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VOL. 132 | NO. 132 | Tuesday, July 4, 2017

St. Jude Names Thomas VP Of Clinical Trials Operations

By Kate Simone

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Tangie Thomas has joined St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as vice president of clinical trials operations. In that role, Thomas will lead support for clinical research at St. Jude and its affiliate sites, with duties that include implementing strategic goals, overseeing recruitment efforts and determining how resources are allocated for offices that support clinical research. Thomas previously served as director of clinical affairs at the Sarah Cannon Research Institute in Nashville.

Hometown: Henderson, Tenn.

Experience: B.S., biomedical engineering, Vanderbilt University; MPH, public health–epidemiology, The George Washington University. Director, clinical affairs, Sarah Cannon; senior manager, clinical operations, Chiltern International Inc.

What talent do you wish you had? I wish I had the ability to learn languages quickly. I love to travel internationally, learn other cultures, and would enjoy being able to easily converse with people I meet.

Who has had the greatest influence on you and why? My mother has had the greatest influence on me. I’m the youngest of five children and have always had a pretty independent spirit. In her own way, my mother has always encouraged me to be independent, have my own opinions, and to find my way and place in the world. I’ve often used the familiar expression “she gave me roots to grow and wings to soar” to describe my relationship with my mother.

What attracted you to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital? Like many people, I was motivated to come to St. Jude because of the mission and reputation. One of my young nephews was treated for acute myeloid leukemia and our experience with his illness had a profound effect on our family. During the interview process, I noticed immediately how nice and welcoming everyone was, and that hasn’t changed since I started working here. It’s been a really smooth transition and I feel like it’s an amazing time to be at St. Jude.

What are your goals in overseeing clinical trials at St. Jude? Utilizing my background and experience in the pharmaceutical industry, I hope to be able to share a different perspective and have an impact on how we implement and manage clinical trials. There is a significant investment being made to improve the technology and infrastructure to better support clinical trials at St. Jude, and I’m really excited to be part of the team helping to bring that technology on board.

You mentioned your background in the pharmaceutical industry. Can you elaborate on that experience and what it brings with you to this new position? My experience in the pharmaceutical industry has been focused on operationalizing clinical trials and ensuring that teams can run trials successfully by ensuring the right resources, systems and processes are in place. By taking a critical look at how trials are being managed and supported on all levels at St. Jude, I’ll be able to work with teams to determine how to improve overall trial delivery and ensure that we have the level of support in place for our current trials and continued growth.

In conducting clinical trials, how difficult is it to deal with the personal side of patients, especially young children who have serious medical conditions? It’s incredibly difficult to think about the serious conditions that the children who are being treated in our clinical trials are facing. However, I know they are receiving incredible care at St. Jude and have access to innovative clinical trials and the latest treatments. Since our family has been through the experience, I can relate to the uncertainty and fear that the families are facing. I also know that there isn’t a better place for these families to be than St. Jude.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment? For me, my greatest accomplishment is the personal relationships that I’ve been able to develop and maintain throughout my career. When I join a team, it’s personal for me and I work really hard to make sure that I invest in the people I work with and in their success as well as my own.

What do you most enjoy about your work? I love that each day I have an opportunity to learn something new about my team, St. Jude, the patients and myself.

If you could give one piece of career advice to young people, what would it be? I would encourage them to be prepared – whether it’s obtaining a good education, training or finding a mentor – they need to be ready when an opportunity is presented.


Denise Roe has joined St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as vice president for clinical research regulatory and quality management, responsible for leading key components of the hospital’s clinical trials infrastructure. Roe oversees regulatory and compliance aspects of the St. Jude clinical trial enterprise, while also recruiting and training the department’s staff. Roe previously was executive director of the Institutional Review Board office for Northwestern University.


Mesha Crump has joined Obsidian Public Relations as an account executive. Crump started her PR career at Obsidian in 2010 as an intern and eventually moved into a full-time position before relocating to New York City. She most recently served with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund in New York, where she helped develop and execute communication and fundraising strategies.



Matt Cotten has been promoted to managing director of Unum’s Memphis office. Cotten has been with Unum for more than 13 years in various roles. In 2015, he joined the Kansas City and St. Louis office as director of sales and client management.

KayLee Carman has joined White Door Events as a sales & event design representative. Carman will focus on outside sales and developing new clients and events locally, regionally and nationally for the Memphis-based event design and rental company.



Terry Burt has joined Folk’s Folly Prime Steak House as assistant manager, responsible for overseeing front-of-house and kitchen staff and operations. Burt previously worked with Amerigo Italian restaurants in Memphis and Jackson, Mississippi, for 17 years.

Levy Dermatology has added Dr. John Huber and Jodi Burgess to its staff. Huber specializes in surgical dermatology related to the detection and removal of skin cancers. He earned his medical degree from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, where he also completed his residency training and fellowship in Mohs micrographic surgery and cutaneous oncology. Burgess, a physician assistant, earned her Master of Science in physician assistant studies from Bethel University.

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