Common Fund Staff Biographies
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Dr. Elizabeth Wilder is currently the Director of the NIH Office of Strategic Coordination (OSC). This Office is a component of the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives (DPCPSI) in the NIH Office of the Director, and is responsible for management of the NIH Common Fund. Dr. Wilder received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Hendrix College, a Ph.D. from Northwestern University in molecular and cell biology, conducted postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School in developmental genetics, and served on the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. She has held a position at the NIH since 2002, working first at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), and then joining the Office of the Director in 2008. Throughout her time at the NIH, she has focused on trans-NIH programs, serving as coordinator of the NIH Roadmap Interdisciplinary Research Working Group and co-chairing the NIH Multiple Principal Investigator Policy Implementation Committee. She also participated in the earliest efforts to develop an operating framework for the NIH Roadmap, helping to establish guidelines for the administration of these cross-cutting collaborative initiatives. In her current role as Director of OSC, she is extending these activities to foster trans-NIH program management through the Common Fund.
Dr. Ravi Basavappa received his Ph.D. in biophysics from the University of Chicago for studies on the structure of tRNA. He then was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School in virus crystallography. Prior to joining NIH, he was associate professor of biochemistry and biophysics at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, where he studied the structural aspects of mitotic control by targeted protein degradation. At Rochester, he also was a research scholar of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America and director of the Biophysics and Structural Biology Program. He joined NIH in 2004 as a program director in the Division of Cell Biology and Biophysics at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), where he managed a portfolio in the biophysical properties of proteins, helped initiate the EUREKA program for high-risk high-reward research, and was the AIDS Coordinator. He joined the Office of Strategic Coordination in 2010.
Dr. Tyler Best joined the Office of Strategic Coordination in 2019 to serve as a Program Officer for the Human Biomolecular Atlas (HubMAP) and the Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions (SPARC) Programs. He recently came from Booz Allen Hamilton where he was a contractor with DARPA from 2013-2019. While a contractor at DARPA he supported program development and management of DARPA funded research activities including the ElectRx, TNT, and SIMPLEX programs. Dr. Best earned his Ph.D. in neuroscience in 2007 from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), studying the impacts of overexpression of a potassium channel on synaptic physiology in a mouse model of Down syndrome. As a postdoc at Northwestern University from 2007-2010, he explored the mechanisms by which a subset of hippocampal interneurons undergo spontaneous action potential firing initiated in the distal axon. From 2010-2012, while at Urogenix Inc. a subdivision of Astellas pharmaceuticals, Dr. Best evaluated the functional properties and circuitry controlling motoneurons in the lumbar spinal cord which elicit ejaculation.
David Bollweg joined The Common Fund in the Office of Strategic Coordination as a program specialist contractor in May 2016. Prior to joining the Common Fund, Mr. Bollweg attended Yale University and received his bachelor’s degree in the history of science, medicine, and public health in December 2015. During his time at Yale, Mr. Bollweg’s studies focused on the historical evolution of medical treatments for mental and sexual health issues. His work at Yale culminated in a senior thesis on the history of anti-vaccination movements and their relation to the current HPV vaccines.
Dr. Cheryl Anne Boyce joined the Office of Strategic Coordination in May of 2021 to lead the Transformative Research to Address Health Disparities and Advance Health Equity program. Previously, she served as Chief of the Implementation Science Branch within the Center for Translation Research, and Implementation Science (CTRIS) at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). Before joining NHLBI, she held scientific program and policy leadership positions at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH), NIH Immediate of the Director, and White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. She completed doctoral studies in clinical psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and fellowships at the Children’s National Medical Center and University of Maryland School of Medicine, before she began her federal career as a Society for Research in Child Development/American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Executive Branch Policy Fellow.
George Bramhall is a contractor providing budget consulting services within the Office of Strategic Coordination (OSC). These services include primary oversight of the NIH Common Fund appropriation during all phases of the budget cycle: execution, formulation, and presentation. Mr. Bramhall is a 1990 graduate of Bridgewater College, in VA, with a B.A. in business administration. He comes to the OSC with over 17 years of budgeting experience at the NIH. His NIH experience began as an accounting technician in the NIH Office of Financial Management, progressed as a budget analyst at both the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), and ultimately as the budget officer for the NINDS from 2005-2006.
