September 21, 2020

Meet Natalie Morris, B.S., Research Assistant, Brain Imaging Research Center

Natalie MorrisHow long have you worked at UAMS? How long have you been in your current position?
I have worked at UAMS for the last 8.5 years, starting off in the Women’s Mental Health Program. I have been in my current BIRC position for the past 3 years.

What is your favorite part of the job?
The wide variance of my job responsibilities is my favorite part. Working on multiple protocols with varying experimental targets and study populations keeps things interesting during day-to-day activities.

Are there any challenges?
Well, my favorite part of the job can also be the most challenging. I wear many hats, and in a given day I can go from completing psychometric assessments on a 9 year-old child, to then running a MRI scan on an adult participant with active cocaine use disorder.

How does your work assignment interact with others?
We are active in the community as it is our main recruitment source, and bringing awareness of the practical side of neuroscience is a goal near and dear to the Brain Imaging Research Center. Depending on the study target population, we recruit from domestic violence shelters, substance abuse treatment programs – including UAMS’ very own CAST program, inpatient recovery centers, and even middle schools. We have also had great success pairing with the TRI and using the AR research registry for study recruitment purposes.

How do you/your group handle problematic issues?
I work with a great group of people here at the Brain Imaging Research Center that all support one another, both at work and outside of work. It is a very open environment, and I have no reservations discussing any problem that should arise knowing that my happiness is a priority as an employee here.

How many protocols do you work on annually?
Right now, I am working on seven different protocols with two more in the works.

How about after hours? What do you do for fun?
Though it might seem counterintuitive as something I do for fun, I’ve worked at Trios Restaurant as a side gig for the last 8 years as well. I really love my coworkers there and enjoy restaurant culture as a whole, having worked in both front of the house and back of the house. Additionally, it has fostered my own culinary interests. I enjoy cooking/baking for family and friends outside of both jobs.

Morris on travel

 

When I’m not working, I love traveling and spending time with my dog, Hank.

 

 

Natalie Morris and HankWhat personal skill or hobby don’t most people know about you?
I love music and have an extensive vinyl record collection, so much so that I have a self-imposed moratorium on purchasing more records until I part with some I currently have. Needless to say, I’ve been at a standstill for months now.

Any last thoughts on your work as a Research Assistant in the Brain Imaging Research Center?
We are always looking for study participants! Check out our website and come get your brain scanned!