Sponsored Programs Office

Team

Vani Nilakantan

Vani Nilakantan, PhD

Director, Sponsored Programs Office

Dr. Vani Nilakantan is responsible for setting research priorities in alignment with Aurora’s strategic vision and has oversight of Investigator-Initiated Research and the Sponsored Programs Office at Aurora.

Prior to joining Aurora Health Care, Dr. Nilakantan was an assistant professor of surgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), where she led a research program in ischemic acute kidney injury and renal protection in kidney transplantation. Her work has been supported by intramural and extramural funding from American Heart Association and National Institutes of Health (NIH). Her collaborations with other investigators have led to multiple grants, peer-reviewed publications and presentations at national conferences.

Dr. Nilakantan is an ad-hoc reviewer/editorial board member for several journals, and has held leadership roles in local and national committees. This includes the Aurora University of Wisconsin Medical Group Research Committee, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, Aurora Conflict of Interest Taskforce, Aurora Cardiovascular Services – Research Committee, Cancer Clinical Leadership – Research Subcommittee, MCW Admissions Committee, MCW Program Committee Women’s Faculty Council Co-Chair, and International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation – Quality of Life Scientific Council. Vani Nilakantan NIH Bio (PDF, 39 KB)

Lisa Klement

Lisa Klement

Administrative Assistant Senior

Lisa provides administrative support to the directors of Investigator-Initiated Research, Sponsored Programs Office, and Clinical Trials. She has been an administrative professional for 12 years with Aurora Health Care in a variety of roles, including positions in the departments of Human Resources, Quality Management and Nursing Administration.      

Mary Groce

Mary Groce

Administrative Assistant

Mary is responsible for covering the Aurora Research Institute's main reception desk. Mary also provides administrative support to the Sponsored Programs Office, the Early-Phase Cancer Research Program, and Research Analytics. She has been with Aurora Health Care for seven years, four of which were spent in the Philanthropy/Foundation Department.

Juanita (Terrie) Garcia

Juanita (Terrie) Garcia, MEd, RN

Grant Specialist Senior – Pre-Award

Terrie has over seven years of experience in grant coordination and development. Prior to joining Aurora, Terrie coordinated federally funded grants and served as grant writer at Marquette University. Terrie is not new to Aurora – for seven years, she was an RN Community Health Educator. Through her experiences, she has gained a deep understanding of the needs and health disparities in the community and has developed strong working relationships with academic institutions and community organizations. Currently, Terrie is pursuing a PhD in Nursing at Marquette University.

Neha Glandt

Neha Glandt

Grant Specialist Senior – Pre-Award

Neha joined Aurora Research Institute in January 2012. She has more than 10 years of grant development and fundraising experience within small, medium and large nonprofit organizations. Prior to joining Aurora, Neha worked at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee for more than six years, most recently serving as resource development manager of grants. During her time with Boys & Girls Clubs, she helped raise more than $1.2 million annually in grants for program and capital needs. Neha graduated from Marquette University with a bachelor’s degree in English.

Christina Gonzalez

Cristina Gonzalez

Grant Specialist Senior – Post-Award

Cristina joined Aurora Research Institute in January 2013 as a post-award specialist. She has over 6 years of grant experience directly providing financial advisory services and management information to Principal Investigators (PIs), aiding them in monitoring their grant accounts, while adhering to the terms and conditions of the award. Cristina has an MBA and in 2012 she completed a Graduate Accounting Certificate from University of Phoenix.

Tobias (Toby) Wolf

Tobias (Toby) Wolf

Grant Specialist Senior – Post-Award

Toby has 10 years of experience in grant development and management. He specializes in large infrastructure and program grants. He also supports the Aurora Research Institute contract group with new award setup.