Strategic Planning, Evaluation, and Communications Team Leader & Communications Director
Dr. Rachel Britt is currently a Health Specialist and Communications Director in the Office of Strategic Coordination (OSC). She helps to ensure awareness and maximum impact of NIH Common Fund programs through communication and evaluation. Dr. Britt joined OSC in 2013 as Science & Technology Policy Fellow through the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Prior to her fellowship, she studied DNA repair processes in B-lymphocytes of the human immune system as a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Southern California from 2010-2013. She began her studies of DNA repair as a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry in 2010.
Operations Team Program Analyst
Tony Casco joined OSC in January 2015 as a program analyst contractor, assisting with the management and implementation of Common Fund programs. Mr. Casco has served NIH in a variety of capacities since he first joined the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) as an intern in 2004. After completing his bachelor's degree in economics from Boston College in 2008, Mr. Casco returned to NINDS to serve under the assistant director for science administration. During that time, he helped run the NINDS Summer Internship Program and earned his Certificate of Accounting. He transitioned to National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) as a budget analyst and then had a brief tenure at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) within the Office of Planning and Operations Support before joining OSC. In his decade-plus service to NIH, Mr. Casco has contributed to critical systems programs including QlikView - a data visualization tool that has since been adopted by multiple institutes. He received an NIH 2014 Director's Award for his contributions to the QlikView data visualization administration team.
Other Transactions Team Lead
Jennifer Cho is delighted to serve as a Lead Other Transaction Agreements Officer in the Office of Strategic Coordination at the OD. Jennifer has nearly 20 years of research administration, grants and OT experience at 4 institutes for the National Institutes of Health: (NIDA, NHLBI, NIDDK and NIGMS), and in the grantee community (Columbia University). She serves on numerous Institute and trans NIH working groups and has been honored to garner awards for her contributions, including Director’s Awards at 3 Institutes.Jennifer is a dual degree alumna of Northwestern University, where she received a B.A.and B.Mus. in 1999.
Division of Other Transactions (DOTM) Executive Assistant
Renee is a contractor with Rose Li & Associates. From 2016 to 2021, Renee worked as an Executive Assistant with American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB). Prior to her time at ASBMB, she worked for ten years supporting Americans United for Separation of Church and State. She has a Master of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary and a Bachelors from the University of Southern California.
Dr. Richard Conroy joined the Office of Strategic Coordination in 2017. Prior to joining the Office, Dr. Conroy was the director of the Division of Applied Science and Technology at the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), where he oversaw the institute’s portfolio of programs in biomedical imaging. While at NIBIB, he also served as a coordinator for the Common Fund Single Cell Analysis and 4D Nucleome Programs. Dr. Conroy received his Ph.D. from the University of St. Andrews and M.B.A. from the University of Maryland University College.
Senior Advisor to the OSC Director
Dr. Stephanie Courchesne-Schlink earned her Ph.D. in neuroscience from Harvard University. Her research focused on neurotrophin signaling in the development of sensory and motor neurons, as well as pathological disease states that occur when neurotrophin signaling and downstream cellular responses are altered. Dr. Courchesne-Schlink was a Science and Technology Policy Fellow with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in the Office of Strategic Coordination from 2010-2011. In 2011, she joined the Office of Strategic Coordination as a Health Science Policy Analyst. From 2014 to 2019, Stephanie was the Team Leader for Policy, Planning, Evaluation, and Communication. In 2019, she became the Senior Advisor to the OSC Director.
Other Transactions Specialist
Julie De Santis joined the Office of Strategic Coordination (OSC) within the Division of Other Transactions Management (DOTM) as an Other Transaction Agreement Specialist in November 2020. Prior to joining OSC, Julie worked at The Henry M. Jackson Foundation as a Program Manager for the Center for Prostate Disease Research (CPDR). There she managed the overall coordination of a multi-site research program, within the Tri-Service Military Health Care System, ensuring timely and effective delivery of support for CPDR’s scientific and technical goals. Julie received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from The Catholic University of America.
