iTHRIV Operations Team

"...providing a Unified, Integrated Structure...Provisioning, Scheduling, Governing, and Reporting..."

Sandra Burks
Executive Program Director

In this role, she is responsible for the development and leadership of iTHRIV programs and policies to support translational and clinical research. She oversees iTHRIV program planning and coordination of the cross-state collaboration, and manages all administrative infrastructure for the program. Away from the office, Sandra can be found paddling at Smith Mountain Lake or hiking on the Blue Ridge in Virginia.  She is inspired by her co-workers and her family, and seeks opportunities for service daily.

Johanna Loomba
Research Concierge Services & Informatics

Born and raised in Boulder, CO, Johanna has lived and worked on both coasts as well traveling through other countries. Johanna has a BS in Symbolic Systems from Stanford, and a MS in Systems Engineering from UVA. Johanna served as the Director of Neurosurgery and Neuro-oncology Clinical Research for the University of Virginia. Johanna provides researcher consults and develops concierge tools and workflows. She manages the iTHRIV Informatics Core, a cross-state team working to accelerate health research by facilitating data transfer and linking and analysis in a secure environment. Johanna is particularly passionate about designing systems that support efficient and transformative health research. 

Jenny Phillips
Clinical & Translational Research Studies

Jenny joined iTHRIV in April of 2019 after 20 + years working as a Clinical Research Coordinator and Clinical Research Manager in the Department of Surgery at UVA.  She is the Project Manager for both the Network Capacity Core and the Translational Endeavors Core.  Her roles include helping to develop  educational programs for the broad translational research workforce, overseeing the pilot translational and clinical studies program, managing the prior approval process and providing support at both the local and national level for the Trial Innovation Network.  Jenny is grateful to be a part of such an innovative and dynamic cross-state team.

Stephanie Garofalo
Project Leader
Genevieve Lyons
Research Methods

Genevieve has managed the iTHRIV Research Methods core since early in the proposal phase. She is a biostatistician in UVA’s department of Public Health Sciences where she provides statistical collaboration and support for clinical research. Outside of work, Genevieve enjoys the outdoors, yoga, and reading.

Jennifer Kirkham
Scholars Program

Jennifer became the 3rd iTHRIV staffer in March, 2017 when she joined the team as the iTHRIV Office Manager.  Since then, she has taken on a large portion of the operational management of the iTHRIV Scholars Program. Throughout her career, she has had experience working with nonprofit organizations, small and large American corporations, academia, and international corporations. Jennifer will complete her M.Ed. in August, 2020 in Higher Education Administration at UVA’s Curry School of Education and Human Development, just in time for the return of the college football season.  She is a proud dog mom to her rescue hound, Jean, and she looks forward to spending time volunteering at the animal sanctuary later this summer once her studies are finalized.

Kayla Calvo
Business Administration

Kayla joined iTHRIV in early 2019. Kayla works with almost every member of the iTHRIV team and enjoys the variety of projects she supports. In addition to managing the finances, Kayla assists with the Scholars program, ensuring iTHRIV scholars receive a valuable understanding of research administration. Kayla partners with the School of Medicine Office of Grants and Contracts to submit extramural proposals. She is also responsible for various iTHRIV contracts and provides post award support for all iTHRIV Pilot Studies and Community Seed Grants. When not in the office working on budgets or the current office puzzle, Kayla can be found spending time with her husband and two kiddos. She also loves baking and is always hunting for a really good cookie recipe!

Hal Irvin
VTC Project Leader

Hal is excited to bring his organizational talents to iTHRIV. He As the Virginia Tech Carilion Project manager, Hal facilitates internal communication and coordinates efforts to accomplish iTHRIV goals. He interfaces with Virginia Tech and Carilion partners of the iTHRIV Leadership Council,  meeting regularly with iTHRIV operations team and the joint Virginia Tech and Carilion operations team to insure smooth operational support for the iTHRIV mission.

Viral Brahmbhatt

Viral, a physician-scientist with more than 8 years of industry R&D experience, joined the iTHRIV team in May 2020. He loves to talk about, promote and develop commercially viable research concepts. In his role, he will support research commercialization of iTHRIV projects. He will promote integration with LVG and serve to consult, mentor and train the iTHRIV community of researchers on the topic. In his spare time, he loves to learn about all things under the sun, in the universe and beyond!

Kris Miller
Community Partnerships

Kris serves as a community liaison and partnership facilitator for iTHRIV.  She helps engage community members and organizations in relationships with clinical and academic research initiatives, working to facilitate bi-directional communication and education.  She has a Bachelor of Science degree from Virginia Tech and an extensive background in customer service. Outside of the office, she enjoys sewing, reading and loves to experiment with new recipes.

Bart Ragon
Strategic Development

Bart’s professional interest includes concepts associated with data science, instructional support of scientific automation software tools, reproducibility and replicability of science, Open Access models for federally sponsored research, and disruptive innovation models for academic health sciences libraries.  Bart is an avid hiker, pseudo runner, occasional cyclist, and arguably the world’s fastest librarian snowboarder.  

Wendy Novicoff

Wendy has been part of iTHRIV since the beginning, and she is enjoying seeing how everything is developing as iTHRIV grows as a CTSA.  Wendy is a Professor in the UVA School of Medicine and the School of Data Science, where she teaches evaluation and quality improvement and mentors students doing research.  In her spare time, she is often seen on stage in the region, specializing in playing very strong characters with even stronger character flaws.  She is also on the board of two theater companies.  At home, she gets to spend time with her husband Bob and her kitties.

Morgan Given

Morgan joined iTHRIV in October 2019 and enjoys putting her education in public health and evaluation to use in furthering the mission of iTHRIV. Each day, she is excited for the opportunity to utilize her experience and knowledge in a new clinical and translational research lens, furthered by a highly supportive team of leaders and colleagues. Morgan can be found spending all her free time in the gym, with her dog, or eating tacos with her husband.


Medard Ng
Research Quality

Medard joined iTHRIV in August 2020 as the iTHRIV Research Quality Manager. Medard will interact with the pilot study teams, the community engagement grant teams, as well as the KL2 scholars. He will assist in the preparation, review, and submission of documents to NCATS. He will be responsible for the development of educational programs in this area for staff and faculty investigators. Before joining iTHRIV, Medard was a research scientist in biotechnology industry, and was a staff member at the Institutional Review Board for Health Science Research (IRB-HSR).

Keith Jones

Keith joined iTHRIV in February of 2020 and loves combining his creativity and experience in health communication to promote iTHRIV. Surrounded by an amazing team of driven researchers, community liaisons, and medical professionals, every day is packed with excitement, challenges, and new opportunities; Keith is eager to boost their work and share the story of iTHRIV. When not jamming out at his desk Keith can be found in his garden, on the trail, or cooking with family.

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