Willard H. Dere, MD, FACP

Dr. Dere has extensive experience in clinical research during his 25 year stint in the biopharmaceutical industry.  The experience was complemented by substantive regulatory and drug safety experience during that time. At the University of Utah, Dr. Dere serves as the Executive Director of the Program in Personalized Health and Co-Di... Read More

Residency: University of Utah

Medical School: University of California, Davis

Email: willard.dere@hsc.utah.edu

John D. Phillips, PhD

Interim Research Division Chief of Hematology/BMT

John D. Phillips, Ph.D. is a Research Professor in the Division of Hematology and Hematologic Malignancies, Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Utah. In addition, he is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology. Dr. Phillips is also Director of the University of Utah Health Sciences Center (HSC) Core Research Fa... Read More

Email: John.Phillips@hsc.utah.edu

J. Michael Dean, MD, MBA

Vice-Chair, Research, Vice-Chairman for Finance, Department of Pediatrics

Dr. Dean is Professor and Vice Chairman for Research in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Utah School of Medicine. He directs the Clinical Trials Office in the Department, and serves as the Associate Dean for Clinical Research at University of Utah Health.  He attended Northwestern University Medical School (1977) and performed... Read More

Specialties: Pediatric Critical Care

Fellowship: Johns Hopkins University

Residency: Children's Hospital of Los Angeles

Medical School: Northwestern University Medical School

Email: mike.dean@hsc.utah.edu

Rachel Hess, MD, MS

Chief, Division of Health System Innovation and Research

As a General Internist, Rachel Hess, MD, MS, provides primary care for adults. She has a special interest in women's health, particularly mid-life women's health. She is board certified in Internal Medicine. Her research focuses on understanding and improving patient-centered outcomes, such as health-related quality of life. She directs the Univeri... Read More

Specialties: General Internal Medicine

Fellowship: University of Pittsburgh and VA Pittsburgh Medical Center

Medical School: University of New Mexico, School of Medicine

Email: rachel.hess@hsc.utah.edu

Christopher P. Hill, DPhil

Christopher Hill, D.Phil., Vice Dean of Research for the School of Medicine, he is a distinguished professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Utah School of Medicine. holds the H.A. and Edna Benning Medical Society Chair, and is a member of the Nuclear Control of Cell Growth and Differentiation Program. He served&nbs... Read More

Email: chris@biochem.utah.edu

Lab: Lab Website

Amy Tanner, MHA, MPH

Amy Tanner, MHA, MPH

Title:  Chief of Staff/Administrative Director

Amy is the Administrative Director for the SVPHS Research Unit. She is responsible for the execution of the overall strategic vision of the Unit, as well as all budgetary and operational matters.

Email:  amy.tanner@hsc.utah.edu

Phone:  801-585-0717

Abby Rooney, MS

Abby Rooney, MS

Title:  Administrative Associate Director

Abby is the Administrative Associate Director for the SVPHS Research Unit. She works closely with Amy Tanner to provide operational support for the Unit.  

Email:  abby.rooney@hsc.utah.edu

Phone:  385-501-3371

Program Development

Bridget Hughes, PhD

Bridget Hughes, PhD

Title:  Director for Research Program Development

Bridget supports the planning, implementation, and monitoring of all programmatic aspects of diabetes and metabolism-related strategic initiatives and emerging initiatives from the UUHS SVPHS research unit.

Email:  bridget.hughes@hsc.utah.edu

Phone:  801-585-9304

Chelsie Smith, PhD

Chelsie Smith, PhD

Title:  Associate Director, Center for Genomic Medicine

Chelsie manages the daily operations of the Center for Genomic Medicine (CGM).  She supports strategy development, community building, and extramural proposal development. She provides project management support for priority genetics/genomics projects, including industry contracts and educational initiatives. In addition, she  works closely with Advancement and Foundation Relations to supports CGM’s philanthropic campaign.

Email:  chelsie.smith@hsc.utah.edu

Phone:  801-585-2268

Nicole Frank, PhD

Nicole Frank, PhD

Title:  Associate Director, 3i

Nicole manages the Immunology, Inflammation, and Infectious Diseases (3i) Research Initiative by supporting alliances between and among faculty at the U of U, funding agencies, and industry to enhance institutional research competitiveness.

