Michael Samardzija, PhD, JD

Michael Samardzija, PhD, JD is Vice President for Research Affairs.  He spearheads the industry and governmental relations as those relate to innovation, entrepreneurship, and company formation.  Dr. Samardzija is an intellectual property attorney and has represented numerous life sciences companies at all stages of development. Prior to becoming an attorney, Dr. Samardzija was a scientist in industry and academia.


Michael A. Kirby, PhD

Michael Kirby, PhD is Associate Vice President for Research Affairs with responsibility for review of grant proposals for scientific merit and institutional risk. He also has oversight of research training and education.

Dr. Kirby is a neuroscientist who received his PhD degree from the University of California, Riverside and was a post doctoral fellow at the National Eye Institute at the University of California, Davis. A full professor in the departments of Pathology, Human Anatomy, Pediatrics, Neuro Surgery and Perinatal Biology for 33 years. He has an active laboratory in collaboration with Steve Yellon, PhD examining spinal cord mechanisms of cervical ripening parturition, and delivery. 

See Dr. Kirby's faculty directory page.


Aleta Savage, MBA, CRA

Aleta Savage is Assistant Vice President of Research Operations. 

Aleta Savage, MBA, CRA is Assistant Vice President of Research Operations.  Her responsibilities include overall leadership and support of financial and administrative operations, ensuring compliance with organizational, state, and federal regulations, ethical stewardship of funds, and strategic planning.  She has direct oversight of the Pre and Post Award functions, the Research Affairs information technology group, and serves as the Institutional Business Official representing the institutional in an official capacity and liaison to government organizations for submissions, funded applications, audits, and overhead negotiations.  On behalf of the Vice President for Research, Aleta is responsible for all budgetary and human resource actions within Research Affairs.

She started at LLUH working in the Grants Management office and has 15 years of progressive research administration experience. Aleta received her MBA degree from California State University San Bernardino.


Cindy Perez, Executive Assistant