ORA - Key Persons
- Director of Research Analytics
- Director, Research Data Analytics
Alex serves as the Director of Research Analytics in the Office of the Senior Vice President of Research at Emory University. He leads as small Data Analytics Team that serves as the central funnel for all research data and reporting needs within the research enterprise. Prior to coming to Emory in October 2020, Alex was the Director of Institutional Research at Lesley University and Fisher College in Massachusetts.
His experience with grants as a Principal and Co-Principal Investigator is primarily in the public safety area. While at Fisher College Alex, also led the Center for Leadership in Public Service obtaining grants in the criminal justice and traffic safety areas. Prior to that he served as the Senior Research Analyst and Data Coordinator for the Massachusetts Statistical Analysis Center at the Office of Grants and Research within the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security in Massachusetts. There he managed federal and state research projects and grants including grant reporting. He still enjoys maintaining the contacts he made during this time and serves on the International Outreach Committee for the International Association of Crime Analysts as well as the Training Committee for the Massachusetts Association of Crime Analysts. Alex is a proud alumni of Auburn University and the University of Mannheim in Germany.
- Member of the Central Department
- Associate Vice President for Research Compliance and Regulatory Affairs
Deepika brings a wealth of knowledge in the realm of university research compliance and regulatory oversight. She joined Emory in November 2021 after serving as Director of Research & Compliance at the University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical Center. Prior to her role as Director, she has held additional leadership roles at UT Southwestern, including Assistant Director of Compliance Strategic Initiatives and Assist Director of Research & Academic Compliance.
Deepika will lead ongoing needs assessments of Emory's research compliance infrastructure in coordination and collaboration key stakeholders across the university campus. She will manage all research compliance units including Conflicts of Interest (COI), Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), Research Integrity (ORIC), and Export Controls (EC), and will be accountable for the development and implementation of a proactive, comprehensive, and integrated compliance strategy that supports the success of Emory's entire academic research enterprise. She will work closely with school and unit leadership, the new Chief Compliance Officer, Office of Compliance, and Office of Internal Audit.
Deepika holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics & Communications Engineering from the University of Madras, India, and a Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Texas Arlington.
- Senior Vice President
- Associate Vice President, Research
Dr. Kimberly Eck joined the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research in August 2020. As Associate Vice President for Research at Emory University, she is a part of the Research Leadership Team supporting Emory's strategic framework of One Emory: Engage for Impact. Dr. Eck assists with developing and implementing university-wide strategies to advance the research enterprise at Emory. She works closely with the Provost's office, WHSC, Schools, and units to develop faculty communications and education around research opportunities and policies. She facilitates the collaborative review, development, and implementation of research policies regarding issues of foreign influence, research cybersecurity, visiting scholars, and related topics and supervises the Office of Training Grants.
She earned her Doctor of Philosophy in Epidemiology degree at SUNY University at Albany, her Master of Public Health in Epidemiology and Behavioral Science at Saint Louis University, and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Notre Dame.
- Member of the Central Department
- Vice President
- Vice President for Research Administration at Emory University
- Chief of Staff to the Senior Vice President
- Chief of Staff, Research
Drew Homa serves as Chief of Staff to the Senior Vice President for Research. In this role, he is a member of the Research Leadership team and serves on the SVPR Research Council. Drew oversees events and special projects and coordinates new initiatives. He provides research, leadership, independent analysis, and judgment in prioritizing interests and priorities. In addition, he supervises SVPR Communications and works with the leadership team to develop a strategic multi-year communication plan for the SVPR offices.
Drew holds a Bachelor of Arts in English & History from the University of Southern California and a Master of Arts in English/Higher Education from Appalachian State University.
- Associate Vice President for Research Grants
- Associate Vice President, Research Grants and Contracts
Edwin Bemmel is the Associate Vice President for Research Grants and Contracts (RGC). He is responsible for the oversight of the central administration of post award activities, including all award set up, post award administration, and award close out activities on sponsored awards.
Prior to joining Emory University, Edwin worked at University of Miami (UM), Geisinger Health System (GHS), and Florida Atlantic University (FAU). During his tenure at FAU, he also worked as an Associate Controller, overseeing Payroll, Accounts Payable, Property Management, and General Accounting for about six years.
