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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.

“I am excited to be working at UT with the Office of Research & Engagement team fostering research compliance, integrity, and serving the research community,” said Sullivan. “The staff here is focused on commitment to the highest level of compliance in human subject research and I look forward to working with the ORE team to ensure all federal and state laws/regulations are compliant with research involving human subjects.” 

Sullivan received a Master’s of Business Administration with a concentration in healthcare management from Walden University in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

Prior to her work at Purdue, Sullivan was an IRB coordinator with Novant Healthcare for six years in Charlotte, North Carolina. Her extensive and varied background in compliance is an asset to the Office of Research & Engagement as well as UTK faculty, staff, and students.

“I am truly appreciative of the national search led by members of our IRB, with participation of faculty and other key administrators to identify a candidate that comes highly regarded and capable of preserving our culture of service and quality,” said Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research Robert Nobles. “I am confident that with Sonya’s IRB experience and the leadership of our IRB Chairperson, Dr. Colleen Gilrane, we will continue to enhance our infrastructure, collaboration, and service for researchers conducting human subjects research.”

Sullivan replaces Brenda Lawson who had been with ORE since 1991 when she started as assistant to the compliance officer. When that position became vacant, Lawson was promoted and served as compliance officer until her retirement at the end of June.

Sullivan has two children: Jaccuehas, who works in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Carrie, who will be starting ninth grade in Knoxville this fall.