School of Medicine

Research Staff

Central Administration Research Office (CARO)

Melanie Steiner-Sherwood

Melanie Steiner-Sherwood

Title:  Director, Research and Scholarship

Administration
Melanie develops the department’s research infrastructure and directs central pre- and post-award operations. She works closely with the Vice Chair for Research and the Research and Innovation Committee to set strategic goals and success metrics for research activities. She joined the University of Utah in 2016 and has worked in project management and proposal development, most recently in the VPR’s research development office, and has significant experience with NIH and NSF. Melanie holds a PhD in German Studies from Cornell University and a certificate in Editing from the University of Chicago Graham School.

Email:  m.steiner.sherwood@utah.edu

Phone:  801-581-4285

Karla Galvan

Karla Galvan

Title:  Grants & Contracts Officer

Administration
Karla has worked at the University of Utah for over 10 years. She joins us from the Neurology Department where she worked with faculty and staff providing pre and post award support. Karla holds an MBA from Western Governors University.

Email:  karla.galvan@hsc.utah.edu

Phone:  801-213-2885

Tanis Garcia

Tanis Garcia

Title:  Grants Accounting Officer

Tanis is responsible for the operations of pre/post award grant administration and related accounting duties heavily focused on budgeting, forecasting, compliance, and reporting. Tanis earned in BS in Accounting from the University of Utah and her MBA from Weber State University. She has worked as an accountant for the University of Utah since 2012. Tanis has also worked in the telecom and energy industry and was part of the Accounts Payable and School of Computing teams here at the U before joining DFPM. In her spare time, she runs, hikes, enjoys games, and reads.

Email:  tanis.garcia@utah.edu

Phone:  801-587-3652

Nasim Parsinejad

Nasim Parsinejad

Title:  Biostatistician I

Email:  nasim.parsinejad@utah.edu

Camie Schaefer

Camie Schaefer

Title:  Research Development Manager

Camie supports research efforts in the department through a hybrid research development and pre-award administration role. She is particularly focused on proposal editing, figure creation, project management, and research communication. She holds a PhD in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Utah. Outside of work, she writes and publishes fiction and creative nonfiction.

Email:  camie.schaefer@utah.edu

Research Scientists

Esther Chang, PhD, MPH, MS

Esther Chang, PhD, MPH, MS

Title:  Research Scientist

Esther Chun-Pin Chang, PhD, MPH, MS is a cancer epidemiologist by training. Her career vision is to contribute to a roadmap to improve health and elevate the quality of life in the population before or after cancer diagnosis. She graduated with her MPH and PhD degrees in epidemiology at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Her dissertation focused on how glycemic index (GI) diet, glucose metabolism-related SNPs and GxE interaction influence the risk of lung and upper aerodigestive tract cancers. Her current work focuses on reproductive health and long-term health outcomes among cancer survivors. In her free time, she enjoys skiing, Netflixing, and dog walking.

Email:  esther.chang@utah.edu

Phone:  801-581-5745

Allyson Gilles, PhD, MA

Allyson Gilles, PhD, MA

Title:  Research Scientist

Trained as a developmental-clinical psychologist, Allyson’s overall research interest is to examine and address sleep-health disparities in Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander populations within a community-based participatory model. Her primary research goals are to identify bidirectional sleep-health relationships within a cultural framework, develop clinical tools that promote sleep-health risk prevention, and decrease the high prevalence of cardiometabolic disease often associated with sleep disturbance beginning at a young age through multi-generational treatment methods.
Shahpar Najmabadi, PhD, MPH, MS

Shahpar Najmabadi, PhD, MPH, MS

Title:  Research Scientist

As a public health professional with a clinical background, Shahpar is interested in improved outcomes for sexual and reproductive health. Her overarching research goal is to implement and promote evidence-based policies that decrease infant/maternal mortality, prevent diseases, increase access to reproductive health services. Shahpar also engages in research that helps women and couples advocate for autonomy in making sound reproductive health/family planning decisions. Currently, she is working on a project that evaluates the menstrual cycle characteristics of women without any known subfertility, women with endometriosis, and women with polycystic ovary syndrome.

