Microbicide Trials Network

Leadership and Operations Center (LOC)

The Leadership and Operations Center (LOC) is responsible for facilitating and managing the scientific agenda and research operations of the MTN, from concept development to protocol review and approval, and from study conduct to dissemination of results and publication. The LOC has primary responsibility for the administration of funds to clinical research sites (CRSs) as well as logistical and administrative support to the MTN Executive Committee (EC) and other selected committees. In addition, the LOC ensures that all three organizational units of the MTN – the LOC, the Laboratory Center (LC) and the Statistical and Data Safety Monitoring Center (SDMC) – operate as a collective in serving the mission and scientific agenda of the MTN.


Staff members from the LOC work closely with the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Division of AIDS (DAIDS), the MTN EC, Protocol Teams, the SDMC, the LC, Clinical Trial Units (CTUs) and CTU-affiliated CRSs on all aspects of the MTN research program.


LOC functions are carried out across three institutions: the University of Pittsburgh, FHI 360 and the University of Washington.


General operational responsibilities of the LOC include:


Leadership, Oversight and Governance

·       MTN Executive Committee support

·       Financial operations and management

·       Network Evaluation Committee support

·       Support to the MTN Working Groups – Behavioral Research Working Group; Biomedical Science Working Group and the Community Working Group

·       Development and/or management of new initiatives, e.g., the Contraceptive Action Team


Research Management and Support

·       Protocol development

·       Study implementation and site training

·       Pharmacy affairs and study product management

·       Regulatory affairs

·       Medical oversight and participant safety (MTN Safety Physicians and Protocol/Regional Physicians)

·       Community Program


Operations and Administration

·       Communications and External Relations

·       IT and Web support

·       Network Meetings and Management

·       Manuscript Review Committee support

·       Manual of Operational Procedures development and maintenance



More information about the structure, functions and responsibilities of the LOC are described in Section 3 of the MTN Manual of Operational Procedures, The Microbicide Network’s Operational Components. 


View LOC organizational charts for the LOC-University of Pittsburgh and the LOC-FHI 360.


Key LOC Contacts


Judy Jones

MTN Operations


Chris Rullo

Network Meetings and Travel

Cheryl Richards

Fiscal Operations


Daria Smolinski

IT and Web

Beth Galaska-Burzik

Protocol Development


Cindy Jacobson

Pharmacy Affairs

Lisa Rossi

Clare Collins

Communications and External Relations

Kristine Torjesen

Study Implementation


Rhonda White

Jonathan Lucas

Community Program


Leadership and Operations Center (LOC) Organizational Charts
FHI 3602016-Feb-10166.72 KB
University of Pittsburgh2016-Feb-08156.29 KB