Operations Team Program Analyst
David Dzamashvili joined the Common Fund in the Office of Strategic Coordination as a program analyst contractor in February 2020. Prior to joining the Common Fund, Mr. Dzamashvili worked with The World Bank Group’s BPSPS (Budget, Performance Review and Strategic Planning). He brings years of experience in the financial industry. David received a Master’s in Financial Management and a Master’s in World Economy and International Relations.
Ms. Kristina Faulk joined the NIH in 2001 as a research assistant in the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases at the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases. Her research focused on pathogenesis and immunogenicity of Hepatitis C and E viruses, and GB virus B. Prior to joining NIH, Ms. Faulk was a research assistant in DuPont’s Agricultural Biotechnology division working on insect and disease resistance of rice plants, and a contractor in DuPont Merck’s Pharmacokinetics unit, which focused on HIV therapeutics. Ms. Faulk received her bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Delaware and her certificate in technology transfer from the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences. She is currently pursuing dual master’s in biotechnology management and business administration through the University of Maryland University College. Ms. Faulk joined the Office of Strategic Coordination as a Health Specialist in 2013.
Dr. Yvonne Owens Ferguson joined the Office of Strategic Coordination in 2021 as Program Leader with the Transformative Research to Address Health Disparities and Advance Health Equity program. Previously, Dr. Ferguson served as a Scientific Review Officer (SRO) with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) where she facilitated the peer review of contracts and many complex, high-profile grant reviews. At the Center for Scientific Review (CSR), Dr. Ferguson served as the SRO for the Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health (DIRH) Study Section from 2017-2019. Prior to joining NIH, Dr. Ferguson conducted large-scale regional and program evaluations as a senior global health research consultant with non-profits, governments and civil society organizations in the United States, Switzerland, and the Caribbean. Dr. Ferguson completed her post-doctoral training conducting community-engaged research as a Kellogg Health Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-Chapel Hill) Gillings School of Global Public Health. Dr. Ferguson received her Ph.D., with a certificate in International Development conducting research in sub-Saharan Africa, and received her MPH in Health Behavior, also from UNC-Chapel Hill.
Health Science Policy Analyst
Dr. Brionna Hair joined the Office of Strategic Coordination in 2020. Prior to joining the Common Fund, she served as a Health Statistician for the Health Resources and Services Administration, where she managed and conducted research on federally qualified health centers. Previously, she was a Cancer Research Training Award Fellow at the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Hair received a Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, focusing on gene methylation in breast tissue. She also holds an MPH in epidemiology from Emory University and a BA in environmental studies from Brown University.
Associate Director of Management, Evaluation, and Communications
Scott Jackson received his bachelor’s degree in industrial and systems engineering from Georgia Tech, focusing on information systems and industrial/organizational psychology. He received a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Georgia. Mr. Jackson came to the NIH in 2005 as a Presidential Management Fellow and worked in various offices within NIH and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of that fellowship. He began working in the precursor to the Office of Strategic Coordination (OSC) in 2006. Following his fellowship, he was hired into the OSC as the Process Manager, and later served as the Team Leader of the Common Fund Operations Team and Acting Team Leader of the Policy, Planning, Evaluation, and Communication (PPEC) Team. Mr. Jackson now serves as the Associate Director, overseeing the Operations and PPEC teams and all administrative matters for the office.
Common Fund Data Ecosystem (CFDE) Coordinator and Project Manager
Dr. Kano joined the Office of Strategic Coordination in 2021, where she helps integrate data from multiple common fund programs with the Common Fund Data Ecosystem. Previously, Dr. Kano worked as a program manager with the Department of Veterans Affairs where she provided strategic program management support to the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Innovation Ecosystem. In that role, she managed a large and complex support team and worked closely with program leadership to shape and execute strategic priorities. Christy received her Ph.D. in Molecular Medicine from the George Washington University.
