Office of Research & Engagement

UT Knoxville

Sonya Sullivan Named New IRB Compliance Officer

Sonya Sullivan is the new IRB compliance officer at the Office of Research & Engagement.

Sonya Sullivan

Sonya Sullivan has been named the new IRB Compliance Officer for the Office of Research & Engagement at the University of Tennessee, effective August 4.

Sullivan joins ORE from her position as senior protocol research analyst at Purdue University where she was responsible for maintaining Institutional Review Board (IRB) protocols in compliance with federal and institutional requirements.

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iMedRIS Informational Sessions Open for Registration


Learn about the new research compliance software being implemented this fall through the Office of Research & Engagement at one of several sessions available around campus. These sessions, beginning Monday, August 4th in the Communications Building, will be an hour long and offered at various times of the day for to ensure that everyone has a chance to attend. 

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ORI Publishes Misconduct Finding Against Former SRI Research Technician

According to a notice posted on the Office of Research Integrity website, Melanie Cokonis, a former research technician with the Southern Research Institute, voluntarily agreed to a three-year debarment to settle allegations of misconduct in research supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI).

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Nobles will expand UT’s compliance efforts

Robert NoblesUniversity of Tennessee researchers will have more help in complying with complex federal requirements that cover everything from treatment of lab animals and surveying human subjects to handling hazardous materials and defense-sensitive information.

 UT’s Office of Research & Engagement has hired an administrator whose only focus is being sure that research projects at the university are in full compliance with federal regulations and ethical requirements. 

 Robert Nobles comes to the newly created post from a position as executive director of research compliance and biosafety at Texas A&M University. He has a doctorate in public health from the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston.

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Biosafety panel registers 40 projects, 1,400 trainings

UT’s Institutional Biosafety Committee reviewed and approved 40 registrations for using and handling biological agents in FY 2013 for four university units in Knoxville. Registrations included 24 for rDNA, nine for infectious agents, three for biological toxins, and four for human materials. Training programs in biosafety served almost 1,400 individuals with either initial or annual refresher courses. Training is provided for procedures involving blood-borne pathogens, animal hazard control, Level 2 biosafety, biosafety awareness, animal biosafety, and biological materials shipping.

The Biosafety Office serves laboratories at the UT Knoxville, AgResearch, the College of Veterinary Medicine, and the Graduate School of Medicine.


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