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Chief Operating Officer, Center for Discovery and Innovation
Alla Rabinovich is the Chief Operating Officer, Center for Discovery and Innovation. She oversees all the financial and administrative operations of CDI.
Ms. Rabinovich has a demonstrated record of success in executing the research operations of a busy Institute. Prior to her position at CDI, Ms. Rabinovich spent 24 years at the Public Health Research Institute, a large academic Center at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, with an initial focus on grants administration and served most recently as Director of Business Operations. In that capacity, just as in her current role, she managed the operations of the Institute, identifying what services needed to be in place, so that the Institute could run as efficiently as possible.
As COO, Ms. Rabinovich directs all aspects of the CDI business functions, including financial oversight, budgeting, and grant and contract accounting. To better serve faculty, she has created a full-service, boutique-like experience for the faculty and their associates. She ensures that there are specialists in place at CDI to handle all administrative matters, so that the scientists can focus on their research and not on navigating the ancillary services necessary for it. Ms. Rabinovich ensures that there are CDI-based liaisons for human resources, compensation, purchasing, legal agreements, and many other services. Having spent decades involved in grants management and scientific support operations, Ms. Rabinovich has an unparalleled knowledge of the processes and has established a seamless system that addresses all administrative matters for the grant recipients.
Ms. Rabinovich holds a Bachelors in Accounting and a Masters in Business Administration.
Manager of Biological Safety, Hackensack Meridian Health
Sean Fitzgerald is the Manager of Biological Safety for Hackensack Meridian Health. As such, he is responsible for biosafety and biosecurity at CDI. His main responsibility involves developing risk assessment processes for groundbreaking medical research in the cancer and infectious disease fields. He also serves as Chairman of the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC).
Mr. Fitzgerald is a seasoned safety professional with years of experience managing high-risk materials. He began his career investigating novel therapeutics and vaccines with a focus on biodefense. This work led to a position working in biological safety at Harvard Medical School. Following his time there, he served as Biological Safety Officer at Tulane University with specific oversight of their non-human primate research in both Tuberculosis and Select Agents.
At Hackensack Meridian Health, Mr. Fitzgerald works closely with faculty to guide them through the laboratory compliance process from start to finish. The process begins with a risk assessment. At that point, Mr. Fitzgerald provides direction or training on what exactly is needed for compliance purposes, including personal protective equipment, standard operating procedures, work processes, and lab inspections. If submission to the IBC is warranted, then he walks the researchers through the application. For the duration of the project, Mr. Fitzgerald ensures that all the laboratories remain up-to-date and in compliance with any changing regulations. Mr. Fitzgerald’s mission is to handle all safety matters as effectively and expeditiously as possible, so that the scientists can move forward with their research without roadblocks and with confidence that they are protected.
Mr. Fitzgerald holds a Bachelors in Biology and a Masters of Public Health with a focus on Global Health, both from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
Director of Laboratory Support Operations
Mr. Park is the Director of Laboratory Support Operations, Center for Discovery and Innovation. His primary responsibilities involve guiding the CDI Principal Investigators and research staff to key resources to initiate and perform their studies. This includes acquiring state of the art instrumentation, negotiating service agreements, assisting in animal study design and obtaining relevant regulatory approvals.
Mr. Park also manages the CDI Animal Research Program. He works with CDI faculty in animal study design, budget forecasting and preparation of key animal regulatory documentation required for grants and contracts. He coordinates with the CDI Research Animal Facility (RAF) Manager and the Attending Veterinarian to ensure appropriate housing is available for all new studies and manages the allocation of RAF space for new and existing core instrumentation.
Mr. Park began working with Dr. Perlin in 1997 as an intern in his lab at the Public Health Research Institute (PHRI) in NYC and has since acquired a dual background in both science/experimental design and the more administrative aspects of research. Following his internship, Mr. Park became a Research Associate and later Senior Research Associate and Lab Manager for Dr. Perlin’s lab. When the PHRI moved to New Jersey as a partner of UMDNJ, he transitioned to the role of Manager of the Small Animal Core for the NIAID Regional Center for Excellence in Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases at PHRI-UMDNJ.
When the NIH awarded PHRI-UMDNJ the funds to build a Regional Biocontainment Laboratory (RBL), one of only 13 national facilities to support research in biodefense and emerging infectious diseases, Mr. Park was appointed Managing Director. He was instrumental in the design and all research operations. He also assisted with the development of an animal program and managed it until 2019. During that time, he developed several animal models of infection, authored several protocols for animal use and provided guidance on regulatory issues and experimental design to the RBL research community.
Mr. Park views his current position as a research concierge. He provides researchers with the necessary resources to move forward with their projects while utilizing all of the cutting-edge technology and equipment available to them at CDI. Because of his scientific background, he can also help researchers modify their current protocols to incorporate the new resources at CDI and expand their research. Mr. Park also works with researchers to obtain the most competitive pricing for them on any new equipment purchases. He is able to leverage his longstanding relationships with vendors and secure the best pricing and instrument support. His goal is to ensure that all of these elements are handled as smoothly as possible, so that researchers can transition to CDI and continue their work with very little lost time and can start projects without worrying about the logistics associated with them.
Mr. Park holds a Bachelors of Arts in Biology.
Research Assistant Member
Dr. Shor provides comprehensive grant writing support to all CDI faculty. A scientist and academic herself, she has a track record of over 13 years of successful grant writing and editing experience.
Dr. Shor’s first foray into the world of grant writing took place during her time as a doctoral candidate at Columbia University, where she began learning the ins and outs of grant applications. Upon earning her Ph.D. in Genetics and Development, Dr. Shor completed two post-doctoral fellowships at the University of Wisconsin and at Princeton University, respectively. Her post-doctoral training and research was funded, in part, through grants that had been secured through her own grant writing efforts: a Leukemia and Lymphoma fellowship and a grant from the American Cancer Society.
Following her post-doctoral training, Dr. Shor provided grant writing support to the faculty at the Public Health Research Institute at Rutgers University, in addition to conducting her own research, for nearly 5 years before joining the team at CDI.
At CDI, Dr. Shor is available to work with faculty members at any phase of the grant writing process: from the earliest stage of conceiving specific aims to the later stages, when the faculty member already has a prepared draft. Her goal is to ensure that the proposal aims are solid and well-founded by the preliminary data; that the problem is articulated; and that the proposal overall is well-motivated, compelling, and clear. Because grants can be extremely competitive to secure, Dr. Shor utilizes her scientific background to review all applications with a critical eye. She does not limit her reviews to her own fields of study; rather, if she encounters a topic about which she is unfamiliar, she educates herself on it and works closely with the faculty member to understand his or her line of reasoning.