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Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute announces new administrative director

Erica Francis has joined Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) as the new administrative director and will begin her role on June 23, 2022. She will lead CTSI operations and staff, implementing the institute’s strategic vision and plans. She will also oversee project management, communication, personnel and finances and work closely with CTSI executive directors, senior staff and faculty to develop programs that advance its vision and mission.

Francis currently serves as project director for Penn State Project ECHO, where she has managed more than $10 million in projects funded by federal and state agencies, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

“Erica’s recognized expertise in research administrative management, combined with her outstanding problem-solving, communication and interpersonal skills, make her the ideal administrative director,” said CTSI Director Dr. Jen Kraschnewski. “I look forward to her many contributions as the CTSI continues to promote and support clinical and translational research at Penn State.”

In her role with Project ECHO, Francis developed novel standard operating procedures, unit operations, strategic planning and workforce development initiatives. She has extensive experience in developing an evaluation framework, including a streamlined process for data capture using REDCap on more than 70 projects. Through her national leadership of Project ECHO, she has collaborated with more than 25 universities across the country, which she will leverage to develop connections for the CTSI as part of the national network of NIH-funded clinical and translational awardees.

Dee Bagshaw has served as interim administrative director since December 2021, while also serving as CTSI program manager at University Park. “I am incredibly grateful to Dee for her leadership of the CTSI during the past six months,” said Dr. Larry Sinoway, CTSI multiple principal investigator. “She did an excellent job onboarding new staff members and creating new processes to support our research faculty and staff.”

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