Executive Assistant to the Director
Karen Kellton joined the Common Fund in the Office of Strategic Coordination as an Executive Assistant to the Director. Before joining our office, Karen worked at the NIH Center for Scientific Review since 2016 as an administrative assistant, doing program management support, administrative operations, meeting logistics, and application tracking/processing. Prior to that, she served in several roles that focused on physical activity and personal training. Karen earned dual bachelor degrees in Athletic Training and Exercise Science from Towson University.
Common Fund Data Ecosystem (CFDE) Data Coordinating Center Engagement Director
Dr. Kinsinger joined the Office of Strategic Coordination in 2020, where he helps integrate data from multiple Common Fund programs with the Common Fund Data Ecosystem. Previously, Dr. Kinsinger worked as a Program Director of the Clinical Proteomic Tumor Analysis Consortium (CPTAC) in the National Cancer Institute, where he led operations for data management and biospecimen processing for the proteogenomic characterization program. In this role, he oversaw development of the CPTAC Data Coordinating Center and the Proteomic Data Commons, a node of the Cancer Research Data Commons. He also managed the CPTAC biospecimen collection pipeline, consisting of over 30 tissue source sites and served as a scientific mentor for the American Association of Cancer Research’s Scientist Survivor Program for patient advocates. Chris received his Ph.D. in computational chemistry from the University of Minnesota in 2004, studying oxidation mechanisms of bioinorganic complexes. He then completed a postdoc at the National Institute of Standards and Technology where he investigated potential energy surfaces of gas-phase dissociation of peptides.
Health Science Policy Analyst
Dr. Wendy Knosp joined the Common Fund in the Office of Strategic Coordination in 2019 as a Health Science Policy Analyst. Prior to joining the office, Dr. Knosp was the legislative liaison for the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) and a team lead in the NIDCR Office of Science Policy and Analysis. She received her Ph.D. in Molecular and Medical Genetics from Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon, focusing on the genetic regulation of limb development. Dr. Knosp then completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco in the area of growth factor signaling and organogenesis. She came to the NIH in 2010 as a senior post-doctoral fellow in the NIDCR intramural research program and joined the NIDCR Office of Science Policy and Analysis in 2015.
Dr. Patricia (Trish) Labosky joined the Office of Strategic Coordination in 2012. She earned her Ph.D. from Wesleyan University studying the differentiation of pluripotent stem cells, and did her postdoctoral training at Vanderbilt University where she furthered her interest in stem cells and early development generating some of the first germ line competent embryonic germ cell (EG cell) lines. After her postdoctoral work, she was an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania from 1997 - 2006. In 2006 she moved to Vanderbilt University where she was a tenured associate professor in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology and the Center for Stem Cell Biology. She was also a scientific co-director of the Vanderbilt Transgenic Mouse Embryonic Stem Cell Core and the faculty director of postdoctoral affairs. Dr. Labosky's research focused on studying genes that control normal development of the mammalian embryo and mediated cell lineage decisions in multiple disparate stem cells. Her lab was funded by multiple NIH awards and foundation grants and resulted in many publications.
Mr. Nicholas (Nick) Leake received his master’s degree in biomedical sciences from Florida State University, where he worked on gene expression, chromatin formation, and DNA conformation in early Drosophila embryogenesis. Shortly after graduation, he joined the Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration. He performed health inspections on private companies with an emphasis on laboratories, hospitals, and explosions. He joined NIH in January 2016 at the Division of Occupational Health and Safety overseeing programs such as oxygen monitoring and respiratory protection as well as performing inspections at NIH’s Biosecurity Level 4 laboratories in Frederick, MD and Hamilton, MT. Mr. Leake joined the Management Intern program within NIH where he learned several administrative areas including budget, human capital, evaluation, and program management. He joined OSC as an Operations Team member.
