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The Leadership and Operations Center (LOC) is responsible for facilitating and managing the scientific agenda and research operations of the MTN, from the design and development of protocols to their review and approval, to their implementation at research sites and results dissemination and publication. The LOC has primary responsibility for the administration of funds to clinical research sites (CRSs) as well as providing logistical and administrative support to the MTN Steering Committee (SC), and other MTN committees and working groups. In addition, the LOC works closely with the Laboratory Center (LC) and the Statistical and Data Safety Management Center (SDMC) to ensure that all three organizational units operate as a collective in serving the mission and scientific agenda of the MTN.

Staff members from the LOC also work closely with Protocol Teams, Clinical Trial Units (CTUs) and CTU-affiliated CRSs, as well as with the Division of AIDS (DAIDS) at the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) 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

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

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

Key LOC Contacts 

Cheryl Richards
Fiscal and Operations

Daria Smolinski
IT and Web

Lisa Rossi
Communications and External Relations

Cindy Jacobson
Pharmacy Affairs

Rhonda White

Jonathan Lucas
Community Program

Kristine Torjesen

Lisa Levy
Study Implementation

View LOC organizational charts for the LOC- Pittsburgh and the LOC-FHI 360 listed below.

Leadership and Operations Center (LOC) Organizational Charts
LOC - FHI 360 (Download) 2022-12-09246.41 KB
LOC - Pittsburgh (Download) 2022-12-01309.99 KB