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Administrative Core

Executive Council

john kirwan

John Kirwan, PhD
LA CaTS Center Director
Pennington Biomedical Research Center

Lee Hamm

L. Lee Hamm, MD
LA CaTS Program Co-Director
Tulane University 

Steve Nelson

Steve Nelson, MD
LA CaTS Program Co-Director
LSU Health New Orleans

Administrative Staff

Tiffany Prather

Tiffany Prather, RN
LA CaTS Program Manager 
Pennington Biomedical
(225) 763-2979

Kieu Pham

Kieu Pham
LA CaTS Administrative Coordinator 
Pennington Biomedical
(225) 763-3142

Bonnie Hymel Trentecoste

Bonnie Hymel Trentecoste
Inter-institutional Liaison
Pennington Biomedical
(225) 763-2986

Carly Pigg

Carly Pigg, CRA
LA CaTS Administrator
LSU Health New Orleans
(504) 568-4439

andrew barton

Andrew Barton, MS
LA CaTS Administrator
Tulane University
(504) 988-9038

Meaghan Donewar

Meaghan Donewar, MPH
LA CaTS Coordinator
Tulane University


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About This Core

The Administrative Core facilitates the business and management structure for bringing about the meaningful and inclusive collaborations that form the heart of the LA CaTS Center. This Core sets the tone for a Center culture devoted to integration and performance by coordinating and articulating the work conducted by the Center’s 10 Cores. With direction from our leadership team, we ensure effective Center services, facilitate implementing the strategic plan and track the Center’s progress in achieving goals. Our objectives include providing Center Offices, facilitating access to Center Resources, encouraging interaction, building collaborations, maintaining available resources, and providing consistent information. All of these things are vital for scientists and investigators who are interested in pursuing careers in clinical and translational (CT) research, particularly those involved with the current NIH COBRE and INBRE programs in Louisiana.

Leadership for the activities carried out by this Core include:

  • John Kirwan, PhD, LA CaTS Center Principal Investigator and Administrative Core Director: Dr. Kirwan is the Executive Director of Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge.
  • L. Lee Hamm, MD, LA CaTS Center Program Co-Director: Dr. Hamm is the Senior Vice President and Dean of the School of Medicine at Tulane University.
  • Steve Nelson, MD LA CaTS Center Co-Program Director: Dr. Nelson is the Interim Chancellor of LSU Health-New Orleans, which is comprised of 6 schools - Medicine, Nursing, Allied Health, Public Health, Graduate Studies, and Dentistry. 

The Administrative Core convenes the following committees and boards:

Provides the day-to-day leadership to ensure a) that activities of all the Cores are coordinated to enable fluidity, integration and seamless delivery of services; and b) cross-institutional leadership and accountability for executing the Center’s strategic and management plans. The Operations Committee is composed of the PI, Co-Program Directors, Core and Core Leaders.

Provides governance for the Center and is composed of institutional leaders from the Center’s Primary Collaborating Institutions and Research Partners.

Provides an objective evaluation of the progress of the LA CaTS Center, and to provide recommendations based off those assessments. Click here to see the EAC members.

Administrative Core Staff. Each of the 3 Primary Collaborating Institutions has dedicated administrative staff who carry out the day to day operations of the LA CaTS Center and assist the PI, Program Co-Directors and cores. LA CaTS Administrative staff also serve as the primary points of contact for the Center.

Administrative Core Significance: This core provides the infrastructure that enables cross-component and cross-institutional strategies and that culture to establish the Center as the academic home for creating a community of scholarship and point of entry to clinical and translational research and resources. Through this Core, our leaders come together to implement the Center’s plan and harmonize the plans of the LA CaTS Cores and Collaborating Institutions to support the COBREs and INBRE. We consistently track and evaluate the work of the Center, then have it reviewed by outside experts to achieve optimum efficiency and results.

A key element of our strategic plan is to guide Center activities to leverage novel scientific opportunities (i.e., COVID-19 testing and vaccination, Long-Covid Cohort, community based participatory research, precision medicine and nutrition initiatives) in a way that ensures resources are accessible in a fair and equitable fashion to a diverse faculty and in a way that is inclusive to underserved and underrepresented communities across our state. We will pursue this goal via the following Specific Aims:
Specific Aim 1. Provide effective creative leadership, and an administrative and governance structure that ensures expansion, growth, coordination, and access of research resources and services across all partner Institutions and Cores. The Administrative Core will efficiently manage and effectively coordinate and streamline all business, fiscal and scientific functions related to LA CaTS across the network institutions. The Core will execute decisions and recommendations made by the LA CaTS leadership and the Operations Committee to align Cores to achieve the overall Center mission. The Core will be responsible for integrating the expertise of all partners to expand and enhance the LA CaTS Center statewide research enterprise. Core leadership will convene the following Center-wide committees: External Advisory Committee, Internal Advisory Committee, Executive Council, Steering Committee, and Operations Committee.
Specific Aim 2. Provide for and support an environment that fosters a culture of collaboration between investigators, key components, and institutions within and outside Louisiana. The Administrative Core will provide the planning, organization, support, and communication to promote, initiate, implement, and strengthen research-related collaborations within and outside the Center. The Core will promote and emphasize activities in support of scientific opportunities and multi-institutional/multidisciplinary statewide projects designed to improve health outcomes and address health disparities.
Specific Aim 3. Provide an interface for the effective interaction and communication of our unified research enterprise to the stakeholders and populations we serve. The Administrative Core will provide an overarching framework for cultivating relationships and ensuring effective interactions among key stakeholders (LA CaTS Cores, all involved institutions, governing and advisory committees, Center staff, COBRE and INBREs, the NIGMS program office and our regional and national CTSA and IDeA-CTR partners). The Administrative Core will oversee and coordinate the activities of all other cores to advance consistent and culturally appropriate messaging to inform our diverse communities and patient populations on the value and benefit of research and the availability of research trials and initiatives (e.g., clinical trials, community based participatory research).