Meet the Scientists

The staff scientists at the OAR oversee the research across the HIV Research Priority areas. The NIH response to the HIV pandemic requires a multi-Institute and multidisciplinary research program. OAR scientists assist in the coordination of this program by working to enhance NIH-wide collaboration and coordination, minimize duplication, and ensure that research dollars are being invested effectively and across the NIH Institutes and Centers conducting HIV/AIDS research.

Learn more about each scientist and his or her role within OAR.

Meet the Scientists
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Yvette Edghill Spano, Ph.D., joined the OAR as a health scientist administrator/policy planning and evaluation lead in June 2018. She joined the OAR from the Division of AIDS in the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, where she served as the Assistant Director of Operations of the Vaccine Research Program (VRP). Dr. Edghill Spano works with OAR leadership, as well as with scientific and budget staff, to develop and coordinate high-level documents such as the Trans-NIH Strategic Plan for HIV and HIV-Related Research, Congressional Budget Justification, and Professional Budget Justification. She has actively participated as a member of the OAR Cost-Sharing Task Force and Data Analysis team. 

Dr. Edghill Spano earned her B.S. from Caldwell University and a Ph.D. in Laboratory Medicine and Pathology from Rutgers University/University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She completed her postdoctoral research training at the University of Washington and the NIH, focusing on vaccine development and mucosal immunology for HIV in humans and the simian immunodeficiency virus nonhuman primate model, respectively. Dr. Edghill Spano joined VRP to streamline processes, implement teams, and oversee a host of other activities, including contracts, budget, and program management.

Paul Gaist, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Paul Gaist, Ph.D., M.P.H., joined the OAR in 1992 as a health scientist administrator. He leads the Behavioral and Social Sciences Research and Reduce the Incidence of HIV research priorities at the OAR. In addition, his responsibilities include implementation science, and program planning. Before joining the OAR, Dr. Gaist was the Deputy Director of HIV/AIDS at the Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration, a former agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Prior to that, he was an intramural scientist and researcher in the Psychobiology Branch of the National Institute of Mental Health. He has also served as Senior Science Advisor to the Director, Office of National AIDS Policy, Executive Office of the President.

Dr. Gaist received his Ph.D. in Behavioral Science Research and Health Education, as well as his M.P.H. in Health Policy and Management, from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He also holds degrees in Psychology and Physiology from the University of California, Berkeley.  

Stacy Carrington-Lawrence, Ph.D. Stacy Carrington-Lawrence, Ph.D., who joined the OAR in 2007, oversees the Develop Next-Generation HIV Therapies and Cross-Cutting Areas priorities. She serves as the executive secretary for the Trans-NIH AIDS Executive Committee, which is composed of senior representatives from more than 20 Institutes, Centers, and Offices with HIV research in their portfolios. This group is responsible for helping to set the priorities and agenda for NIH research related to HIV and AIDS. Prior to joining OAR, Dr. Carrington-Lawrence completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Cancer Institute and then served in the NIH Office of Science Policy, where she worked on public-private partnerships. 
Jay Radke

Jay Radke, Ph.D., joined the OAR in June 2018 and is responsible for providing leadership and technical guidance to the OAR scientific group as the supervisory health scientist administrator. Previously, he was a scientific review officer in the AIDS Review Branch of the Scientific Review Program at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Dr. Radke holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Biology and Computer Science and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Montana State University. Prior to joining the NIH in 2011, he was an associate professor and principal investigator in the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at Montana State University.

Paul Sato, M.D.

Paul Sato, M.D., M.P.H., joined the OAR in 2013 as a medical officer and oversees the Research Toward an HIV Cure priority area. Previously, Dr. Sato was a medical officer in the Maternal Adolescent and Pediatric Research Branch of the Therapeutics Research Program in the Division of AIDS (DAIDS) at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, where his work focused on vaccine research, prevention of HIV/AIDS among adolescents, and treatment strategy clinical trials in children. He also has worked in the DAIDS Vaccine Research Program, the U.S. Department of Defense Center for Deployment Health Research, and the World Health Organization’s Global Program on AIDS.

Dr. Sato is a Commander in the U.S. Public Health Service.

Natalie Tomitch, M.P.H., M.B.A.

Natalie Tomitch, M.P.H., M.B.A., joined the OAR as a health scientist administrator in December 2005 and currently oversees the HIV-Associated Comorbidities, Coinfections, and Complications research priority at the OAR. This research priority seeks to identify, prevent, and treat concurrent conditions in people with HIV across the lifespan. She also manages trans-NIH international initiatives and the portfolio of Training, Infrastructure, and Capacity Building. Ms. Tomitch joined the OAR after serving in the Division of International Relations at NIH’s Fogarty International Center. She has worked as a health educator and honed her international expertise at what is now called the Office of Global Affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and she has worked widely across the nonprofit sector. 

Ms. Tomitch received her M.P.H. with a focus on Nutritional Science from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her M.B.A. in International Business from Pepperdine University.

This page last reviewed on October 17, 2018