Miami CTSI

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CTSI Executive Leadership

The CTSI Executive Leadership maintains administrative, fiscal, and scientific oversight our CTSA hub.

Ralph SaccoRalph Sacco, M.D., Director & Principal Investigator

Dr. Ralph Sacco is the Principal Investigator of the Miami Clinical Translational Science Institute,Chairman of Neurology, Olemberg Family Chair in Neurological Disorders, Miller Professor of Neurology, Epidemiology and Public Health, Human Genetics, and Neurosurgery, Executive Director of the Evelyn McKnight Brain Institute at the Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, and Chief of the Neurology Service at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Since 1990, he has been the founding Principal Investigator of the Northern Manhattan Study, which provided the first description of the greater incidence of stroke in Hispanics, who had not really been investigated previously. A highly successful physician-scientist-educator, he is also a member of the American Association of Physicians, fellow of the Stroke and Epidemiology Councils of the American Heart Association, a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, and a member of the American Neurological Association.

Jonelle WrightJonelle Wright, Ph.D., Associate Director & Co-Investigator

Dr. Jonelle Wright is Associate Dean for Regulatory Support and Quality Improvement and Research Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery. Having worked at institutions including Johns Hopkins, Baylor, and University of Oklahoma, she was Research Safety Advisor for the General Clinical Research Center, and is an expert in building multidisciplinary translational research infrastructures in academic medical centers and minority institutions, research center grants and operational development, and ethical conduct of clinical research/protection of clinical research participants/IRB. Having served on the CTSA review panel since its inception, Dr. Wright is highly familiar with the CTSA mechanism and its operations.

As Associate Director of the Miami CTSI, she is jointly responsible for the scientific oversight of day-to-day operations. She also oversees the Regulatory Knowledge and Support program.

Dr JayDushyantha Jayaweera, M.D., Associate Director & Co-Investigator

Dr. Dushyantha T. Jayaweera is Professor of Medicine and Medical Director of the Clinical Translational Research Site at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Dr. Jayaweera has over 20 years of experience in HIV and serves as the Director for the HIV/HCV co-infection clinic.

He has received grant support from the National Institutes of Drug Abuse, National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, and the National Science Foundation. Dr. Jayaweera has led and continues to lead numerous industry-funded trials HIV and HIV/HCV coinfection and has published more than 70 peer-reviewed research articles, while maintaining a clinical practice and serving the UM research community. Additionally, he serves the larger South Florida community as an AIDS educator, and is a senior faculty member of the AIDS Education and Training Center.

W. Dalton DietrichW. Dalton Dietrich, III, Ph.D., Associate Director & Co-Investigator

Dr. Dalton Dietrich is Scientific Director at The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis and the Kinetic Concepts Distinguished Chair in Neurosurgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He received his Ph.D. in Anatomy from the Medical College of Virginia in 1979 and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Pharmacology at Washington University, St. Louis, MO, 1981.

In 1981, Dr. Dietrich joined the Department of Neurology at the University of Miami, with a joint appointment in Cell Biology and Anatomy, and in 1993 attained the rank of Professor. Dr. Dietrich served as Vice-Chairman for Basic Science in the Department of Neurology from 1995 to 1997, when he accepted the position of Scientific Director of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. Dr. Dietrich also serves as the Senior Associate Dean for Discovery Science at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Co-Director of the Institute for Neural Engineering at the University of Miami.

Sheela DominguezSheela Dominguez, Executive Director of CTSI Strategic Operations
Sheela Dominguez provides overall strategic support and leads the development of research collaborations between UM and other institutions. She has extensive experience with leading large grant and contract proposals, external reporting efforts, and strategic planning initiatives to develop and refine strategies to accomplish the CTSI’s mission, including disseminating best practices to ensure consistent application of strategic planning principles. She is responsible for the formulation of strategic plans and ultimately responsible for fiscal, evaluation tracking and impact metrics, project management oversight for various programs; and work collaboratively with the Director of Business Operations on the budget appropriation and oversight.

Daru Laurel Lane RansfordDaru Lane Ransford, Executive Director of CTSI Business Operations

Daru Ransford provides overall operational support for the management of the Miami CTSI overseeing the daily operations and programmatic activities for the Institute. She has extensive operational and administrative experience including helping lead the large multidisciplinary team of the Miami CTSI. Daru serves as a liaison with the University’s operational administrative units such as human resources, information technology, space management, facilities, research administration and also central administrative units including faculty affairs, Dean, Provost and President’s Offices. Additionally she supports program leadership with other key stakeholder partnerships including our Hub partner activities and initiatives.

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