HSLS Staff News

The HSLS Staff News section includes recent HSLS presentations, publications, staff changes, staff promotions, degrees earned, and more.


Sri Chaparala, Lead Bioinformatics Specialist, has been promoted to Librarian III, a testament to her outstanding contributions to the HSLS Molecular Biology Information Service. She has spearheaded innovative bioinformatics workshops on cutting-edge topics and provides tailored consultations. She has also co-authored 12 peer-reviewed academic publications, demonstrating her meaningful impact on the Pitt research community.

Kelsey Cowles, Research and Instruction Librarian, has been promoted to Librarian II. In this position, Kelsey is responsible for identifying opportunities for library involvement in interprofessional education and community engagement. She also serves as a co-liaison to the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, providing research and scholarly support and instruction for the school’s faculty, staff, and students.

Rebekah Miller, Research and Instruction Librarian, has been promoted to Librarian III, reflecting her successful advancement and accomplishments as primary liaison librarian to the School of Nursing, co-liaison to the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, lead for the Seed grant-funded project “Disrupting Health Dis- and Misinformation in the Patient Care Setting: Open Educational Resources for Nurse Education,” and work in misinformation education.

Julia Reese has been promoted to Digital Library Services Librarian. She received her Master’s in Library and Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh in April and also holds a B.S. in Biological Sciences. She has been a valuable member of the HSLS team since 2018. Her responsibilities as Digital Library Services Librarian encompass ensuring that HSLS digital content and licensed resources adhere to accessibility standards and best practices. Reese will also lead digital collections assessment to economically align digital resources with the needs of the health sciences community. Additionally, she will contribute to the development of digital content that exposes resources in the History of Medicine and Special Collections for use in education.

Helenmary Sheridan has been promoted to Librarian III, reflecting her significant accomplishments and increased responsibilities as Data Services Librarian, including leading consultations with researchers writing data management and sharing plans, teaching classes on open science, participating as a project team member for the MIDAS Coordination Center, and publishing several peer-reviewed papers and presentations.

Sera Thornton, Instructional Designer, is now chair of the Provost’s Standing Committee on Open Educational Resources, having served as interim chair since December 2022. Open Educational Resources (OER) are high-quality curricular materials such as textbooks, lab notebooks, videos, quizzes, or other ancillary items that are in the public domain or have been released under an open license, making them freely available to faculty and students. This committee was formed in 2018 in response to a Student Government Board resolution supporting expanded use of OER as a means to control costs. The committee provides a targeted and sustained OER awareness program at Pitt, including running the Office of the Provost’s yearly OER Grant Program. This grant program invites proposals from Pitt faculty for projects to adapt, adopt, or author OER to be used in existing Pitt courses, and it usually sends out a call for proposals in the early spring term.


HSLS welcomes two new staff members who have recently joined the Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) All of Us Program Center (NAPC) at HSLS:

Gates Marquez, NNLM All of Us Program Manager, hold a Master’s in Library and Information Science and comes to HSLS from Boise Public Library, where he created and facilitated training and professional development opportunities for staff of the library system, participated in and lead strategic planning initiatives, and supported collaborative partnership projects to enhance community engagement and evaluation of community-based programs. For NAPC, Marquez will work closely with external partners to manage training and program development projects, and he will act as our first point of contact for new training and support requests.

Daniel Scullion, NNLM All of Us Program Instructional Technology Manager, holds a Master’s in Instructional Technology and a Master’s in Education Administration. Scullion comes to HSLS from InfoVista and Education Affiliates, where he developed and designed course curricula, administered Learning Management Systems (LMS), and monitored and evaluated the effectiveness of training programs. For NAPC, he manages the All of Us Training and Education Platform (TEP). He supports testing and launch for new courses, features, and services; acts as a super-user for our LMS to assist learners; and investigates and pilots new tools and technologies to enhance learning and engagement for NAPC audiences.

Poster Presentations

Alexis Cenname, Data Scientist, Sri Chaparala, Bioinformatics Specialist, and Ansuman Chattopadhyay, Program Director for Molecular Biology Information Services, co-authored the poster:

Cenname, A., Boyce, R.D., Kravchenko, O., Chaparala, S., & Chattopadhyay, A. (2023, October 4). Unlocking the Potential of All of Us Research Program: Training Researchers to Harness Massive Health Datasets [Poster Presentation]. Digital Health Summit. University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, United States.

Julia Reese, Digital Library Services Librarian, and Fran Yarger, Associate Director for Digital Library Services, co-authored the poster:

Reese, J., & Yarger, F. (2023, October 4). The HSLS VR Learnspace: Connecting the Pitt Health Sciences Community with Cutting-Edge Medical Education Technology [Poster Presentation]. Digital Health Summit. University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, United States.