Up Close and Amazing – Research Staff
Facilitating research success at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences is a bit like preparing for a NASA launch. We know the principal investigators and research involved, but may not be familiar with the small army of research support staff and technicians who help facilitate grant funding, navigate regulatory hurdles, and protect animal/human health every day.
Up Close & Amazing is intended to introduce and focus on these dedicated UAMS research support folks. This page highlights a research staffer every other month.
Meet Senior Research Administrator, OSPAN – GibAnn Berryhill, M.A.
How do you begin a new project?
When a new proposal comes in, I first communicate with the Principal Investigator that I am their OSPAN Research Administrator and available for assistance. In a face-to-face meeting, phone call, or email, I assess and clarify the level and type of assistance needed (e.g., budget development, compiling a biosketch, document editing, tracks submission, etc.). After our initial meeting, I review the funding proposal for eligibility and any special requirements that must be addressed in the P.I.’s submission.
Meet Translational Research Institute Research Program Manager – Michael Bailey
How does you/your group handle problematic issues?
I work with a team of smart and accomplished people, all with different areas of expertise. As a team, we evaluate all complex issues, deciding on the best course of action. I am never “out there alone” with this group and can always count on my co-workers for sound direction. My managers are empathetic and open-minded. Above that, I consider them all my friends.
Meet Regulatory Affairs Manager – Jennifer Hixon, CCRP
Are there any challenges in your job?
I help investigators develop good protocols that the FDA will approve. I routinely monitor studies to ensure subject safety above all, as well as the collection of accurate and reliable data. Everyone in our group strives to assist in overcoming research challenges effectively while maintaining compliance with FDA/IRB regulations.
Meet Senior Grants Administrator – Andrea Ham, B.S.
What is your favorite part of the job?
Working in the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs has given me the opportunity to build wonderful relationships with my team, PIs, and the entire UAMS research network. We are a tight knit group and really depend on each other both personally and professionally.
Meet the Director of Cost Accounting – Ty Stephens, CPA, MBA
Are there any challenges in your work?
One of the main job challenges is having to answer a lot of questions with, “It depends.” Federal regulations have a lot of variances/peculiarities and I must balance UAMS institutional risk with a logical level of protection for the research enterprise. At the same time, I never want to create any unnecessary burden on the research investigator or project.
Meet Research Compliance Audit Manager – Carrie Chiaro
What does your job involve?
“The Research Compliance office conducts audits of individual studies to ensure protocols, IRB polices, and federal regulations are followed. The protection of human subjects is key. Our office also provides education to the UAMS research community and consultations to get new studies off to a good start.”
Meet Animal Husbandry Supervisor/Veterinary Assistant – Bridgette Engi
What career advice would you offer for folks interested in DLAM?
“My advice is to always be willing to do any aspect of the career you are interested in from the bottom up. This will build your knowledge and understanding as you advance. For those interested in working with animals; you must be passionate and compassionate. Working in research, with or without animals, requires patience and persistence.”
Meet Institutional Research Board (IRB) Research Program Manager – Edith Paal
What is your favorite part of the job?
“The diversity of protocols and working with PIs with various levels of experience (e.g. students to long-time faculty members) keeps each day interesting.”
Susan and Sheila’s combined strengths? “Since 2011, we have conducted literature searches, taught classes and experienced cancer together. Through it all, we are here to help others do their work.”
Meet Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) Administrator – Kerrey Roberto
Kerrey’s favorite part of her job is, “Interacting with the research community and learning about the interesting projects going on in UAMS & ACHRI laboratories.”