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Research Contacts

Scientific and portfolio inquiries

Teodora Staeva, Ph.D.
Vice President & Chief Scientific Officer
tstaeva@lupusresearch.org
+1-646-884-6090

Teodora Staeva, Ph.D. is the Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer at the Lupus Research Alliance. In this role, she is responsible for overseeing the organization’s research portfolio and operations, including the development of a research strategy and leading its implementation, as well overseeing all research initiatives, partnerships and collaborations.

Until September 2017, Teodora was Assistant Dean for Research at Weill Cornell Medicine (WCM) where she was responsible for managing the strategic planning efforts related to research, building and overseeing institutional programs facilitating faculty research, development and recruitment, and leading and managing intra-campus as well as inter-campus collaborations with Cornell University and WCM’s Tri-Institutional partners, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Rockefeller University. Prior to joining WCM, Teodora worked at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (currently known as JDRF) where she was Director of Immune Therapies for nine years. She obtained her Ph.D. in Immunology from Weill Graduate School of Medical Sciences of Cornell University, and her BS, with honors, in Biology and Neuroscience from Macalester College.

Scientific and portfolio inquiries

Hoang Nguyen, Ph.D.
Director of Scientific Partnerships
hnguyen@lupusresearch.org
+1-646-884-6059

Hoang Nguyen, Ph.D. is the Director of Scientific Partnerships at the Lupus Research Alliance. She manages the Global Team Science Award (GTSA), Distinguished Innovator Award (DIA), and Common Mechanisms grant portfolios and also organizes partnership activities of the Lupus Industry Council and Lupus ABC.

Until June 2019, Hoang was an Associate Professor at Baylor College of Medicine where she and her lab investigated molecular pathways that regulate skin stem cell function during development, tissue regeneration, and cancer. In addition to her academic role in graduate education, her other responsibilities include reviewing scientific manuscripts and grants, and organizing scientific exchanges. She obtained her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Weill Graduate School of Medical Sciences of Cornell University and completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the Rockefeller University. She received an M.S. in Biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. in Biology and French Literature from Cornell University.

Scientific and portfolio inquiries

Mara Lennard Richard, Ph.D.
Scientific Program Officer
mrichard@lupusresearch.org

 

Mara Lennard Richard, Ph.D. is a Scientific Program Officer with the Lupus Research Alliance. She manages the Diversity in Lupus Research (DLR) Program, the Lupus Innovation Award (LIA) and the Lupus Mechanisms and Targets Award (LMTA) programs.

Prior to joining the LRA, Mara worked as a Research Assistant Professor and Staff Scientist at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). Mara spent nearly 10 years researching transcription factors and how they regulate proinflammatory cytokine expression in SLE. She has also spent time performing research in the fields of Immunology, Regenerative Medicine, Forensic Science and Marine Biology. Her most recent role at MUSC involved serving as the Program Officer for the Office of Innovation’s Therapeutics and Technology IDEA grant program. Mara obtained her Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology and Pathology from MUSC and received her B.S. in Marine Biology from Long Island University.

Scientific communications and portfolio inquiries

Jenna Levy, Ph.D.
Scientific Communication and Program Manager
jlevy@lupusresearch.org
+1-646-884-6065

Jenna Levy, Ph.D. is the Scientific Communication and Program Manager at the Lupus Research Alliance. In this role, she oversees the Lupus Insight Prize (LIP) and manages research-related communications.

Jenna received her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from The Scripps Research Institute and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at The Herbert Wertheim UF Scripps Institute. She received a B.S. in Biotechnology from the University of Central Florida.

Grant management (pre- and post-award) inquiries

Diomaris Gonzalez, M.A.
Director, Grant Programs
dgonzalez@lupusresearch.org
+1-646-884-6056

Diomaris Gonzalez is currently the Director of Grant Programs at the Lupus Research Alliance. She is responsible for the administration of the research grant programs at the LRA as well as management of other aspects related to the Research Department. Diomaris transitioned from the private sector to the nonprofit sector over 15 years ago and held positions at multiple nonprofit organizations before joining the LRA. She earned a master’s degree from Fordham University and subsequently completed a certificate in Non-Profit Management from the University of Arkansas.

Lupus ABC and LIC inquiries

Nicole Cooper, M.P.H.
Program Manager – Lupus ABC & Lupus Industry Council
ncooper@lupusresearch.org
+1-646-884-6085

Nicole Cooper, M.P.H. is a Project Manager at the Lupus Research Alliance. In this role, she manages the Lupus Accelerating Breakthroughs Consortium (Lupus ABC) and Lupus Industry Council (LIC). Nicole received her M.P.H. from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and B.S. in Spanish and International Health from Clemson University.

