Jennifer Sharpe Potter, PhD, MPH, is Vice President for Research and Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at UT Health San Antonio. In her capacity as Vice President for Research, she oversees multiple complex organizational units reporting to the VPR including Laboratory Animal Resources (LAR); Institutional Core Facilities (ICF); Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA); and the Research Protection Programs consisting of the Institutional Review Board (IRB), Institutional Animal Care Program (IACP), Clinical Trials Office (CTO), Office of Clinical Research (OCR) and Conflict of Interest (COI).
Dr. Potter is a national expert in substance use disorders with particular emphasis on increasing access to evidence-based treatment for opioid and other substance use disorders. Dr. Potter’s NIH-funded research focuses on the design and conduct of behavioral and pharmacological treatments for substance use disorder with a recent emphasis on technology-based treatments for opioids and stimulants. Dr. Potter is a recognized Principal Investigator with the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) Clinical Trials Network (CTN).
In addition to her NIH research, Dr. Potter is leading strategic public health initiatives funded by Texas Health and Human Service (HHS) with the goal to increase access to substance use disorder treatment for Texans. In 2020, the program expanded in response to an uptick created by the COVID-19 pandemic to offer additional support for people seeking assistance for problematic substance use and substance use disorder.
Other statewide programs funded by HHS include an outpatient opioid use disorder provider treatment network, a peer recovery support network, a virtual provider clinical to service underserved areas, a hospital-based addiction treatment initiation and professional development for health care providers treating opioid use disorder.
Prior to joining the health science center in 2008, Dr. Potter was on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts. Dr. Potter holds a doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Georgia and a Master of Public Health degree from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University.
Sunil Ahuja, MD oversees activities related to enhancing and facilitating the research programs of investigators and their funding via peer-reviewed and mentoring programs such as GrantSeekers 2.0, the Researcher’s Enhancement Program, and the Collaborative Research Program.
Jason Bates, MBA, is the Director of the Clinical Trials Office at UT Health San Antonio. Mr. Bates’ primary role is focused on research operations and financial management. Mr. Bates has experience in research, including: regulatory, operations and financial management of phase II-IV clinical research trials.
Carlotta Bell, MEd, MBA is the Director of Finance & Administration in the Office of the Vice President for Research. She supports the VPR in overseeing budgetary and administrative operations of the VPR’s office and reporting departments, provides guidance and direction to ensure compliance with institutional policy and procedures, and acts as a liaison between the VPR and the many academic and service departments across the organization.
Robert A. Clark, MD is the Founding Director of the Institute for Integration of Medicine and Science (IIMS), which serves as the academic and administrative home for the NIH-funded Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA). The CTSA cores comprise Informatics, Biostatistics, Workforce Development, Community-Engaged Research, Pilot Projects, Regulatory Knowledge, Hub Capacity, Network Capacity, and Drug Development. The program also includes linked NIH awards in support of pre- and post-doctoral translational research training (TL1) and mentored career development for junior faculty (KL2). IIMS is also home to the Perry and Ruby Stevens Parkinson’s Disease Center of Excellence. Dr. Clark’s laboratory research focuses on host immune responses and inflammation, including inflammatory neurodegenerative disorders, especially Parkinson’s disease.
Mark Goldberg, MD, is Associate Vice President for Strategic Research Initiatives in the Office of the Vice President for Research. Dr. Goldberg supports promotion of interdisciplinary research opportunities and external research partnerships. He is a Professor of Neurology and neuroscientist with special interests in injury and recovery after stroke. Dr. Goldberg is a member of the Graduate Program in Neuroscience, the Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer's & Neurodegenerative Diseases, the Texas Lone Star Stroke Consortium, and the UT San Antonio MATRIX Artificial Intelligence Consortium.
