By Michael Matulka
The day-to-day activities that keep research going make up a large part of what Amy Moore does so well as research study supervisor with the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC) at the University of Washington (UW). But sometimes kind it's the small things like answering a question, providing a listening ear, or just saying "thank you" to a research study participant that help grease the wheels of the research engine. For the last three and a half years, that's exactly what Moore has done.
After receiving an M.S. in family studies with an emphasis in gerontology from Purdue University, Moore wanted to work in the field of aging. As she says, with her interest in gerontology, "I have been fortunate to have continuously found work in a field I love." Before joining the UW ADRC, Moore worked as a case manager for older adults at risk of abuse, neglect and exploitation, and on various research studies about adults and older adults.
As a research study supervisor, Moore uses her past experience, organizational and management skills to keep many research studies on task and on time. These studies include: Reducing Disability in Alzheimer's Disease, Quality of Life in Dementia, Treating Agitation in AD Patients and the Seattle Longitudinal Study. An example of some of the work Moore does entails compliance with requirements of the UW Office of Research, Human Subjects Division. Moore ensures that each research study meets the high ethical human subjects standards set by the UW. This includes writing consent forms, which explain rather complicated technical research goals and procedures in plain English. In addition, Moore spends time recruiting people to participate in research studies at the ADRC and retaining participation by taking the extra time and effort to keep participants informed about proJects and opportunities and addressing their questions and concerns. Moore considers one of her most important responsibilities to be the on-going training and supervision of research interviewers. She explains,"Ensuring that our interviewers gather reliable and valid data is essential to the experimental process."
Moore's work also involves acting as a liaison between study participants and researchers, as well as researchers and their granting institutions. Moore's experience, patience and understanding are essential to insure that each part of the research relationship is in place and working, whether it's collecting or analyzing data, filling out the paper work for the study or answering questions.
Since much of her work is "behind-the-scenes," Moore discovered that she missed direct contact with older adults, which has always been an important part of her life. This led her to volunteer with the Shoreline Lake Forest Park Senior Center, which matched her with an elderly blind woman who lives independently. Moore helps by paying the bills, balancing the checkbook and performing a whole host of other essential tasks that would be considerably more difficult without her. Commenting on her volunteering, Moore says, "It's a wonderful relationship, I get so much out of it." Outside of her work, Moore spends as much time as possible with her two daughters. Moore's interest in soccer, tennis and reading help round out her personal life.
Moore's personal ethics, kindness, organization, and knowledge shine through her work, enabling those at the ADRC to accomplish their research goals. Helping to meet these goals on a daily basis is part of the excellence Moore brings to the quality of research at the ADRC.