December 2, 2010

Alliance’s Lawson, Marver take new roles at Meharry

Alliance’s Lawson, Marver take new roles at Meharry

With the recent changes under way at the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance, two of its long-time employees have accepted new posts at Meharry Medical College.

Jim Lawson, deputy director of the Alliance, and Diana Marver, Ph.D., director of research and research training for the Alliance, are shifting their administrative responsibilities to focus on Meharry-based initiatives.

Jim Lawson

Jim Lawson

“My role as senior advisor in the Office of External Affairs will be to provide more direct support to Meharry to help strengthen its infrastructure and clinical and research initiatives in the community,” said Lawson. “If we can work out in the community to dispel some issues regarding quality or accessibility — that is a tremendous value to the community.”

Diana Marver, Ph.D.

Diana Marver, Ph.D.

Clifton Meador, M.D., executive director of the Alliance, said Lawson's expertise with community was invaluable.

“The base of clinical activity at Meharry needs to spread into the community and they need a broader primary care base,” said Meador, who has led the Alliance since 1999 and will step down as director in 2012. “I think through Jim's resourcefulness, he will get them connected. I know that the Alliance office would not have been nearly as connected to community agencies and organizations without Jim's influence.”

For the past 10 years, the Alliance has served as a platform to allow for unique education, research and clinical initiatives that have enhanced the communities that both institutions serve.

But recently, leaders decided to refocus the direction on research in public health, health services research and health policy. The transition to a primarily research-focused program will place the emphasis on funding research initiatives and community engagement.

Marver joined the Alliance offices in 1999 to offer temporary assistance in setting up research protocols. And she never left.

In her new role as the assistant vice president for research at Meharry, Marver will promote and advance its research enterprise, work directly with investigators and review grant proposals.

“I love to work one-on-one with investigators,” said Marver. “It's just a good feeling at the end of the day to know that you have been of some service to a researcher, particularly in this era of difficult funding.”

Marver said she applauds the collaborative programs the two institutions have fostered in the past, aided by the Alliance staff, and looks forward to hearing of their new successes in the future.

Meador said Marver is an excellent addition to Meharry, a huge contributor to the Alliance programs and served as an incredible mentor to young investigators.

“Diana's knowledge and experience in understanding grant funding is extraordinary,” said Meador. “Much of the success of establishing a joint research program between Vanderbilt and Meharry can be attributed to her efforts.”