CTSI Blog

CTSI connects with Sandra Wells, ODAT Project Manager

Meet Sandra Wells, ODAT Project Manager. Sandra joined CTSI in January 2012.

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Need help? Contact Sandra directly at (612) 625-3073 or smwells@umn.edu.

Why do you work in clinical and translational research?

The translation of basic research findings into clinical studies is one of the greatest challenges of developing new therapeutics, diagnostics and treatment strategies for patients. Having worked in both academia and the biotech/pharmaceutical industry, I've developed an appreciation for the value of team science, and believe that academia can play a critical role in the early translational process. I'm excited for the opportunity to work in the CTSI, and look forward to contributing to the development of programs and partnerships to more effectively bridge the gap between basic and clinical research at UMN.

What does your typical work day at CTSI look like?

Since the Office of Discovery and Translation was only recently established, much of my time is spent working with Dr. Tucker LeBien to set up the operational components of the office. In addition, I regularly meet with faculty to discuss research ideas and interact with other offices and programs throughout the campus to explore new ways of identifying and supporting early stage translational research programs. We recently completed the review cycle for our newly initiated ODAT pilot grant program, so I have been busy reading proposals and overseeing the review process.

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

I spend as much of my free time as possible with my husband and twin nine year old daughters. I am also active in a nonprofit organization that provides national leadership in the development of programs, policies, and services on behalf of drug-endangered children and their families. I have been involved in this organization for many years and currently serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors.

What is your favorite or current read?

Although my usual reading consists of scientific journal articles, at the request of one of my daughters, I recently read the book "Slob" by Ellen Potter. This poignant story illustrates many of the intense challenges faced by children growing up today. I highly recommend this book to middle grade children and their parents.

Favorite quote?

"You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you."― James Allen, from "As a Man Thinketh"

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