Allister Aradi

Allister Aradi

Allister Aradi
Clinical Trials Coordinator

 

As my parents will tell you, I started begging for pets before I even had hair growing on my head. They were both adamantly against having animals in the home, but after years of relentless persuasion, I finally talked them into a hamster named Ginger. I then graduated to two veiled chameleons – Desi and Lucy – who thrived in our South Florida climate. 

By middle school, I’d worn my parents down enough that they let me adopt a Chow mutt with a purple tongue. We named him Bear. He grew up with me all through middle and high school and was my best friend. 

From my very first pet, I was sure I wanted to have some kind of career working with animals. I was set on becoming a veterinarian but circumstances and experiences guided me toward research. 

I graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in biomedical sciences. I went on to get a Master of Science in microbiology and immunology in 2014. 

I have worked at Colorado State since 2012. I started as a student working with Dr. Marianna Szucs in the Department of Agricultural Biology, studying adaptive evolution in novel environments using a red flour beetle model.

Once that project finished, I was hired as a student lab assistant for Dr. Santiago Dipietro in the biochemistry department. Dr. Dipietro and his team kickstarted my passion for benchtop research, where I learned dozens of classical biochemistry techniques and assays. His invaluable mentorship prepared me for future research positions at the Animal Cancer Center. 

After that, I spent a year and a half in Dr. Daniel Gustafson’s pharmacology lab running various in vitro and in vivo experiments. I performed multiple toxicity and efficacy studies using tumor-bearing xenograft models to test combination therapies, such as radiation and novel chemotherapeutics, for the treatment of human head and neck squamous cell carcinomas. 

My dream of working with dogs fell right into my lap when I got hired as the Clinical Trials Coordinator at the Flint Animal Cancer Center. My role consists of helping to plan the execution of each trial, sample collection, data management, and medical records keeping.

I love that I get to meet pets and their owners every day. This job is the perfect mixture of my research background and my love for animals. There is no “typical” day and with 20-30 active trials every year, I’m always learning something new. 

When I’m not working, I’m a hobbyist musician. I like to unwind by playing drums or guitar. I’ve also spent the last few years growing and propagating indoor plants. Rosie, my chondrodysplastic Golden Staffie, is famous at the Flint Animal Cancer Center. If she’s not protecting the office with her not-so-subtle vocals, she’s often spotted outside wearing a colorful hoodie, chasing geese like a menace.

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