Leadership

Amy Tanner, MHA, MPH

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

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: 801-585-9668

Program Development

Bridget Hughes, PhD

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

Nicole Frank, PhD

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: 801-213-0644

Chelsie Smith, PhD

Senior Manager, 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: 385-212-4564

Sara Salmon, MA

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

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

Joy Blatchford, BS

Title: Associate Director, Pre-Award

Joy joined the University of Utah in 2013 as a grants and contracts officer in the Department of Pediatrics coming from managing the Utah Conservation Corps/Student Sustainability Office at Utah State University. She started as the associate director for pre-award overseeing both the health sciences and main campus units. She has a passion for process improvement and robust training and is excited for the continued expansion of these services across campus.

Email: joy.blatchford@hsc.utah.edu

Phone: 801-213-6559

Kiera Powers, MBA

Title: Manager, Pre-Award

Kiera joined the University of Utah in 2007 at the Huntsman Cancer Hospital, and has been involved in research administration since 2011. She has managed both pre- and post-award components of research with cardiovascular, cancer and orthopaedic group at the University and brings her years of knowledge and experience to our SVPHS Pre-Award team. Kiera received her BS in psychology in 2007 from the University of Utah and her MBA from Western Governor's University with an emphasis in healthcare management in 2019. When not focusing on research, Kiera enjoys spending time with her family and traveling to any beach destination.

Email: kiera.powers@hsc.utah.edu

Phone: 801-592-6700

Kami McNeill, BS

Title: Senior Grants & Contracts Officer

Kami began working at the University of Utah as a clinical coordinator in January 2001. Since that time she has worked in clinics, departments, the SOM Dean’s Office, and the Office of Sponsored Projects. She has nearly a decade 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

Tey Wilson, BS

Title: Grants & Contracts Officer, Pre-Award Office

Tey works with the SVPHS Research Unit as a grants and Contracts Officer in the Pre-Award Office. She graduated from Brigham Young University Hawaii in 2015 with a BS in biology. Prior to joining the University’s School of Biological Sciences in 2019 she served as a legal assistant and undergraduate researcher. She is committed to creating an inclusive educational environment and enjoys expanding her knowledge of sponsored projects while aligning with the mission to foster research administration excellence.

Email: teylon.wilson@hsc.utah.edu

Phone: 801-587-5487

Sophia Eldredge, AA

Title: Grants & Contracts Officer, Pre-Award Office

Sophia works with the SVPHS Research Unit as a Grants and Contracts officer in the Pre-Awards Office. She joined the team in February 2022, bringing her passion and experience in customer relations, training and development, and managerial skills. With a degree in Business Management and two professional certificates, she is also a creative and loves taking classes through Life Long Learning at the University.

Email: sophia.eldredge@hsc.utah.edu

Training Programs

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: 385-258-3401

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 BA in Accounting and joined the SVPHS Research Unit after working 5 years in the Loma Linda University's OSP and five 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

Title: Diversity & Inclusion Manager, Health Sciences Training Programs

Jeanette is a multifaceted research scientist. With a history of successfully amplifying diversity recruitment and 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: 801-581-5207

SarahMay Jones, BS

Title: Post-Award Program Manager, Institutional Training Grants

SarahMay has a BS 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

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

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

Operations

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

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

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

Ankur Kataria, MBA

Title: Associate Director for Finance and Analysis

Ankur is the associate director of finance and analytics for the SVPHS Research Unit. He has over a decade of experience in health care ranging from patient care, operations, and analytics, with a particular interest in strategic process improvement, project management, and building cross functional relationships to propel the department and organization forward.

Email: ankur.kataria@hsc.utah.edu

Phone: 801-901-8379

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

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

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

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: 801-574-4328