Dr. Rebecca N. Lenzi earned her Ph.D. in biology at Georgetown University in 2007, with a concentration in molecular and cellular biology. Her doctoral work focused on the transcriptional regulation of the ADE genes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. She completed postdoctoral work from 2007 to 2010 at the U.S. Military HIV Research Program, where she studied immunogenetic factors influencing HIV infection and clinical disease course, uncovering specific alleles contributing to protection from HIV in East African populations. Dr. Lenzi served as a program officer at the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, for studies in wide ranging areas from traumatic brain injury to human gene transfer. She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Science in biology and a minor in art history.
Lead Other Transaction (OT) Agreements Specialist
Jo Magnaye joined OSC’s Division of Other Transactions Management (DOTM) in June 2020 as lead other transactions (OT) agreements specialist contractor, bringing over 20 years of experience in agreements administration (contracts, cooperative agreements, grants, and other transactions) and compliance monitoring for federal agencies, US non-profits, international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), for-profits, foreign and local governments, and higher education institutions. Ms. Magnaye previously provided OT agreements administration services to the Office of Strategic Coordination (OSC) for the Data Commons project, from 2018-2019, as the sole OT agreements specialist at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). Prior to specializing in other transactions, she also served as a grants management specialist at other agencies: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD, now an Institute, NIMHD), both as a contractor and a federal employee. From 2009-2012, she specialized in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act awards management. Ms. Magnaye also has experience working with a foreign government as a highly technical consultant/subject matter expert (HTC/SME) for awards administration for the Philippine Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) from 2013-2015. Her interest in helping and working with higher education institutions is also evident in the various stints at US colleges and universities: George Washington University (GWU), Montgomery College (MC), University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), and the University System of Maryland at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG). Ms. Magnaye earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Baltimore.
Other Transaction (OT) Advisor
Teresa Farris Marquette is a retired NIH Grants and Other Transaction Officer with 37 plus years of federal service. She joined the Division of Other Transaction Management in spring of 2020 as an OT Advisor. Teresa has worked at several Institutes and Centers managing grants and cooperative agreements (NIDDK, NICCIH, NINR and NHLBI). Until she retired in spring 2019, Teresa was a Supervisory Grants Management Officer for NHLBI and the NIH OD’s All of Us Program. She was the first Other Transaction Officer for NHLBI, and her OT portfolio consisted of several research programs such as NHLBI Bio Data Catalyst, Cure Sickle Cell, NIH OT’s for DPCPSI Data Commons and NIH OD/CIT STRIDES.
Public Affairs Specialist
Lauren Mazzoleni joined the Common Fund in the Office of Strategic Coordination as a public affairs specialist contractor in August 2020. Prior to joining the Common Fund, Ms. Mazzoleni acted as a communications specialist contractor for the National Cancer Institute’s Center of Biomedical Informatics and Information Technology (CBIIT), curating written and visual content across several communication streams for the cancer research, data science, and informatics community. Lauren received her bachelor’s degree in Digital Arts and Media Studies from Saint Michael’s College.
Dr. Becky Miller joined the Office of Strategic Coordination in 2014. She serves as the program officer for the NIH Director’s Early Independence Award and assists in programmatic management and outreach for the High-Risk, High-Reward Research program. She did her postdoctoral work at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) studying mosquito transmission of drug-resistant malaria. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame studying genomic variation in malaria parasites and was a GLOBES NSF IGERT fellow. She studied population genetics and phylogeography of mountain whitefish for her M.S. in molecular biology and received a B.S. in zoology, both from Brigham Young University.
AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow
Dr. Katelynn Milora joined the Office of Strategic Coordination in August of 2020 as a Science & Technology Policy Fellow through the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Prior to her fellowship, Dr. Milora studied immunological responses to neuron-specific measles virus infection in the brain and central nervous system as a postdoctoral fellow at Fox Chase Cancer Center from 2017 to 2019. She received her PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from Temple University School of Medicine in 2017, where she researched the effects of IL-36 cytokine signaling during homeostasis and inflammatory stimuli in epidermal models of autoimmunity and infectious disease.
