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Research Contacts

Scientific and portfolio inquiries

Teodora Staeva, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer

Teodora Staeva, PhD is the 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 PhD 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, PhD
Director of Scientific Partnerships

Hoang Nguyen, PhD 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.

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 PhD 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 MS in Biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University and a BA in Biology and French Literature from Cornell University.

Scientific and portfolio inquiries

Jana Barlic-Dicen, PhD
Scientific Program Manager

Jana Barlic-Dicen, PhD, is the Scientific Program Manager at the Lupus Research Alliance. In this role, she oversees the Lupus Innovation Award, the Lupus Mechanisms and Targets Award, the Diversity in Lupus Research Award, the Lupus Research Alliance – Bristol Myers Squibb Accelerator Award funding mechanisms, and the Lupus Insight Prize.

Prior to joining the Lupus Research Alliance, Jana held positions in academia, government, and the private sector. She obtained her Ph.D. in Immunology and Microbiology from the University of Western Ontario in Canada, completed postdoctoral training at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, and continued her transition to research independence as the Wellcome Trust Fellow at Imperial College London. Jana directed her research laboratory at Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation for six years, studying cardiovascular disease and obesity. Recently, she served as the Scientific Review Manager overseeing the peer review process for the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs. Jana also has clinical research and industry partnership expertise that she obtained as the Manager of the Investigator-Initiated Research Program at Envision Healthcare.

Grant management (pre- and post-award) inquiries

Diomaris Gonzalez
Director, Grant Programs

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.

Administrative inquiries

Erin McLaughlin

Grants Coordinator


Malaya de Jesus

Administrative Assistant

Diana Tive

Administrative Assistant

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