Sander Hacker, VMD is the University Attending Veterinarian and Director for the Department of Laboratory Animal Resources (DLAR). DLAR provides oversight and management of all aspects of the research animal care and use program at UT Health San Antonio which includes animal procurement, housing, husbandry and veterinary care along with investigator consultation and veterinary technical support during development and performance of research studies in accordance with federal, state and local regulations and policies, and the Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care, International (AAALAC).
Nicholas Musi, MD, was named Director of the Sam and Ann Barshop Institute in 2013, Dr. Musi also serves as Director of the San Antonio Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC), and Director of UT Health San Antonio's Center for Healthy Aging.
Babatunde “Kay” Oyajobi, MBBS, PhD, MBA is the Director of the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA), an institutional resource to enhance the environment for postdoctoral research training. OPA maintains postdoctoral trainee databases; communicates with postdoctoral trainees via weekly announcements; provides orientation, mentoring, grantsmanship, and career development workshops; offers career counseling to postdoctoral research fellows; and, supports activities of the local postdoctoral association (UP) and the annual San Antonio Postdoctoral Research Forum. He seeks to be not only an exemplary educator, but also a role model and mentor to trainees, particularly those from diverse backgrounds.
Wanda Quezada, BS, CIP, is the Director, Institutional Review Board. She is responsible for ensuring regulatory compliance and oversight of all issues involving the ethical conduct of human research and protection of research participants as part of the institution's Human Research Protection Program (HRPP). She serves as the IRB administrator, and provides strategic direction and technical expertise and oversight for the IRB and the IRB team.
Ramiro Ramirez-Solis, PhD directs the Institutional Research Core Facilities and leads enhancement, coordination and collaborations with our research partners in the biosciences industry. He also oversees the business operations, infrastructure and investments for the institutional research cores. Prior to joining UT Health San Antonio, Dr. Ramirez-Solis served as head of scientific operations for mouse pipelines at Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Hinxton, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom for almost 10 years.
Joseph Schmelz, PhD oversees the Institutional Animal Care Program (IACP), Research Integrity, Department of Laboratory Animal Resources (DLAR), Research IT and the Institutional Core Laboratories.
Sudha Seshadri, MD, FAAN, FANA, was appointed as the Founding Director of the Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer's & Neurodegenerative Diseases. Dr. Seshadri enjoys a superb reputation in both science and clinical care and is a recognized thought leader in Alzheimer’s disease and has co-authored position papers disseminated by the National Academy of Sciences on Preventing Cognitive Decline and Dementia: A Way Forward, and by the American Heart Association with a paper titled Defining Optimal Brain Health in Adults.
Kimberly Summers, PharmD, oversees the Institutional Review Board (IRB) including the research component of HIPAA, Office of Clinical Trials (CTO), Office of Clinical Research (OCR), Export Controls, Conflict of Interest (COI), and research administration quality improvement. She develops written program guidance with respect to issues of compliance with federal and state regulations; monitors and interprets legislation and policies regarding research involving human participants and recommends modifications to institutional policy as needed.
Joel Tsevat, MD, MPH oversees the Center for Research to Advance Community Health (ReACH Center), a multidisciplinary collaboration of researchers and clinicians working to promote the health of South Texas residents. In 2007, Dr. Tsevat was named distinguished alumnus of The University of Texas School of Medicine at San Antonio. On the national level, Dr. Tsevat is a past-president of the Society for Medical Decision Making and is nationally recognized for his research and leadership in the field of medical decision making. Dr. Tsevat’s research interests include health-related quality of life, in particular health status vs. utility (health values) assessment, HIV/AIDS, spirituality, cost-effectiveness analysis, and decision analysis. He is a former associate editor of the Medical Decision Making and is a reviewer for many medical journals and has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers, reviews, book chapters, and editorials.
Melanie Zuñiga Rapp, MPA, is the Director, Research Administration and Quality. Ms. Rapp oversees the conflicts of interest program and research administration quality improvement initiatives. She also serves as the Assistant Research Integrity Officer and Export Control Officer for the institution.