Operations Team Leader & Grants Management Advisor
Mr. Michael Morse the Operations Team Leader and a grants management advisor to the Director of the Office of Strategic Coordination (OSC). He facilitates the communication of funding decisions from OSC to the grants offices of the administering NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) and provides grants guidance and support to both the OSC and the IC Grants Offices. Mr. Morse earned a bachelor's degree in business management from the University of Maryland. He spent 14 years in the banking industry before joining NIH. In 1990, he went to work for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) as a grants management specialist. He worked there for over a decade before moving to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) as the deputy chief for their grants office. He was involved in training for grants specialists and seminars for the Society of Research Administrators. He left the government for a brief period, and returned to grants management work, this time on the NIH Roadmap, now known as the Common Fund.
Operations Team Program Specialist (NIH Guide Liaison)
Ms. Ellie Murcia received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Goshen College. She received a master’s degree in international education from the University of Massachusetts. Ms. Murcia came to the NIH in 2000 as a program analyst in the Office of the Director at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). She began working with the NIH Roadmap since its inception in 2004 and stayed when it transitioned into the Common Fund with the NIH Reauthorization in 2006. Ms. Murcia is a program specialist and serves as the NIH Guide Liaison for the Common Fund and is part of the Operations Team supporting the four programs of the High-Risk, High-Reward Research initiative and the Transformative High Resolution Cryo-Electron Microscopy program.
Scientific Program Analyst
Ms. Sonynka Ngosso serves as a Scientific Program manager for Common Fund programs related to bionformatics and big data, somatic cell genome editing, social and behavioral sciences, undiagnosed diseases, and data science applications in Africa. She joined the Office of Strategic Coordination (OSC) in 2017 as a scientific program analyst for the Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) program. Prior to joining the OSC, she served as a scientific program analyst for BD2K in the Office of the Associate Director for Data Science. She obtained her B.S. and M.S. in biology from Towson University, where she studied the visual orientation of gypsy moth larvae to emissive colors to provide a basis for the development of safer biocontrol measures, such as light traps, to control the destructive effects of this pest on crops and vegetation. Ms. Ngosso also holds a M.B.A. in health care management from the University of Baltimore Merrick School of Business.
Dr. Concepcion (Marie) Nierras joined the Office of Strategic Coordination (OSC) from JDRF International (previously Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), where she was in charge of international partnerships. She served as program officer for JDRF’s portfolio in genetics, including genetics of susceptibility to type 1 diabetes, and genetics of diabetic nephropathy. As part of the program team representing funders of the International Type 1 Diabetes Genetics Consortium, Dr. Nierras had extensive interactions with colleagues at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Dr. Nierras received her Ph.D. in genetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and did postdoctoral research at Oxford University and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
Common Fund Data Ecosystem (CFDE) Program Leader
Dr. Papanicolaou joined the Office of Strategic Coordination in 2021, where he helps integrate data from multiple Common Fund programs with the Common Fund Data Ecosystem (CFDE). Previously, Dr. Papanicolaou worked as a Research Geneticist in the Epidemiology Branch in the Division of Cardiovascular Sciences in the National Heart, Lung, Blood Institute (NHLBI). While a Program Director at NHLBI, he led efforts in genomics and omics in diverse programs such as Candidate Gene Resource (CARe), SHARe (SNP Health Association Resource), Omics in Latinos (OLa), Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed), and TOPMed’s Centralized Omics Resource (CORE). He was also the Program Officer for the Framingham Heart Study. George also drafted standards and pipelines adopted by TOPMed for its omics resources. In addition, he served on the Steering Committee of Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE). George received his Ph.D. in Human Genetics from the University of Michigan, studying and mapping tumor suppressor effects of regions of chromosome 6 on melanoma in Dr. Jeffrey Trent’s Laboratory of Cancer Genetics at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). He then completed a postdoc and fellowship in statistical genetics in Dr. Alec F. Wilson’s group at the Inherited Disease Research Branch at NHGRI. He also lectured and served as a discussant at Johns Hopkins University.
