About Us

OPA Staff

George Santangelo, Ph.D.

George’s background is in genomics and data science. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and his doctorate from Yale University. In 2011 George was appointed as Director of the newly formed Office of Portfolio Analysis in DPCPSI, and now leads a team of analysts, data scientists, and software developers to enable data-driven decision-making.

How to reach George:
Phone: 301-496-5006
e-mail: george.santangelo@nih.gov

Sharon Chaney, B.A.
Staff Assistant

Sharon is a Communications professional with 28 years of experience at NIH. She provides the Office with expert administrative support and invaluable institutional knowledge of NIH.  She is the primary contact for OPA and secretary for Dr. Santangelo.  She handles all administrative issues in order to keep the Office moving forward.

How to reach Sharon:
Phone: 301-496-2987
e-mail: sharon.chaney@nih.gov

Kirk Baker, Ph.D.
Scientific Analyst

Kirk's background is in text and data mining, statistical machine learning and natural language processing; for OPA he works as a programmer/scientific analyst, writing software that helps the office analyze large amounts of disparate data efficiently. Typical projects involve automatically linking NIH grants to external data sources, biomedical text mining, and author resolution.

How to reach Kirk:
Phone: 301-496-7504
e-mail: kirk.baker@nih.gov

Katrina Bibb, M.P.H.
Scientific Analyst

Katrina's background is in biology, public health, and global health. She received her M.P.H. and Certificate in Global Health from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2017. She has experience in quantitative and qualitative data analyses, specifically related to environmental epidemiology and health disparities. Katrina has performed a variety of analyses within the NIH including metric development, impact and statistical analyses.

How to reach Katrina:
e-mail: katrina.bibb@nih.gov

Brad Busse, Ph.D.
Data Scientist

With a background that bridges the gap between computer science and biology, Brad brings extensive experience in scientific computing, image analysis and algorithm development to OPA. He is proficient in a number of development environments but prefers Python for its deep learning and scientific processing libraries. Prior to joining OPA, Brad was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development, where he was responsible for tasks ranging from application development to machine learning. Brad received his Ph.D. in Biophysics from Stanford University and his B.S. in Computer Engineering from Texas A&M University.

How to reach Brad:
Phone: 301-402-7711
e-mail: brad.busse@nih.gov

Marina Dathe, M.P.H.
Scientific Analyst

Marina joined OPA in 2017, bringing expertise in behavioral research to the office. Prior to joining OPA, Marina spent three years as a Cancer Research Training Award Fellow at the National Cancer Institute, where she collaborated with scientific staff on program evaluation initiatives and developed a data mining interface to enable the rapid processing and coding of large amounts of data for curation and cleaning. Within the office, Marina uses her experience to gather and analyze NIH-funded research. Marina holds an M.P.H. in Behavioral and Community Health from University of Maryland, College Park.

How to reach Marina:
Phone: 301-402-3162
e-mail: marina.dathe@nih.gov

Matt Davis, M.S.
Software Engineer

Matt's background is in software engineering with a focus on natural language processing, information retrieval, and machine learning. At OPA, he works on the development of a variety web applications, web services, and batch computations. Typical projects include citation resolution and linking, classifying grants via machine learning, and working on the iSearch web application.​

How to reach Matt:
Phone: 301-452-5131​
e-mail: mathew.davis@nih.gov

Shannon Davis
Data Scientist

Shannon's academic background is in international political science, English, and biology. She supports the software development team testing iSearch applications and writing documentation.

