Click to go to previous articleClick to go to next article
Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on Linkedin

Departmental Spotlight: Tariq Syed

The results of research get all the glory, but before those results can be discovered, it must begin. That’s where Tariq Syed, a Research Coordinator in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, comes in. Syed supports all of the department’s research programs, including clinical research activities and the fellowship and residency research programs. Syed supports medical students from Texas A&M and residents from Houston Methodist who need help with research projects. He serves as research liaisons and provides administrative regulatory support to ensure everything is in line with institutional policies and guidelines.
Tariq Syed, MS
“Basically, my role is to help promote and develop our department research program. That's pretty much in a nutshell what I do here,” said Syed. Syed supports a wide range of clinical trials and investigator-initiated studies for the Department. One of the ways he does this is to find patients willing to participate in clinical trials. It’s a fitting position for him as he enjoys interacting with patients, which was something that drew him to his position. In college, Syed worked in a doctor’s office and occasionally was called on to answer phones, check patient appointments and greet those coming in for appointments. After he completed his education, he was working in a lab, and his work required him to collect patient samples for benchwork research. This piqued his interest and motivated him to get into the field he has now been in the past 10 years. “I like the interaction rather than just being in a lab, sitting at my desk and working on a computer all day,” he said. In his day-to-day work, Syed meets with physicians to identify potential patients for ongoing studies. He prefers the physician or the medical assistant to evaluate the patient first and introduce them to the study. If the patient agrees to participate in the research trial, Syed gets to work on enrolling them in an appropriate study and get the necessary paperwork and documentation completed. He answers specific questions about the study, as well as any concerns the patient might have regarding their participation in a research trial. He remains in contact with the patient for the duration of the study and during follow-up visits, which sometimes goes on for years and creates a long-term relationship between Syed and the patient. He’s there for the patients even if they want to reach out beyond normal working hours. “We are an academic center, so we make sure the patients understand that we have trainees and residents who are also doing their training and that research is plays an integral part in order to improve clinical outcomes and provide better patient care opportunities,” he said.