Email:  nicole.frank@hsc.utah.edu

Phone:  801-215-9094

Sara Salmon, MA

Sara Salmon, MA

Title:  Program Manager, DMRC/DODI

Sara is the program manager supporting diabetes and metabolism-related strategic initiatives in the SVPHS Research Unit, including the Diabetes and Metabolism Research Center and the Driving Out Diabetes Initiative.

Email:  sara.salmon@hsc.utah.edu

Phone:  801-839-5414

Samantha Weeks, BS

Samantha Weeks, BS

Title:  Academic Program Manager, Center for Genomic Medicine

Samantha works with the Co-Chairs and Associate Director to help manage communications, events and marketing for the Center for Genomic Medicine (CGM). She is the project lead for the annual Precision Medicine Symposium, and all other CGM related events and educational offerings. She also serves as the Program Manager for the T32 in Genomic Medicine, a postdoctoral training grant administered by the Department of Human Genetics.  

Email:  samantha.weeks@hsc.utah.edu

Phone:  443-417-3711

Pre-Award Office

Kami McNeill, BS

Kami McNeill, BS

Title:  Director, Pre-Award Office

Kami began working at the University of Utah as a clinical coordinator in January 2001. Since that I time she has worked in clinics, departments, the SOM Dean’s Office, and the Office of Sponsored Projects. She has 8 years of experience working on grant & contract preparation and management. In February 2015, Kami was hired to start the SVPHS Pre-Award Office. The office provides proposal preparation services to investigators in Basic Science departments within the School of Medicine. Recently, Kami's efforts expanded to include the start-up of a new Pre-Award Office for main campus investigators, in partnership with the Vice President for Research Office. 

Email:  kami.mcneill@hsc.utah.edu

Phone:  801-585-0836

Joy Blatchford

Joy Blatchford

Title:  Associate Director, Pre-Award

Email:  joy.blatchford@hsc.utah.edu

Danielle Plank, BS

Danielle Plank, BS

Title:  Grants & Contracts Officer, Pre-Award Office

Danielle works with the SVPHS Research Unit as a  Grants and Contracts officer in the Pre-Awards Office.

Email:  danielle.plank@hsc.utah.edu

Phone:  801-585-1742

Tey Wilson, BS

Tey Wilson, BS

Title:  Grants & Contracts Officer, Pre-Award Office

Tey works with the SVPHS Research Unit as a Grants/ Contract Officer in the Pre-Award Office.

Email:  teylon.wilson@hsc.utah.edu

Phone:  808-259-1462

Training Programs

Sean Flynn, PhD

Sean Flynn, PhD

Title:  Associate Director, Training Programs

Sean is Associate Director of Training Programs in the Office of the Associate VP for Research, where he works closely with health science graduate programs, the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and the Office of Undergraduate Research to research training enterprise. He also serves as a resource for training grant development, strategic planning and post-award management of institutional training programs. Sean received his PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Utah and joined the SVPHS Research Unit after completing a postdoctoral fellowship at Dartmouth College followed by four years as an Assistant Professor at the University of Vermont focused on undergraduate and graduate education.

Email:  sean.flynn@hsc.utah.edu

Phone:  801-604-0267

Jessica Kieper, BA

Jessica Kieper, BA

Title:  Research Manager, Graduate & Training Programs

Jess is a research manager with the Institutional Training Grants team in the SVPHS Research Unit, where she facilitates the preparation of institutional training grant applications. She also serves as a resource for post-award management of institutional training programs. Jess has a B.A. in Accounting and joined the SVPHS Research Unit after working 5 years in the Loma Linda University's OSP and 5 years as a Research Manager in the University of Utah's Department of Internal Medicine.

Email:  jessica.kieper@hsc.utah.edu

Phone:  801-581-4749

 Jeanette Ducut-Sigala, PhD

Jeanette Ducut-Sigala, PhD

Title:  Diversity & Inclusion Manager, Health Sciences Training Programs

Jeanette is a multifaceted research scientist. With a history of successfully amplifying Diversity Recruitment & Inclusion initiatives in Academia, she has joined the SVPHS Research Unit to bring her expertise in making diversity, equity and inclusion a central part of the research mission.  