Edwin earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership, Higher Education from FAU. There, he also received his master's and bachelor's degrees in Accounting, as well as a second bachelor's degree in Computer Information Systems. Edwin is a Certified Public Accountant.
- Senior Vice President for Research / Research Administration
- Assistant Vice President
- Assistant Vice President, Research Administration Director, Office of Sponsored Programs
Holly Sommers is an Assistant Vice President for Research Administration with primary responsibility for overseeing the operations and strategic direction of the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP).
Holly joined OSP in November 1999 and has remained with the office since. In her current role, Holly oversees the operations of the Office of Sponsored Programs, leading a team of 43 people who handle all sponsored funding for Emory University. This portfolio includes grants from all types of sponsors, including federal agencies and foundation sponsors; federal and state contracts, industry-funded clinical trials and research agreements, incoming subawards and subcontracts from other research partners, and associated activities.
During her time in OSP, Holly has seen a growth in Emory's sponsored funding, from $205M in FY1999 to over $894M in FY2021. Prior to joining Emory, Holly worked as a Program Associate for the Conservation and Development Forum at the University of Florida.
- Member of the Central Department
- Director of Strategic Operations ( Dragon Team )
- Director of Strategic Operations Team
Inger Garnett is the Director of Strategic Operations Team, more commonly known as the ORA Dragon Team. In this role, Inger leads three Strategic Operations' team members on process improvement initiatives and projects across all offices within the Office of Research Administration (ORA). Inger brings a diverse background to the Emory University's ORA community. Prior to her tenure at Emory University, she served as Vice President of Medical Policy Operations at Cotiviti Corporation in Atlanta, GA. In this role Inger was responsible for the overall management and leadership of the end-to-end process for implementations, policy analysis, configuration, auditing, testing, and UAT in a centralized environment for healthcare insurance providers. She has also held positions at the American Cancer Society, McKesson, DeKalb Medical Center, and the US Naval Medical Center.
Inger received her BA in Psychology from Spelman College in Atlanta, GA and her MSPH in Health Services Administration from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, TN. She also served as a Medical Service Corp Officer in the US Navy. Inger holds a Green Belt Six Sigma Certification and is currently in the process of completing her Black Belt certification for process improvement. Inger and the Dragon Team works closely with the ORA leadership to provide a process improvement program that would improve the efficiency and effectiveness of ORA with the Emory Research community.
- SOM: Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery
- Director, Training Grant Support Office
- Member of the Central Department
- Senior Director, Strategic Operations and Training
Lisa joins Research Administration from Clark Atlanta University where she served as Associate VP for Research and Sponsored Programs. In this role she was responsible for broad oversight of many research offices including basic research, sponsored program administration (pre & post-award, lab operations, and safety, research development, public-private partnerships in support of research, government relations, policy development, compliance monitoring intellectual property (IP) management, technology transfer, and the budget department. She is a certified project management professional who has a proven track record of success in many areas of research administration.
In her new role as Senior Director of Strategic Operations and Training, Lisa will be responsible for operationalizing a strategy across the award lifecycle, developing and implementing ORA staff training, coordinating stakeholder communication, and developing synergies across units to ensure integration, transparency, and efficiency. Her familiarity with the research lifecycle and professional training in project management uniquely positions Lisa to excel in this role and build a robust development and training program within Research Administration.
Lisa has a background in physics receiving a BA from Clark College in Atlanta and subsequently received her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
- Division Director for Human Resources and Operations in Research Business Operations
- Division Director, Human Resources and Operations
Maria is the Division Director for Human Resources and Operations in Research Business Operations (RBO). She is responsible for the oversight of the human resources function for ORA, including recruitment, talent management, employee relations and performance management, among others. In addition, Maria is responsible for managing ORA's centralized operations and business processes including supply ordering, event coordination, equipment inventory, ORABO website and other special projects. Maria joined Emory in March of 2005 and served as the Assistant Director of Finance and Human Resources in the Environmental, Health and Safety Office.
Maria's science background and experience in Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) Management Systems provided her with the opportunity to manage the initial implementation of Emory's EHS Management System. Marias current projects include the Leadership Pipeline to identify and develop future leaders in ORA. Maria is a participant of the Emory's Business Leadership Program.
