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The CHAVI Team
Durham, NC - In a word, the new CHAVI-ID will continue to be a collaboration, and collaboration among brilliant researchers has accelerated the pace of HIV/AIDS research in the past seven years and will continue to do so the next seven years. On a daily basis, investigators bounce ideas off one another, and samples are passed from lab to lab to extract different sets of data. CHAVI-ID is a complex web of teams and investigators working with other teams and investigators, supported by administrative and financial staff who keep track of data and make sure that the center stays compliant with the terms of the grant.
Center director Bart Haynes said that putting in place the support system for the investigators when CHAVI was originally formed was critical. The NIH's grant conditions specified that 100 percent compliance was required, placing additional pressure on the fledgling research center to steward the money perfectly. If CHAVI couldn't spend the money and get the work done, it would have been a disaster. Chief operating officer Tom Denny, along with associate director for finance Cherie Lahti and associate director for programs Kelly Soderberg, have kept CHAVI moving forward like the proverbial well-oiled machine.
"This team is the best team in the world at knowing how to administer large grants," Haynes says. "When we got CHAVI, there had never been a research grant that size at Duke or anywhere.
"There was no one who could figure out how to administer such a grant -- how to move that kind of money around in subcontracts. We had 110 subcontracts at any given time. It's a massive effort, and our administration and our team had to learn it on the fly."
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