CTSI Profile: Jenifer Allen

November 6, 2018

As a research program leader, Jenifer Allen works with the CTSI’s TransPop team in Kannapolis to support projects, including the MURDOCK Study and Project Baseline. Jenifer’s day-to-day activities include managing project effort and deliverables, and providing guidance to maximize recruitment and retention.

Jenifer began her career at Duke and most recently worked at the Sarah Stedman Nutrition Center before joining the CTSI. Since relocating to Kannapolis, she’s been able to maintain connections with Durham-based researchers, including Dr. Julia Scialla’s team that’s working on understanding the relationships between diet, gut microbiota, differences in metabolism, and the risk of kidney disease.. She enjoys guiding research teams through their studies, from revising forms to building REDCap databases.

“One thing I love about my job is having the opportunity to help others,” Jenifer said. “If the investigator is able to focus solely on the science throughout the lifecycle of the project, the research team understands their value in collecting quality data, and the participant feels our appreciation for their contribution to science, then I go home happy.”

Since joining CTSI, Jenifer has gotten the opportunity to work on larger projects. She’s learned how to transfer her experience from working on smaller studies to a larger scale, but she’s also appreciated learning from her colleagues about how to streamline processes and increase efficiency.

“I have a NASA saying I like - ‘Failure is not an option,’” Jenifer said. “I take a similar approach to research. We’re trying to figure out the best way to advance healthcare and get meaningful information back to our participants as quickly as possible.”

Outside of work, Jenifer and her family have enjoyed exploring her new home in the Charlotte area. Jenifer’s husband has been busy preparing for the opening of his brewery, Southern Strain Brewing Company, and Jenifer enjoys completing household projects, riding bikes to the park, and playing with her 1-year-old daughter. Based on advice Jenifer received from Dr. Bryan Batch, a researcher she worked with during her first clinical trial, Jenifer feels empowered to tackle everything in her personal and professional life.

“I’ve always admired investigators who accomplish such great work and have families,” she said. “Dr. Batch used to say, ‘Take it one day at a time.” As I let small achievements build and grow in my career, I know I’ll achieve great things.”