griffith

Garett Griffith, MPH, clinical research manager, facilitates clinical research projects in the Ken and Ruth Davee Department of Neurology.

Where are you originally from? 

I was born and raised in the western suburbs of Chicago, about 15 miles outside of the city. After having lived in Indiana for six years for school, I moved back to the area in 2014.

What is your educational background?

I received a Bachelor of Science in physical education from Butler University (go Bulldogs!), a Master of Science in clinical exercise physiology from Ball State University and a Master of Public Health in health policy and administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Since one of the best parts of working at a university is taking advantage of the education benefits, I’m pursuing a doctorate degree in health sciences from Rush University.

Please tell us about your professional background.

I’ve been working as the clinical research manager for the Ken and Ruth Davee Department of Neurology since April 2018. Prior to that, I worked in the Integrative Physiology Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Chicago as a laboratory manager and senior research specialist. Additionally, I served as the data and evaluation manager for the Health and Aging Department of Rush University.

Why do you enjoy working at Northwestern?

I take a lot of pride in working for Northwestern and am happy to be able to contribute to an internationally renowned university. It’s been great to get to know peers in various departments across campus and continue to develop my professional network, and I’ve benefited tremendously from the mentorship of others on administrative and clinical research committees. The collaborative environment has been very welcoming and I’ve enjoyed the supportive interactions with individuals both within and outside of the Department of Neurology.

How do you help scientists or research students at the medical school?

I organize the Department of Neurology’s Clinical Research Steering Committee, which includes a representative from each research division and provides a venue for open communication between investigators and departmental administration. By managing the feasibility assessment process for upcoming clinical research studies, I advocate for investigators’ needs and work to support them by ensuring resources are available to ensure the success of their projects. I am lucky to be on several clinical research and administrative committees and help problem-solve when unique circumstances arise for new or ongoing trials. Further, I act as a liaison between our research students and staff and the various research entities on campus, helping them navigate the research process at Northwestern. Additionally, I oversee the onboarding process for clinical research staff within the department and am the access program liaison for the Department of Neurology.

What is your favorite part of the job?

My job involves facilitating clinical research projects across all of Neurology’s divisions, which puts me in a unique position to appreciate the breadth and diversity of ongoing and upcoming studies within the department. I enjoy supporting investigators as they pursue their clinical research interests, and knowing that the longer-term impact of our work will be improved medical care for the patient cohorts with whom we work.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I feel like the physical education major in me never left, and so most of my spare time is taken up playing in various recreational sports leagues around the city and in the suburbs. An average week for me involves three or four softball games, one to two ultimate Frisbee games, and a few volleyball games (depending on the season). I have always enjoyed running, and having moved closer to campus about a year ago means that I get to run along the lakefront, which I do several times each week. I have been lucky enough to visit some national parks in recent years, and I like hiking and backpacking with my friends. This past summer, we spent a week near Mount Rainier and in the Cascade Range in Washington.

Anything else we should know about you? 

I’m a published author, with one poem and two manuscripts in print and a few additional articles under review and in preparation — I’ve always enjoyed writing and hope to continue to get involved in more opportunities to do so.

Connect with Griffith on LinkedIn.