Email:  j.Ducutsigala@utah.edu

Phone:  650-862-8604

SarahMay Jones, BS

SarahMay Jones, BS

Title:  Post-Award Program Manager, Institutional Training Grants

SarahMay has a B.S. in Recreation Management from Appalachian State University and joined the SVPHS Research Unit after working in the Office of Admissions here at the University of Utah.

Email:  sarahmay.jones@hsc.utah.edu

Phone:  801-604-0267

Kristin Stephens, BFA

Kristin Stephens, BFA

Title:  Grants & Contracts Officer, Graduate and Training Programs

Kristin works with the SVPHS Research Unit as a Grants and Contracts officer with the Training Programs team. She supports the submission and tracking of institutional training grants.  

Email:  kristin.stephens@hsc.utah.edu

Phone:  417-838-8395

Janet Bassett, AS

Janet Bassett, AS

Title:  Program Manager, MD-PhD Program

Janet is the Program Manager for the MD-PhD Program and the NIH funded Summer Medical Student Research Program (MSRP). She provides all administrative support for both programs including recruitment, preparation of financial support documentation for students, management of MSRP NIH training grants and collaborates with other graduate programs on the Health Science Center Campus to ensure highly functioning training programs in the School of Medicine. She has worked at the University of Utah for over 20 years.

Email:  janet.bassett@hsc.utah.edu

Phone:  801-585-6408


Jeremy D. Franklin, PhD

Jeremy D. Franklin, PhD

Title:  Strategic Project Manager

Jeremy is the Research Strategic Project Manager and leads tracking, reporting, evaluation, and communication efforts related to the research strategy. Jeremy received his PhD in the Sociology of Education from the University of Utah, with a focus on inclusion and equity.

Email:  jeremy.franklin@hsc.utah.edu

Phone:  801-243-8694

Audrey Mitchell, BS

Audrey Mitchell, BS

Title:  Executive Assistant

Audrey works as an executive assistant to the Associate Vice President for Research and the Senior Director of the Office of the Associate Vice President for Research, as well as providing support to the Center for Genomic Medicine and the SVPHS Research Unit. Audrey graduated from Brigham Young University in 2012 with a BS in Psychology.

Email:  audrey.mitchell@hsc.utah.edu

Phone:  801-585-9572

Christine Farley, BA

Christine Farley, BA

Title:  Administrative Assistant

Christine works as an administrative assistant for the SVPHS Research Unit. She graduated from the University of Utah in 2019 with a BA in English Language and Literature. 

Email:  christine.farley@hsc.utah.edu

Phone:  801-585-0851

Brandon Heindel, BA

Brandon Heindel, BA

Title:  Financial Manager

Brandon manages the accounting for the SVPHS Research Initiatives and does financial analysis and modeling related to research funding in the Health Sciences.

Email:  brandon.heindel@hsc.utah.edu

Phone:  801-872-9608

Pao-I Chen, MBA

Pao-I Chen, MBA

Title:  Financial Analyst

Pao-I is the Financial Analyst for the SVPHS Research Unit. She works closely with Brandon Heindel to provide financial support for the Unit.

Email:  pao-i.chen@hsc.utah.edu

Phone:  801-585-0924

Kyle Wheeler, BA

Kyle Wheeler, BA

Title:  Marketing & Communications Specialist

Kyle manages, facilitates, and supports marketing and communications efforts for the Health Sciences Research Unit. He collaborates with team members to bring attention to critical adminstrative information and shed light on stories of innovation in health sciences research at the University of Utah.

Email:  kyle.wheeler@hsc.utah.edu

Phone:  385-243-8694

Ribana Milas, BS

Ribana Milas, BS

Title:  Research Space Manager

Ribana works closely with Dr. John Phillips, the Associate Dean for Research and Infrastructure, in coordinating the usage of wet-lab space on the health sciences campus.

Email:  ribana.milas@hsc.utah.edu

Phone:  801-581-7538

Brandon Newell

Brandon Newell

Title:  Safety Manager

Email:  brandon.newell@ehs.utah.edu

Phone:  385-244-0509

Message from the Associate Vice President for Research

Will Dere
Associate Vice President for Research

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Contact Us

Senior Vice President for Health Sciences Research Unit

University of Utah Skaggs Hall
30 S 2000 E Suite 250
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
Phone: 801-585-0851