Grant administration inquiries

Erin McLaughlin, M.A.

Grants Specialist
emclaughlin@lupusresearch.org
+1-646-884-6035

Erin McLaughlin is the Grants Specialist at the Lupus Research Alliance. She is responsible for the administrative aspects of the research grants program. She received a B.A. from Swarthmore College and an M.A. from NYU.

Malaya de Jesus

Administrative Assistant
mdejesus@lupusresearch.org
+1-646-884-6067

Malaya de Jesus is an Administrative Assistant for the Research Department at the Lupus Research Alliance. She assists with Industry-related activities (Lupus Industry Council and Lupus ABC). She also directly assists the Director of Grant Programs with activities relating to grant payments.

Diana Tive

Administrative Assistant
dtive@lupusresearch.org
+1-646-884-6021

Diana Tive is an Administrative Assistant for the Research Department at the Lupus Research Alliance. She is responsible for the coordination of all Research Committee of the Board and the Scientific Advisory Board quarterly meetings, as well as LRA-funded Sponsorships. Prior to joining the LRA, Diana worked in the film and television production industry and the financial sector. She graduated with a B.A. in History from Bryn Mawr College.

Lupus Nexus/Lupus Landmark Study inquiries

Devon Kelly, MS, CPPM
Director, Lupus Nexus
dkelly@lupusresearch.org
+1-646-884-6012

Devon Kelly is the Director of the Lupus Nexus, at the Lupus Research Alliance. She is accountable for the general oversight and strategic direction of the Lupus Nexus. After over 26 years in industry and academia, Devon transitioned to the nonprofit sector in 2022. Her background includes basic and translational research in a variety of therapeutic areas, as well as building biorepository capabilities with a focus on data management. She received her BS in Zoology from The George Washington University and her MS in Forensic Science from the University of New Haven.

Lupus Nexus/Lupus Landmark Study inquiries

Mary Jo Fekete, MS, QBRS
Assistant Director, Lupus Nexus
mjfekete@lupusresearch.org
+1-646-884-6081

Mary Jo Fekete is the Assistant Director, Lupus Nexus, at the Lupus Research Alliance. She is responsible for the day-to-day oversight of the Lupus Landmark Study, as well as management of the Brain Bank, Lupus Nexus Newsletter, and other aspects related to the Lupus Nexus. After 26 years at academic medical centers, Mary Jo transitioned to the nonprofit sector in 2021. Her background includes Qualification in Biorepository Science (QBRS) and College of American Pathologists Biorepository Accreditation Program inspector (CAP BAP). She earned a Master’s degree in Molecular Biology from Duquesne University and Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from the University of Pittsburgh.

Lupus Nexus/Lupus Landmark Study inquiries

Shannon Barriteau
Clinical Research Manager, Lupus Nexus
+1-646-884-6096

Shannon Barriteau is the Clinical Research Manager, Lupus Nexus at the Lupus Research Alliance. She is responsible for the day-to-day management of the operations for the Landmark Study, including inventory support, biospecimen oversight and site communications. Shannon has a background in clinical operations with a specialization in inventory and biospecimen management from her years of experience as a clinical research coordinator in academic medical centers. She transitioned to the nonprofit sector in 2023. Shannon earned her B.S. in Forensic Science and Biochemistry.

Scientific collaborations, projects, and strategies; requests for biospecimens/data

Angela Mitchell, PhD
Scientific Strategy Manager, Lupus Nexus
amitchell@lupusresearch.org
+1-(646) 884-6089

Angela Mitchell, PhD is the Scientific Strategy Manager at the Lupus Research Alliance. In this role, she is responsible for coordinating scientific collaborations, projects, and strategies regarding the Lupus Nexus program. She is also involved with the scientific review of requests for biospecimens, biological samples, and data as well as of grants pertaining to the Lupus Landmark Study. Angela obtained her PhD in Immunology from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, and she completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes. Angela received her BS in Cell Biology & Neuroscience and MS in Immunology & Infectious Diseases from Montana State University.

Quality Management & Training inquiries

Alyssa Baloski
Quality Manager, Lupus Nexus
abaloski@lupusresearch.org
+1-646-884-6087

Alyssa Baloski is the Quality Manager for the Lupus Nexus at the Lupus Research Alliance. She is responsible for the Quality Management System including assisting with the writing of all necessary documents and policies to support day-to-day activities. She also helps develop and monitor quality metrics for clinical sites and conducts site monitoring, training, and other visits as needed. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Saint Francis College.

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