CTSI Blog

CTSI connects with Melissa Hansen, Research Navigator

Meet Melissa Hansen, MLS, CTSI's Research Navigator. Melissa joined CTSI in December 2011, where she serves as the first point of contact for research teams at the University and in the community, connecting them with experts, information, and resources to conduct and learn about clinical translational science research.

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Melissa received her Bachelor of Arts In Psychology and Master of Liberal Studies from the University of Minnesota. She comes to CTSI from the Minnesota Area Health Education Center (AHEC), where she had served as Program Coordinator since 2008. Melissa also brings eight years of experience working on research teams in the Department of Pediatrics, the Masonic Cancer Center, and the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

Need help? Contact Melissa directly at 612-626-2318 or ctsi@umn.edu.


Why do you work in clinical and translational research?

I value contributing to exploration and progress in improving health care and human services. I also really enjoy the diversity of challenges that arise in the process of planning and implementing research projects. It is satisfying to help address problems and to learn new ways to approach questions.

What does your typical work day at CTSI look like? 

As Research Navigator, I handle a wide variety of questions about CTSI services and programs from all manner of communication and all kinds of stakeholders in clinical research. If I cannot answer a question myself, I identify the best person or resource within the CTSI. I try to learn as much as I can about the many facets of the CTSI to help represent the organization well. Each morning I review the requests for services in the CTR Portal and field the requests to the appropriate review committees. In that role, I ensure that the reviewers have the appropriate information to carry out their review, and I follow up with the investigators and study staff on the outcomes of the review. I also contribute to the development of the Clinical Translational Research Portal by providing feedback from my experience supporting research teams as they use our resources and tools.

What do you like to do when you're not at CTSI? 

I like to engage in the arts, in all sorts of mediums. I love film, theater, literature, and visual arts. People never cease to amaze me with their skill and creativity. I also knit, sew, and free-range cross stitch. I am knitting my first sweater right now.

What is your favorite or current read? 

The Pearl by John Steinbeck is my favorite book; I also enjoy Ernest Hemingway, Arthur Miller, and Louise Erdrich.

Favorite quote? 

"I am not young enough to know everything." -Oscar Wilde or "Make it work!" - Tim Gunn

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