HRPP Component Functions

Institutional Review Board (IRB)

John C. Smith, MSW, CIM, CIP
IRB Director
Hugh Gloster 122

Responsibilities and Functions:

  • Primary review of all research protocols that involve human participants.
  • Authority to approve, require modifications, or disapprove research activities that involve human participants.
  • Authority to suspend or terminate approval of research that involves human participants that is not conducted in accordance with requirements.
  • Coordinates ethics-related educational activities.
  • Determines level of review for each study that involves human participants (full board, expedited, exempt, not research).
  • Communicates with reviewers, committee members, investigators, and study staff.
  • One committee oversees biomedical studies and the other committee oversees studies that are considered social and behavioral sciences research.
  • Ensures that committee membership conforms to current federal regulations and federal agency requirements.


Clinical Research Center (CRC)

Elizabeth O. Ofili, MD, MPH
Senior Associate Dean, Clinical and Translational Research
Director, Clinical Research Center

Priscilla Johnson, PhD, MSN
Associate Director, Clinical Research Center
Director of Clinical Operations
PCIR Director

Responsibilities and Functions:

  • Provides infrastructure to conduct clinical research.
  • Provides comprehensive support for clinical investigations: various core resources and facilities.
  • Provides a Data and Safety Monitoring Committee to provide safety oversight.
  • Is advised by the Research Center Advisory Committee to assist in strategic visioning, program development and evaluating projects requesting use of the CRC facilities, review research protocols and assists in recruitment strategies.
  • Provides services to meet the needs of the study participants and to follow well-designed standards of care.
  • Does not provide primary care to study participants but refers them to appropriate sites for care.


Research Subject Advocate (RSA) 

Jacquelyn Ali, MSA
Research Subject Advocate

Responsibilities and Functions:

  • Ensures the safety of human participants in all research studies conducted at MSM or by agents of MSM.
  • Roles include observing informed consent process, assisting in the formulation of data and safety monitoring plans, performing regulatory duties such as recording of all protocol amendments and changes in informed consent documents, keeping informed of all issues related to human participant protections including conduct, safety, clinical holds, changes and other relevant information.
  • Provides educational sessions to investigators and research staff.
  • Reflects the views of participants to the appropriate HRPP component.
  • Helps to ensure all research studies are carried out in compliance with existing federal regulations and the IRB-approved protocol.
  • Interacts with participants to assess the informed consent process and their comprehension of their role in the study.
  • Ensures that adverse events or serious adverse events are reported in a timely manner.


Research Resources & Regulatory Units

A. Cores and Shared Use Facilities 

Pam Alexander
RCMI Core Administrator

Natalia Silvestrov, MS
Analytical Protein Lab & Core Lab Manager

Responsibilities and Functions:

  • Analytical & Protein Profiling Laboratory is the most used facility for studies with human participants.
  • Provides analytical consultation, sample preparation and sample analysis.
  • Provides consistent laboratory practices to ensure optimal analysis of specimens derived from human participants.

B. Institutional Safety

Harry M. Jones, MS, CIH, CSP
Institutional Safety Officer

Dale Mack, RSO
Director of Radiation Safety

Responsibilities and Functions:

  • Promotes environmental safety in accordance with OSHA guidelines.
  • Conducts regular inspections of all buildings and facilities on campus
  • Ensures that all safety issues are addressed.

C. Research Compliance Officer

Ward Kirlin, PhD
Faculty Research Compliance Officer

Responsibilities and Functions:

  • Ensures that faculty and staff comply with institutional, state and federal regulations in their job performance.
  • Ensures COI policies are followed, assesses the research compliance needs and recommends tools and approaches necessary to promote and encourage compliance.

D. Research Resource Coordinator

Natasha Browner, PhD
Director, Laboratory Services & Research Resources
Research Resource Coordinator, RCMI

Responsibilities and Functions:

  • Coordinates the resources that investigators utilize to conduct their research studies. Resources may include technology, equipment, laboratory space and other related assets.

E. Sponsored Programs (Post Award Management)

Beatrice Raiford
Director, Sponsored Programs

Responsibilities and Functions:

  • Post award management team ensures that all sponsor requirements for human protections have been satisfied and that IRB approval has been granted before funds are released to the investigator.
  • Supports the scholarly activities of faculty, staff and students with the mission of procuring external support through research grants and contracts.
  • Assists faculty with proposal development, editorial assistance, grant submission and post-award management.

F. Office of Compliance

Keith L. Henderson, J.D., LL.M
Chief Compliance Officer

Responsibilities and Functions:

  • Supports and enhances the highest standards of ethics, honesty and integrity at MSM.
  • Ensures that MSM conducts its operations in an ethical and legal manner.
  • Its mission is to build and maintain a culture of compliance that encourages faculty, staff and students to conduct education, research and clinical activities with the highest standards of honesty and integrity.


Ancillary Components

A. Office of General Counsel

Michael A. Rambert, Esq.
Senior Vice President
General Counsel & Corporate Secretary

Responsibilities and Functions:

  • Provides legal services to MSM.
  • Provides representation, advice, research, and training to other HRPP components.

B. Office of Translational Technologies

James W. Lillard, Jr., PhD, MBA
Associate Dean for Research Affairs

Responsibilities and Functions:

  • Leverages MSM’s intellectual property, research, infrastructure, and services and diversifies the research revenue.
  • Provides effective patent prosecution, licensing of MSM’s intellectual property and contract procurement for life sciences, medical & social, and health information technology services.
  • Provides new research program development, including research enhancement through private philanthropy or public sponsorship.

C. Quality Improvement

John C. Smith, MSW, CIM, CIP
IRB Director
Hugh Gloster 122, 404-752-1976 

Responsibilities and Functions:

  • To periodically assess the compliance, quality, efficiency and effectiveness of the HRPP.

D. Community Outreach

Tabia Henry Akintobi, PhD, MPH
Director, Prevention Research Center
Director, Evaluation and Institutional Assessment
Associate Dean, Community Engagement

Priscilla E. Pemu, MD, MS, FACP
Medical Director, Clinical Research Center
Medical Director, Community Physicians' Network

Responsibilities and Functions:

  • Promotes participant recruitment and community education on research, through community events and advisory boards.