How to reach Shannon:
Phone: 301-827-5941
e-mail: shannon.davis@nih.gov

Paula Fearon, Ph.D.
Project Manager

Paula is our training program director, an analyst, and a problem solver with a background in biochemistry and cell biology. She provides guidance in the use of portfolio analysis methods and tools, and consults with NIH staff to find effective solutions to their portfolio analysis questions. Paula is typically involved in trans-NIH analyses, training activities, and coordinating the use of OPA tools across NIH. ​

How to reach Paula:
Phone: 301-496-5663
e-mail: paula.fearon@nih.gov

Ehsanul (Ehsan) Haque, M.S.
Bioinformatics Programmer

Ehsan’s background is in programming. At OPA he develops specialized software for synthesizing large volumes of qualitative scientific information. Ehsan’s programs aim to extract useful information about NIH research programs that can be used to support programmatic decision making. ​

How to reach Ehsan:
Phone: 301-496-6121
e-mail: haquee@od.nih.gov

Rob Harriman, M.S.
Program and Data Analyst

Rob’s degree is in Biotechnology but his primary role at OPA is developing new data sources for the office. He has worked building enhanced patent and Microsoft academic graph databases, creating automated methods linking source data like patents to existing NIH and other agency grants by mining the federal support sections. Rob is depended on to conduct portfolio analyses and support data collection and data cleansing for other analysts in our office.

How to reach Rob:
Phone: 301-594-4873
e-mail: robert.harriman@nih.gov


B. Ian Hutchins, Ph.D.
Data Scientist

Ian’s academic background focused on the self-assembly of neural circuits, first with Dr. Katherine Kalil at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and then in the lab of Dr. Susan Wray at NINDS. Ian develops metrics and tools for research assessment, analyzes trans-NIH research trends and productivity, and conducts workshops for NIH staff on the use of our OPA data science tools. Typical projects include the development of metrics for research assessment and new tools for quantitative portfolio analysis. ​

How to reach Ian:
Phone: 301-594-6488
e-mail: bruce.hutchins@nih.gov

Grant Jones, Ph.D.
Science Analyst

Grant is a biochemist by training, with a diverse background studying human virology, toxic marine algae, and protein translation. He uses his experience with genomics and computer programming to analyze large-scale datasets and present his findings using clear, concise graphics and figures. His work within the OPA is focused on comparing scientific portfolios as well as developing new tools to enhance data-driven decision making by NIH leadership. ​

How to reach Grant:
Phone: 301-402-9568
e-mail: grant.jones@nih.gov

Aviva Litovitz, Ph.D.
Science Analyst

Aviva brings a background in Chemistry and Public Policy Analysis to OPA to strengthen our capacity in research design, data gathering and compilation, statistical analysis, econometric modeling, and network analysis. She performs analysis and evaluation for NIH senior leadership and develops methodology for NIH-wide cost per publication estimates. Aviva is currently initiating an effort to situate the NIH within the broader context of biomedical research funding. ​

How to reach Aviva:
Phone: 301-496-8388
e-mail: aviva.litovitz@nih.gov

Gabriel Lopez
Software Developer

Gabriel joined OPA in July of 2019 as a Software Developer with a concentration in web development and big data processing. Prior to joining OPA, Gabriel worked extensively with web applications designed to derive significant conclusions from large datasets. He earned his B.S. in Computer Science from Columbia University. Currently, Gabriel is focused on java web application development. ​

How to reach Gabriel:
Phone: 202-643-3188
e-mail: gabriel.lopez@nih.gov

Chuck Lynch, Ph.D.
IT Specialist and Information Scientist

Chuck is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy with a background in mechanical engineering, systems engineering and information technology. At OPA he is primarily responsible for specifying, acquiring, and implementing OPA IT infrastructure, adding computational and storage capacity. A recent success was the design and implementation of a complex computing environment (a five server, 150TB Hadoop Computing Cluster) in just six months, with the help of OIT, while the average implementation time is 18 months. ​

How to reach Chuck:
Phone: 301-594-1839
e-mail: chuck.lynch@nih.gov

Rebecca Meseroll, Ph.D.
Science Writer and Analyst

Rebecca’s background is in cell biology, genetics, and biochemistry, with a long-standing interest in science communications. She brings her science writing and editing expertise to OPA, where she prepares data analyses and other developments from the office for external consumption in the form of presentations and written reports. In addition to communicating about OPA, Rebecca performs portfolio analyses to support programmatic decision-making across the NIH. 

