Date: March 30, 2022 By: Jacquelyn Clermont
Administrative Director for Research Marina Boyarina is the woman behind all the Ragon Institute’s research. It’s just that she doesn’t wear a white coat.
There are currently 26 individuals with labs onsite at the Ragon, and just about all of these labs are funded by grants Boyarina and her staff of four oversee from initial grant submission to management of grant disbursement and closeout.
Her team today oversees 165 grants from such organizations as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the National Institutes for Health, fueling discovery not only on HIV, but also on infectious diseases, such as TB, COVID-19, and Ebola.
“I love just being part of the brilliant team of researchers and seeing them getting the grants,” says Boyarina, a native of Ukraine and a former French teacher.
Grant awards vary widely. Some are lump-sum awards. Some are reimbursements. Some are sequential depending on milestones achieved. All require close oversight and regular documentation.
Boyarina says she has learned a lot during her 16 years at Ragon. When she started, there were half as many labs as there are now. She has contributed much to the progress of the organization and of the people in it, including fellows who have grown into faculty with their own labs.
She savors memories of informal encounters with the researchers, learning not only about their projects, but also about their hobbies and families.
She says her greatest accomplishment is dedicating so many years to the Institute.
“It’s great to feel I’ve played a part in making Ragon what it is now,” she says.
Press release on two new studies from Ragon associate member Duane Wesemann
The team’s project, the Maternal ‘Omics to Maximize Immunity (MOMI) study, will map a “Pregnancy Immune Atlas”.
New research has identified helpful and unhelpful aspects of the immune response that determine whether the body can keep TB infections under control. The findings may be helpful for designing a more effective vaccine.