Since 2007, Dr. Mary Ellen Perry has been a program leader in the Office of Strategic Coordination, overseeing the development, implementation and assessment of several cutting-edge programs. Prior to joining the Office of the Director, Dr. Perry was a program director for the National Cancer Institute (NCI), where she oversaw a grant portfolio focused on research in aspects of molecular biology of particular relevance to cancer. Until 2016, Dr. Perry also maintained a laboratory at the NCI, employing genetically engineered mice to explore the relationship between development and cancer. Her background in cancer research is founded on a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of North Carolina and post-doctoral fellowships at Princeton University and the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London (now part of Cancer Research, UK). For seven years, she led a cancer research laboratory at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she succeeded in winning two NIH grants, publishing several papers, and training five Ph.D. students, two of whom are now professors.
Scientific Program Manager
Dena Procaccini, M.A., joined OSC in November of 2018 as the Scientific Program Manager for the Human BioMolecular Atlas Program (HuBMAP). Ms. Procaccini received her B.S. from Ursinus College in 1995, and her M.A. from the College of William and Mary in 1997, both in the field of Biology. In 2011, she joined the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) as the Scientific Program Analyst for the Epigenomics program. While at NIDA, Ms. Procaccini assisted in the coordination and management of the Roadmap Epigenomics program, the Extracellular RNA Communication program, and the International Human Epigenomics Consortium. In 2017, Ms. Procaccini became the Scientific Program Manager for the Translator Project, where she coordinated the workgroups and liaisons within the program, until she joined OSC.
Other Transaction (OT) Officer
Dr. Felicia Qashu joined the Office of Strategic Coordination in 2016 to serve as other transaction (OT) officer in the Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions (SPARC) Program. Dr. Qashu earned her Ph.D. in neuroscience in 2009 from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), studying neuroanatomical and electrophysiological changes in the amygdala in a rat model of epilepsy. In 2010, she joined the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) as a scientific advisor, and then became the DVBIC deputy director of research in 2013. At DVBIC, Dr. Qashu was responsible for overseeing a clinical research program on traumatic brain injury (TBI) in military service members and veterans. She maintains active collaborations in TBI, focusing on concussion assessment, acute clinical management, and recovery.
Common Fund Data Ecosystem (CFDE) Data Coordinating Center Engagement Director
Dr. Haluk Resat joined the Office of Strategic Coordination in 2020, where he helps to integrate data from multiple Common Fund programs within the Common Fund Data Ecosystem. Previously, Dr. Resat was a program director in the Division of Biophysics, Biomedical Technology, and Computational Biosciences (BBCB) at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS). In this role, he managed research and training grants in bioinformatics, computational biology, data science, mathematical biology, systems biology, and biotechnology areas. Before joining NIGMS/NIH, Dr. Resat was an associate professor in the Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering at Washington State University. He has also worked as a senior research scientist at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and was an associate professor at Koç University in Turkey.
Dr. Resat earned a B.S. in physics and electrical engineering from Bogaziçi University in Turkey and a Ph.D. in physics from Stony Brook University. He was a postdoctoral fellow both at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York and the University of California, San Diego.
Dr. Ananda L. Roy joined the Office of Strategic Coordination in 2015. Dr. Roy earned his Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska, studying mechanisms of mammalian peptide chain initiation, and did his postdoctoral training at the Rockefeller University where he studied mechanisms of transcription initiation and gene regulation. He biochemically discovered and molecularly cloned TFII-I transcription factor. He went on to join Tufts University School of Medicine in 1993 and stayed there till he joined the Office of Strategic Coordination. At Tufts, he further developed the biochemistry and biology of the TFII-I family of proteins in health and disease. He also studied genome-wide transcriptional and epigenetic regulation of gene expression in the immune system. Dr. Roy has trained many graduate students and post-doctoral fellows and directed the Graduate Biomedical Program in Genetics at Tufts. Dr. Roy has been awarded several NIH and Foundation grants, chaired external grant review panels and currently serves on several journal editorial boards. Dr. Roy maintains a research program at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Immunology, National Institute on Aging (NIA), focusing on transcriptional signatures associated with immune-cell activation.