Maria holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science from the University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
- Assistant Vice President and Chief Business Officer, Research
- Senior Vice President for Research Leadership Team
Melanie Lawrence is a member of the Senior Vice President for Research leadership team. Melanie served in a variety of roles at Emory University School of Law before transitioning to Research in 2013. She has responsibility for leading and executing cross cutting strategic initiatives and special projects across the research enterprise. She manages the strategic planning, budget and fiscal planning, human resources, operational improvements, and key special projects and initiatives for both the SVPR office and the Office of Research Administration. She is also currently the Acting Director for Science Gallery Atlanta for its overall implementation and inaugural exhibition, HOOKED, slated to open January 2022.
Melanie is an Atlanta native and a proud alumnus of Emory University, having received her Executive MBA from Emory's Goizueta Business School and has been an active Emory alum, most recently as Treasurer of the Executive Women of Goizueta Alumni Board. She received her Bachelor of Arts in History, Economics, and Geography from Georgia State University.
- Member of the Institutional Review Board
- Assistant Vice President for the Human Research Protection Program
Rebecca is the Assistant Vice President for the Human Research Protection Program. In this role, she works to lead the administrative staff and support the approximately 100 Committee members in achieving the IRB's mission, to facilitate ethical human research. Her work also involves collaboration with other Research Administration offices on projects aimed at improving service to researchers.
Rebecca came to Emory IRB in 2008 as a Team Lead, then became Assistant Director before becoming Director. Previously she worked with the Harvard Medical School, School of Public Health, and University's IRB's on projects that also leveraged her prior work as a programmer for a Naval contractor in Newport, RI. Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Cincinnati and has been a Certified IRB Professional since 2015.
- Assistant Vice President, Research Administration Executive Director, OCR
- Assistant Vice President, Environmental Health Safety Office
Scott has over 36-years of experience as a health and safety professional and has served Emory University in the Environmental Health and Safety Office since its inception in 1989. This office provides comprehensive environmental health and safety services to Emory University and Emory Healthcare. Previous to serving Emory, Scott was an Industrial Hygiene Chemist with CIGNA Corporation, and an Environmental Scientist at Georgia Tech Research Institute. He holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science from the University of Georgia and a Master of Public Health from the Emory Rollins School of Public Health.
- Executive Administrative Assistant
- Executive Administrative Assistant to Robert Nobles
Stephanie Dennis is the Executive Administrative Assistant to Robert Nobles, DrPH, MPH, CIP, Vice President for Research Administration at Emory University. She has been with the ORA division since 2019 and supports the VPRA in daily meetings, manages calendar, events, and administrative support. She dual reports to Katie Stores, Ph.D., CRA, the Senior Director of Operations.
Stephanie earned a Bachelor's in Psychology from Ashford University in 2010 and studied a Master's in Family Therapy from the University of Argosy in Atlanta, Georgia two years.
She began her tenure at Emory in 2008 as the Program Coordinator in the Undergraduate Department of Religion. In 2001, she worked for J.P. Morgan as the Sr. Administrative Assistant to the CFO and H.R. Manager in the Atlanta Headquarters for eight years.
- Member of the Central Department
- Assoc. VP for Research, Executive Director
- Associate Vice President for Research Executive Director, Office of Technology Transfer
Todd is Past President for the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM). He is currently the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Southeast BIO (SEBIO). Todd is a Registered Patent Agent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. He is also a Registered Technology Transfer Professional (RTTP) and a Certified Licensing Professional (CLP).
- Associate Vice President, Research Administration Services
Tonya is from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she served as the Director of Finance and Research Administration and led the Research Administration Service Center within the Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Research and focused on sponsored research activities. She brings over 16 years of experience in research administration, and in her last role, she served as the lead financial officer and provided leadership and direction in the areas of accounting, budgeting, research administration, strategic planning, and analysis.
Tonya received her bachelor's degree in psychology from UNC-Chapel Hill and a masters' degree in Research Administration from Johns Hopkins University.
- Director, Research Administration IT Operations
Wil has over 20 years of experience working in project management, business strategy, partnership management, operational improvement, and IT procedure and policy. Currently, he works as Director of IT Operations for Emory University's Research Administration division leading cross-functional teams from concept to completion and integrating complex systems in fast-paced environments. Part of Wil's career has included time with TSYS, AFLAC, and US Army.