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Staff Profile: Fujan Simorgh, CCR Financial Assistant

For some, Fujan Simorgh’s role as a financial assistant at the Center for Clinical Research (CCR) may appear monotonous. But her tasks do not exclusively entail numbers and spreadsheets; rather, she is an essential piece in the interconnected puzzle accelerating Northwestern University’s Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences (NUCATS) Institute’s collaborative success. 

Graduating from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a bachelor’s in finance, Simorgh has nurtured a fondness for mathematics and communication strategy. In her current day-to-day, a keen eye for detail is necessary to maintain proficiency in her role. 


Being patient with yourself and others is crucial when your work is directly tied into the work and operations of 20 to 30 different individuals.”

Fujan Simorgh, Center for Clinical Research Financial Assistant

“Think about all the times that you had to do personal finances and how frustrating it can be to gather the information about your own spending habits, dates, and names… Now, imagine keeping track of that times 100 over. I am known among friends and family as having a fairly strong memory, but the number of small details that cross my screen on a daily basis can become a bit overwhelming,” Simorgh said.

To conquer this feeling, Simorgh finds motivation in social interaction. She is comforted by her growing network of NUCATS colleagues and friends.

“I wish more people knew about the absolute gems of human beings that I get to share my time with here. The level of diversity, talent and above all kindness is truly heartwarming and I wish more people could enjoy interacting with them as much as I do.”

Managing the financial end of industry-sponsored studies means that a lot of Simorgh’s work functions under a static routine. She is periodically tasked with checking accounts, interpreting numerical data, and ensuring that funding has been allocated in the proper ways. To enrich her responsibilities, Simorgh engages in varied interpersonal dynamics.

“I do get to enjoy a lot of daily interactions with almost everybody, short of the patients themselves, that keeps this big operation up and running. My achievements are not only measured in quantities, but also the qualities. I treat every day and every problem like a puzzle that can only be solved through teamwork and learning a bit of what another team member contributes to the progression of this larger picture.”

Approaching her role as a puzzle has instilled in Simorgh a greater inclination for creativity. But sometimes, her puzzles take time to solve — even if all the social and numerical pieces are laid out in front of her. She attests that persevering with patience fosters opportunities for growth. 

“There are so many things to learn and after you have learned all of it, there is still more to know. Sometimes, there will be things that will just stay ambiguous, and it's vital to understand that. Being patient with yourself and others is crucial when your work is directly tied into the work and operations of 20 to 30 different individuals.”

As for her personal puzzle, Simorgh regards family as the fundamental piece to her inclusive picture. She moved to Chicago from Tehran, Iran, in 2013, and her family considers the city to be their home away from home. In fact, she sees Chicago as an added member of her family. 

“Chicago holds a very dear place in my heart. It is like your favorite grandma, always so welcoming and nurturing, sometimes dramatic, very bold, surprisingly diverse, and the best part is you will always be well-fed.”

Whether she’s crunching data, allocating funding for the next breakthrough in medicine, or interacting with her colleagues-turned-friends, it is clear Simorgh is a welcome member of the NUCATS family.

Written by Alex Miranda

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