Division of Other Transactions (DOTM)Other Transactions Agreements and Policy Specialist
Zeeshan is a contractor with the Scientific Consulting Group, Inc. (SCG). He attended Barry University, School of Law in Orlando, Florida and is currently barred in the State of Florida and the District of Columbia. Prior to working for SCG, Zeeshan worked in the private sector.
Dr. Douglas M. Sheeley joined OSC in 2019 as a program leader. He has been a program coordinator for two NIH Common Fund programs: Glycoscience (2014-2021) and the Technology Centers for Networks and Pathways (2004-2015). Prior to joining OSC, he served as deputy director of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research from 2017 to 2019. Previously, he was a senior scientific officer at NCRR and then NIGMS (2000-2017), where he led programs to develop and expand access to new technologies and research resources for a wide range of areas including proteomics, carbohydrate research, structural biology, and computational modeling. His primary training is as a bioanalytical chemist, with expertise in biomedical mass spectrometry and the structural analysis of both proteins and carbohydrates. Before coming to NIH, Dr. Sheeley was a researcher at Glaxo Wellcome Research & Development. He earned his doctoral degree in nutritional biochemistry from Harvard University and his BS in chemistry from Dickinson College.
Director: Division of Other Transactions Management
Ms. Shariati has 36 years of experience in the Federal Government working on contracts, grants, and other transactions. She has an MBA from the University of Scranton.
Dr. Jason Shockey earned his Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of Maryland, College Park, where he studied the ethylene signal transduction pathway in Arabidopsis thaliana. After a post-doctoral fellowship at George Washington University, he joined the NIH in 2007 as an Administrative Lab Manager with the National Eye Institute. In 2019 he was accepted into the NIH Management Intern Program, where he learned several administrative areas including budget, grants management, evaluation, and program management. Dr. Shockey joined the Office of Strategic Coordination as a Program/Management Analyst in 2021.
NIH Awards Policy Advisor
Mr. Tarwater is the Deputy Director of the Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration (OPERA), within the Office of Extramural Research (OER), OD, NIH. He comes on detail to OSC as an Awards Policy Advisor to DOTM, while holding his position at OPERA. He was the Chief Grants Management Officer of the Indian Health Service (IHS) from 2015 to 2020, and prior to returning to the NIH in March of last year, was the Acting Director, Office of Management Services for the IHS, and was concurrently the Acting Director, Division of Asset Management, and the Director, Division of Grants Management.Prior to joining the IHS, Robert worked in grants management at the NIH for 24 years, and held positions at the NINDS, NIAID, NINR, NIDCR, and the NHLBI.
Health Science Policy Analyst
Dr. Veronica Taylor joined the Office of Strategic Coordination in July of 2020. Prior to joining the Common Fund, Dr. Taylor was an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow within the U.S. Department of Justice. Dr. Taylor received BA degrees in chemistry and biochemistry from Gustavus Adolphus College, and she received a Ph.D. in Biophysics from University of Michigan for work focusing on structural biology and signal transduction pathways in cardiovascular disease. She also completed a postdoctoral fellowship at University of Michigan, studying small-molecule modulation of opioid receptors.
Dr. Danyelle Winchester joined the Office of Strategic Coordination (OSC) as a health specialist contractor in February 2017. She earned her Ph.D. in human genetics from Howard University (HU). Prior to joining the OSC, Dr. Winchester was a postdoctoral fellow at the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health. As a fellow, she investigated whether variants of genes involved in the immune response were associated with prostate cancer risk and intraprostatic inflammation. Dr. Winchester obtained a Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
Other Transactions Agreement Specialist
Esther Young serves as an Agreement Specialist in the Office of the Strategic Coordination (OSC) where she manages a diverse portfolio of other transactions (OT) awards. Her experience includes project management and financial administration of private and federal awards and contracts. During her tenure at NIH, Esther has also held grants management positions at the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) and at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Prior to joining the federal government, Ms. Young worked for prominent academic and non-profit institutions in Florida. She possesses a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and holds a Level III NIH Grants Management Officer (GMO) certificate.
This page last reviewed on December 1, 2021