Jennie Thai’s Journey Through Lurie Children’s

Stories in: Research

Jennie Thai is a Research Compliance Coordinator here at Lurie Children's and has been part of our amazing team for four and a half years.

"I've always done the research -- even in my undergraduate years," Jennie remembers.

I went to the University of California in Santa Cruz and participated in an intensive major in Psychology, which means it was more research-based. 

The research aficionado moved from San Francisco to Chicago over eleven years ago in search of change -- and a change she did receive. Jennie took the plunge in moving to the Windy City without friends or even a job lined up for herself when she arrived. She says the lower cost of living is what compelled her to move to Chicago, but Lurie Children's is what made her stay.

Jennie was collaborating on a study with a different organization regarding smoking sensations when she was informed of a part-time study here at Lurie Children's that was hers for the taking -- but Jennie's journey to Lurie Children's certainly wasn't an easy one.

Unfortunately, Jennie was struggling with mental health. One of her fondest memories of being with Lurie Children's is the support she received in regard to her mental health. Having such a supportive staff has helped her feel as comfortable as possible in the workplace.

There was an event being held in a building that was a source of trauma for me. I explained to my supervisor that I didn't feel comfortable spending time there. She was so understanding about it. She moved the event to a different building, and I really appreciated that.  

A supportive staff is only one of the many aspects of Jennie's work life that keeps her coming back every day. The developmental growth and collaborative culture really allow her to be her best and most authentic self.

It has been a very great four and a half years here. My supervisors throughout my time have been very supportive of my developmental growth. 

In her day-to-day work life, Jennie typically reviews submissions for accuracy and ensures that it is in line with policies and procedures.

The weight of the task of going through large amounts of submissions across the department isn't lost on Jennie. She says that this fosters a culture at Lurie Children's that is both "very supportive" and collaborative. More often than not, the team offers to take parts of the workload off of the back of others in order to keep operations running smoothly--but Jennie has a bit more of a responsibility on her hands.

Ensuring that Lurie Children's is a safe space for the LGBTQ community is also a priority for Jennie, so she aids in setting the standard on how to conduct research with them 

I identify as queer, so when submissions come in dealing with the LGBTQ community, I can serve as a separate set of eyes to be sure that no exploitations are occurring and that all protections are put in place, something that’s important for vulnerable populations. 

Working at Lurie Children's is a lot like working with family. The spirit of support, collaboration, and career growth run rampant throughout the facility. For people looking to join Lurie Children's, Jennie is the current secretary of the Clinical Research Professionals Education and Mentoring Committee. She urges new employees to take part in the innovative program. 

Lurie is a great community. Previously, other institutions that I've worked with didn't have as collaborative an environment as we do here at Lurie Children's. I find that the CRTs are very supportive. We are very open to questions, and help researchers navigate their IRB submissions and anything else they may need guidance on. 

Here at Lurie Children's our goal is to support you and foster a community that promotes growth. If you're willing to learn like Jennie Thai and are excited about working alongside our brightest minds, apply today!