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ACTS: Team Science and the Academic Research Enterprise

April 11 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Join our series kickoff, where we’ll discuss Team Science practices with key stakeholders at UNC Chapel Hill. We’ll hear from several campus institutes utilizing Team Science to advance research. During our time together, we’ll discuss terminology and highlight critical aspects of successful Team Science efforts as well as pitfalls to avoid.


Stan Ahalt, PhD –  Inaugural Dean for the School of Data Science and Society, and the Executive Advisor and Domain Scientist for Team Science at RENCI

In June 2022, Stan Ahalt was named dean of the School of Data Science and Society at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before his appointment as dean, Ahalt served as director of the Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) for thirteen years. During his tenure, Ahalt has also helped secure nearly $127 million in funding for complex data science grants positioning Carolina as a leader in this field.

Since joining RENCI in 2009, Ahalt has advanced data science at Carolina by integrating it into the curriculum in the College of Arts & Sciences and helped launch the Carolina Health Informatics Program (CHIP) in the School of Information and Library Science (SILS). In addition, Ahalt helped launch the National Consortium for Data Science, a public-private partnership to support a 21st-century data-driven economy and iRODS, open-source data management software. Also serving as a professor in the College of Arts & Science’s computer science department and associate director of informatics and data science in the North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute, Ahalt is well versed in working across teams. He is passionate about applying data science to address pressing challenges in health care and in environmental and judicial matters.

Before coming to Carolina, Ahalt served as executive director of the Ohio Supercomputer Center from 2003 to 2009 and as a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The Ohio State University for more than two decades. He earned a bachelor and master of science in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech and a doctorate in electrical and computer engineering from Clemson University.

Hailey Brighton, PhD – Associate Director of Grants and Programs, Institute for Convergent Sciences

Hailey Brighton, Ph.D., is the Associate Director of Grants and Programs at the Institute for Convergent Sciences. Brighton works to advance UNC’s applied and translational research pipeline and promotes innovation at UNC through management and development of interdisciplinary collaborations. She has 15+ years of combined experience in life sciences research and work in the commercial sector. Her past roles have involved preclinical development of small molecule inhibitors for oncology at an early-stage biotech company, supportive non clinical oncology studies for a company in Phase II clinical trials, project management for an interdisciplinary team developing technologies at the graduate and undergraduate level, and analyst/consulting experience covering a wide range of business topics. Brighton has significant drug development training with a focus on preclinical design, study management, analysis, and opportunity assessment. Brighton received a B.S. from the University of California San Diego, a Ph.D. from UNC Chapel Hill, and she performed postdoctoral research at Duke University.

Brandy Farlow, MA – Research Proposal and Documentation Specialist, Renaissance Computing Institute

Brandy Farlow serves as a Research Proposal and Documentation Specialist at the Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She brings over 15 years of writing and editing experience. Brandy also served as a math, science, and visually impaired teacher at the middle and high school levels, where she enjoyed helping students understand how their classroom learning connected to the larger world and to other subjects. Brandy holds a bachelor’s degree in English, with additional studies in Geology, and a master’s degree in mathematics education. She is also currently pursuing her PhD in Leadership, where she focuses on components of collaborative team leadership and its applications to team science. Brandy has always been, and remains, passionate about the connection between the STEM world and the humanities, trying to understand the overlaps between each pursuit and how they can be used to enable and enhance one another. As such, team science is one of her biggest interests.

Sherette Godfrey, PhD – Project Manager, UNC Lineberger Cancer Center Team Science

Sherette Godfrey, PhD, is a Project Manager for Team Science at the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at UNC (UNC Lineberger). Her role includes proposal development for grants and internships to integrate research programs within UNC Lineberger and assist them in forging new connections. Sherette aims to support initiatives in emerging areas of interest for NCI and UNC Lineberger through securing additional extramural funding for team science research. She has demonstrated experience in working with different NIH grant submissions with internal and external collaborators, and serves as a collaborator to a wide swath of diverse stakeholders including researchers, PIs, admins and others across UNC-Chapel Hill and beyond. Sherette has had the privilege to train and support many students in undergraduate and masters programs at both NC A&T State University and UNC-Chapel Hill. Prior to her role as a project manager, she completed a PhD in health disparities as related to Triple-Negative Breast Cancer at NC A&T State University. She followed this work with a postdoctoral fellowship at UNC-Chapel Hill where she continued health disparities research on endometrial cancer with a focus on chromatin and epigenetic remodeling.

Kaitlin S. Zalcikova, PhD – Program Manager, CTS Research Program and Team Science, NC TraCS Institute
Kaitlin Zalcikova, PhD, is a versatile professional with more than 15 years of expertise in scientific research, project management, and grant proposal development. She worked in both basic and clinical lab settings across the areas of neuroscience, social-behavioral, and biochemistry research prior to joining the North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences (NC TraCS) Institute in 2021. Here she initially served as a Team Science Project Manager before assuming her current role as the Program Manager for Team Science and the new Clinical and Translational Science (CTS) Research Program. In her Team Science role, she spearheaded the development and management of the Advancing Collaborative Team Research (ACTeR) Program, an initiative which aims to build and support new multidisciplinary teams on campus seeking to tackle challenging problems in clinical or translational medicine. Kaitlin continues to drive impactful initiatives within NC TraCS, empowering teams to effectively and efficiently translate scientific discoveries into tangible clinical outcomes.


April 11
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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