Lieutenant and Research Nurse Matt Lindsley Shares His Experiences and Public Service Role

Matt Lindsley

Lieutenant Matt Lindsley

As many of us adjust to working from home and changing societal conditions, it is important to recognize those who continue working outside the home to keep the rest of us safe.

Our very own Matthew Lindsley, MPH, MSN, RN PHNA-BC, is a Lieutenant in the United States Public Health Service and was recently deployed to aid in the COVID-19 response mission in Washington state for an extended number of weeks.

As a Research Nurse Specialist for the NCI’s Center for Cancer Research, Neuro-Oncology Branch, Matt helps patients with brain and spine tumors who come to NIH for treatment. Matt leads the coordination of several clinical trials, from the development of the study until all the patients have finished treatment and the study is completed. He also serves as a care provider for the patients and keeps in touch with their medical concerns and needs between appointments.

To ensure that all the clinical trials are performed with integrity and achieve the goals of the research protocol, Matt reviews the study requirements in detail and collaborates with the physicians, scientists, and nurses in the Neuro-Oncology Branch to collect, document and submit data from participants. “My role requires knowledge of standard clinical care, expertise about the research protocol, and problem-solving skills,” shares Matt.

Matt has coordinated clinical studies for both investigational treatments such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and vaccines as well as non-treatment studies to review brain tumor images and learn about the patient’s disease trajectory.

His involvement in a diversity of work at our clinic makes him a valuable member of the research nurse team, which he says is the part of his role he values most. “To be surrounded by upbeat colleagues, who bring their expertise to the table and willingly share it, makes me feel so appreciated,” says Matt. “I enjoy celebrating milestones with patients and families and sharing profoundly personal life events with them.”

In the three years he has worked at NIH, Matt says he is motivated everyday by his patients who have an unrelenting spirit to not give up, regardless of their disease and treatment challenges. “From an initial interaction through email or over the phone, to arrival and enrollment on a trial, I find purpose in guiding patients and their care takers through the research process,” he says.

Photo collage of Neuro-Oncology Branch research nurses

Matt has found it is impossible to not reflect on one’s own life during this time. He has noticed that most people simply want to help someone else or contribute to science.

Through Matt’s COVID-19 deployment support mission, he is extremely thankful for his colleagues who have stepped in to maintain his workload during his absence. As a branch, we are wholeheartedly thankful for his service, and are grateful for his safe return.