How to reach Rebecca:
Phone: 301-594-7357
e-mail: rebecca.meseroll@nih.gov

Payam Meyer, M.S.
Software Engineer

Payam’s background is in software engineering and data systems. Payam is integral to the collaborative work between OPA and ODP involving the development of an advanced machine learning architecture to efficiently classify prevention research across the NIH portfolio. He also contributes to the development of iSearch as well as assisting OPA teammates with their day-to-day data and analytics needs.

How to reach Payam:
Phone: 301-594-4856
e-mail: payam.meyer@nih.gov

Matt Perkins
Training Director and Science Analyst

Matt has a background in mathematics and statistics and has previously spent 14 years working for the Government Statistical Service in the United Kingdom. Matt works as a statistical portfolio analyst and is the director of the OPA Portfolio Analysis Training Program. In this role, Matt assists analysts across the NIH with the use of PA tools, particularly iSearch (OPA's portfolio analysis search tool). In addition, he is responsible for the coordination of the OPA Portfolio Analysis consultation service.

How to reach Matt:
Phone: 301-594-4838
e-mail: matt.perkins@nih.gov

Esha Sinha, Ph.D.
Science Analyst

Esha is Scientific Portfolio Analyst/Economist at Office of Portfolio Analysis. At OPA she carries out analyses of NIH funded research to inform decision making. Before joining OPA, she worked at the National Academies where she organized panel studies and workshops, as well as contributing to analysis. She previously co-directed a study evaluating the commercial motor vehicle safety ranking program of the U.S. Department of Transportation. She earned her M.A. in economics from GIPE, India, and worked for a year as research assistant in the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, before attending SUNY Binghamton where she completed her Ph.D. in economics.​

How to reach Esha:
Phone: 301-594-0319
e-mail: esha.sinha@nih.gov

Lisa Strauss
Program Analyst

Lisa Strauss joined OPA in 2017 as a Program Analyst. She serves in an administrative capacity using her experience as a budget analyst, COR, and administrator. Lisa has been at NIH for 35 years working in both the Clinical Center and the National Institute of Nursing Research. Prior to her career at NIH, she worked in ambulatory care as a Certified Medical Assistant. She has a degree in Health Care Management.

How to reach Lisa:
Phone: 301-496-8547
e-mail: Lisa.Strauss@nih.gov

Lucas Winch
Software Developer

Joining OPA in 2019, Lucas brings experience in web development, super-computing, and scientific computing. Lucas leverages these skills to build a diverse set of software resources and classify research within the NIH portfolio. Prior to joining NIH, Lucas earned his B.S. in Computer Science from Johns Hopkins University and created systems models within the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

How to reach Lucas:
Phone: 301-496-5663
e-mail: lucas.winch@nih.gov

Tom Xu, M.S., Ph.D.
Software Developer

Tom joined OPA in November as a Software Developer. Tom’s background is in quantum physics and computer science. He earned his Ph.D. in physics from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and went on to acquire an M.S. in computer science from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Tom has substantial experience in scientific programing, simulations, and modeling. His current focus is on Java web application development, data analysis, and deep learning.

How to reach Tom:
Phone: 301-827-5942
e-mail: tom.xu@nih.gov

Hao Yu, Ph.D.
Software Developer

Hao has a unique background in biomedical research and computer science. She earned her PhD degree in Cell Biology from University of Miami. She is also working toward a MS in Computer Science at JHU. With a focus on Java programming and information retrieval, she works as part of the software development team for web applications such as iSearch and iClean, using her knowledge in biomedical science to improve the tools that are designed for portfolio analysis.

How to reach Hao:
Phone: 301-496-3918
e-mail: hao.yu@nih.gov

Abbey D. Zuehlke, Ph.D.
Science Writer and Analyst

Abbey’s background is in biochemistry, molecular biology, and microbiology. She brings experience as an editor and writer through her positions as an Associate Editor for the NIH Fellows Editorial Board and frequent writer for the Center for Cancer Research Fellows and Young Investigators Newsletter. Within OPA, she performs data analysis, and edits and reports current projects for communication outside of OPA.

How to reach Abbey:
Phone: 301-827-5943
e-mail: abbey.zuehlke@nih.gov

This page last reviewed on February 26, 2020