PhD statisticians with collaborative skills are heavily sought after in academic medical centers. The combination of technical expertise as well as interpersonal skills results in a “dynamic duo” of traits that are imperative for long term collaborative relationships. However, many faculty positions suited for collaborative statisticians are soft-money, which require nearly 100% of their salaries to be covered by external funds (i.e. NIH grants). Depending on the funding climate at a particular institution, some statisticians are forced to collaborate with any and all researchers that walk through their door rather than restricting collaborations to a focused content area. In this talk, I will discuss my experience as a collaborating statistician at a large academic medical center, from working on an adolescent depression study as a graduate student researcher to leading a data coordinating center (DCC) for a multi-center clinical trial consortium in polycystic kidney disease. I will highlight interesting methodological problems as well as describe how this experience motivated my interesting in improving the clinical trials infrastructure and led to the creation of a Center for Clinical Trials & Data Coordination (CCDC).