UArizona Health Sciences Clinical Research Coordinator Nominated for Clinical Research Award

Friday, May 29, 2020

Daniel Pennington, a clinical research coordinator at the University of Arizona Cancer Center, was nominated for the Florence Effect, an initiative to celebrate, honor and connect inspiring clinical research professionals.


Daniel Pennington and Dr. Rachna Shroff

Daniel Pennington, a clinical research coordinator at the University of Arizona Cancer Center, has been nominated for the Florence Effect, an initiative to celebrate, honor and connect inspiring clinical research professionals.

Pennington, who joined the UArizona Cancer Center in 2018, works under the direction of Rachna Shroff, MD, section chief of Gastrointestinal (GI) Medical Oncology and leader of the GI Research Disease Team. Dr. Shroff nominated Pennington for the honor.

“I cannot say enough good things about Daniel,”  Dr. Shroff said. “From day one, he has been an inspiration to our entire GI disease-oriented team, and the reason he embodies this award is because he firmly believes in patient care and improving the lives of our cancer patients.”

“This honor came as a surprise,” Pennington said. “I did not know Dr. Shroff was nominating me, so when I heard about it I was like ‘what’s going on?’. I am not used to publicity, but it is a cool honor. I love the work I do.”

Pennington, whose wife, Eryn Vargo, is studying at the UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson, focuses on clinical research in GI solid tumors, including colorectal, hepatocellular, gastric, esophageal cancers, with a special interest in cholangiocarcinoma and pancreatic cancers. In his role, Pennington is part of the patient-facing staff, detailing and coordinating care for clinical trials patients.

“Our main focus is cancer care and improving clinical research,” Pennington said. “But I am also here to be a patient advocate. I want to be a light for them when they walk into the clinic because I know it can be a very dark point in their lives. We are here to provide them the best cancer care possible and give them a better overall quality of life.”

Pennington is part of a small, but effective clinical research team that  operates with a robust portfolio of clinical trials in GI malignancies. These trials include multidisciplinary treatment options for patients who can undergo surgery or radiation as well as trials for patients with advanced disease who need access to novel therapies. The team focuses on personalizing care for patients by offering cutting-edge treatments and understanding each patient’s cancer down to the molecular level.

“We have a great team dynamic,” Pennington said. “Dr. Shroff is a great leader that spearheads everything for us. She goes above and beyond to elevate us each day.”

“I feel like I get a lot of credit for things that we do, but really it is people like Daniel and the rest of our team that make us successful,” Dr. Shroff said. “Each and every one of them is an important spoke on this wheel. We could not function without the entire team, and they work incredibly well together. I wish I could nominate them all for awards.”

In honor of Florence Nightingale’s 200th Birthday, The Florence Effect is highlighting individuals who are making an impact in the field of Clinical Research – at Sites, Sponsors, CROs and other organizations. Throughout the month of May, nominations and voting are now open. For every nomination, The Florence Effect will make a donation to Greater Gift. In addition, the winner will receive a $500 American Express gift card.


About the University of Arizona Cancer Center
The University of Arizona Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center with headquarters in Arizona. The UArizona Cancer Center is supported by NCI Cancer Center Support Grant No. CA023074. With its primary location at the University of Arizona in Tucson, the Cancer Center has more than a dozen research and education offices throughout the state, with more than 300 physicians and scientists working together to prevent and cure cancer. For more information: us: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube).

About the University of Arizona Health Sciences

The University of Arizona Health Sciences is the statewide leader in biomedical research and health professions training. The UArizona Health Sciences includes the Colleges of Medicine (Tucson and Phoenix), Nursing, Pharmacy, and the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, with main campus locations in Tucson and the growing Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix. From these vantage points, the Health Sciences reaches across the state of Arizona and the greater Southwest to provide cutting-edge health education, research and community outreach services. A major economic engine, the Health Sciences employs nearly 5,000 people, has approximately 4,000 students and 900 faculty members, and garners $200 million in research grants and contracts annually. For more information: (Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn | Instagram)

NOTE: Photos available upon request.