Email:  s.najmabadi@utah.edu

Program Staff

Tatiana Allen-Webb

Tatiana Allen-Webb

Title:  Program Manager

Tatiana Allen-Webb, BS, CCRP, is the Program Manager for the Utah Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) program. She coordinates the design, development, and delivery of statewide initiatives, including program assessment and improvement, and oversees the AHEC Scholars. Tatiana has 19 years of experience at the University of Utah, she is currently working on her MBA and is a Certified Clinical Research Professional (CCRP).

Email:  tatiana.allen@hsc.utah.edu

Phone:  801-581-6368

Emilee Eden

Emilee Eden

Title:  Research Manager

Division of Occupational & Environmental Health
Emilee manages the research team at the Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health. She aids in compiling evidence-based practice guidelines for the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM), training of new hires, assisting with writing scientific manuscripts and grants, and oversees project management. She also is the program coordinator for the Targeted Research Training program. She helps with program data collection and tracking, revising TRT curriculum, and acts as a liaison between the program director and PhD and post-doctoral program students. Emilee earned her Master’s degree in public health from the University of Utah in August of 2017.

Email:  emilee.eden@hsc.utah.edu

Phone:  581-7906

Rachel Brown

Rachel Brown

Title:  Program Coordinator

Division of Occupational & Environmental Health/RMCOEH
Rachel is the Project Coordinator for the Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health. Her responsibilities include coordinating training activities, monitors expenditures, assisting in the preparation of grant proposal, research materials, and outreach projects and publications, coordinate seminars, workshops, and other project meetings. Rachel has a Ph.D. in Environmental Management and Health and a M.S. in Environmental Policy and Natural Resource Management with 10+ years of experience in the environmental field.

Email:  racheltbrown@hsc.utah.edu

Phone:  801-581-8042

Brian Hansen

Brian Hansen

Title:  Administrative Manager

Division of Occupational and Environmental Health
Brian is a Research Administrative Manager with the Division of Occupational and Environmental Health.  He is responsible for managing research teams with respect to program management, data collection, data analysis, scheduling, budgeting and technical writing.  Brian joined the University of Utah team after serving more than 20 years on active duty as a United States Naval Officer.  Brian earned his Master of Science in Administration and Leadership from Central Michigan University.

Email:  brian.hansen@utah.edu

Andrew Langi

Andrew Langi

Title:  Project Administrator

Administration
Andrew provides administrative support for the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) project at the University of Utah. His main responsibilities are leading NRMN project operations for team members, overseeing administration of grant activities to ensure achievement of quarterly goals, complying with institutional and funder policies, proper contract execution and preparation of annual progress reports. He also assists with managing the NRMN grant budgets, three subcontracts, and contracts.hree subcontracts, and contracts.

Email:  andrew.langi@hci.utah.edu

Phone:  801-585-0440

Jenna Praggastis

Jenna Praggastis

Title:  Research Analyst

Division of Occupational & Environmental Health
Jenna helps with project management for American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) as well as assists with managing the research team. She is now responsible for training research assistants, managing scheduling and tracking sheets, assisting with grants and manuscripts, performing exhaustive literature searches and summaries, and works on statistical analysis of research projects. Jenna graduated from the University of Utah in May 2017 with a Bachelors of Science in Biology.

Email:  jenna.praggastis@utah.edu

Madeline Romney

Madeline Romney

Title:  Project Administrator

Madeline’s role in the Department of Family & Preventive Medicine focuses on managing training & mentoring programs under Drs. Conroy, Hashibe, and Okuyemi. Her primary projects are various grants supporting Utah Advanced Course on Mentoring, Leadership, and Cancer-related Health Disparities, Utah StARR, NRMN, and U-HELM. In her free time Madeline enjoys reading, running, and spending time with loved ones.

Email:  madeline.romney@utah.edu

Lingpeng (Andrew) Shan

Lingpeng (Andrew) Shan

Title:  Biostatistician

Division of Public Health
Lingpeng Shan is a Biostatistician on Dr. Azagba’s research team and provides statistical analysis and programming support. He received his MS in Biostatistics from Case Western Reserve University in 2018.

Email:  lingpeng.shan@utah.edu

Nirumpa Singh

Nirumpa Singh

Title:  Research Analyst

Division of Public Health
Nirupma is involved in several projects under the Office of Cooperative Reproductive Health and Neurobehavior HOME program with UNI. Additionally, she helps with the study abroad program (BPCCDP-India) run by the division in India. Nirupma received a dual Master of Public Health and Health Administration from the University of Utah in 2011.

Email:  n.singh@utah.edu