MNCCTN Partner Staff Spotlight: Bri Wyatt
While MNCCTN is based at the University of Minnesota and led by the Masonic Cancer Center, MNCCTN's research is conducted at sites throughout Greater Minnesota. These sites are led by MNCCTN Partners: Essentia Health, M Health Fairview, Mayo Clinic Health System, Metro-Minnesota Community Oncology Research Consortium (MMCORC), and Sanford Health. MNCCTN's Partners are integral to the network's work and progress, and we could not enroll participants throughout Minnesota with MNCCTN Partners and sites. Altogether, 135 people are working with MNCCTN in some way statewide. These roles include investigators, research coordinators and nurses, project managers, regulatory staff, lab and pharmacy staff, and more. We want to highlight the incredible work that MNCCTN Partner and site staff do.
MNCCTN's first Staff Spotlight is Bri Wyatt, MSN, RN, Clinical Research Project Manager for Sanford Health. Bri has worked with MNCCTN for two years, and she is a member of the MNCCTN Operations Committee and Workforce Development Strategic Action Group. Learn more about Bri's career path to research, what she enjoys and finds most challenging in research, and recommendations she has for people interested in research or just starting out in their career.
What are your general responsibilities in and outside of MNCCTN as Clinical Research Project Manager for Sanford?
I’m a clinical research project manager and have been with Sanford for three and a half years. My primary focus and passion is MNCCTN and oncology research, but I also currently support our neurology and stroke research portfolios, as well as some GI, ophthalmology, and surgical projects, both industry-led and investigator-initiated.
What was your career path before your current role?
I’m a nurse and absolutely adored my time in the NICU at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital. While I was completing my Master’s program in Clinical Informatics, I worked in oncology prior authorization. My program placed emphasis on healthcare project management concepts that I really enjoyed exploring, which combined with my connection to the oncology specialty led me to my current role.
What are three words that describe your team at Sanford and the research community?
I would describe both my teammates at Sanford and the research community we interact with as adaptive, passionate, and collaborative!
What is your favorite part about working in research? What is most challenging?
The best part about working in research is helping to expand treatment options for patients and making an impact in clinical decisions. MNCCTN’s goal to extend accessibility of oncology trials to rural Minnesotans is such an important concept in our area of the country. There’s also a lot of opportunity for career growth in research that I hadn’t experienced in previous roles.
I often say I’m challenged by the tempo of research in general, which can be painfully slow in some instances – my fast paced background sometimes anxiously shows!
What qualities and skills do you think are important for a job in research?
Creativity, thorough communication, and attention to detail are certainly helpful characteristics in many research jobs. Independent problem solvers who are not hesitant to dig for their own answers are key to our progress!
What recommendations do you have for someone interested in research or just starting out in their career?
I think being passionate about and engaged in the populations you serve really helps job satisfaction and progression. Attend any conferences you can, explore certifications, and build relationships with your investigators and their areas of interest.