Amanda Galster, MPH, CCRP, was recently elected by her peers to be on the Society of Clinical Research Associates (SOCRA) board of directors. Galster is chief operating officer for research with the Aegis Consortium, a new UArizona Health Sciences center committed to pandemic research and response. She also is executive director of the PASC-RECOVER research program, which is a national NIH-funded research program to better understand how people recover from COVID-19 and the long-term challenges that many people face.
“I feel truly honored to have been nominated and elected to the SOCRA Board of Directors,” said Galster, who has been a member of SOCRA for 18 years. “In this role I will help to guide the educational programming of the organization. Personally, SOCRA has provided me with a tremendous opportunity for professional growth through poster presentations, speaker opportunities and helping to develop training programs.”
Galster came to UArizona Health Sciences last year from the University of Minnesota after her son decided to attend Arizona State University. “I was looking for positions in research in Arizona, and found this incredible opportunity with UArizona Health Sciences,” Galster said. “The faculty and staff have been very welcoming, and I am energized every day by the creativity and energy they bring.”
SOCRA is a non-profit, charitable and educational membership organization that provides education, certification and networking opportunities to clinical researchers in all therapeutic areas, supporting industry, government and academia. Galster received her SOCRA certification in 2006, representing a level of competence and knowledge in human subjects ethics, regulations and best practices.
“Amanda is deeply embedded in the clinical coordinator world, having worked her way up the ladder from being a coordinator herself to becoming a top manager of clinical studies,” said Galster’s supervisor, Janko Nikolich-Žugich, MD, PhD, director of the Aegis Consortium, and head of the Immunobiology Department at University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson. “She is kind, attentive, efficient, and beloved by coordinators that work for her and other coworkers at all levels. It is a great honor for us that our key member was elected to a prestigious national leadership position, and it speaks of the quality of our own leadership,” said Dr. Nikolich, who also is co-director of the UArizona Center on Aging and a member of the BIO5 Institute.
As Galster prepares to take on her leadership role in SOCRA, she said she is grateful for the experience and perspective her first year at UArizona Health Sciences has given her. “In coming from another higher education institution, one thing that really stands out here is the great collaboration across the Arizona universities, state and county government, and many other organizations,” Galster said. “The coordinated response to the challenges of the pandemic is very impressive, and the innovation that came out of UArizona Health Sciences is having a great impact.”