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OPRS Staff

The Office for the Protection of Research Subjects (OPRS) is headed by a Director and staffed by human subject research administrators and support staff. Contact information is as follows:

Second Floor, MC-095
805 West Pennsylvania Avenue
Urbana, IL 61801
Phone: [217] 333.2670 


The OPRS Director has overall responsibility for IRB administration at the Urbana campus. The director, who is a voting member of the IRB, works closely with the Vice Chancellor for Research and the chairs of the IRBs in the development of IRB policies and has primary responsibility for IRB procedures at Illinois as well as educational programs on human subjects' research.

Anita Balgopal, PhD

Anita Balgopal
(217) 300-2203
Director, OPRS

Anita Balgopal joined the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2012 to serve as the Director of OPRS. She has over 17 years of experience in the area of research administration and regulatory compliance. Prior to coming to the Urbana campus, Anita was at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. She holds degrees in health administration, social work, and higher education administration. Anita’s personal research interest are in the areas of undergraduate experiential learning and facilitating ethical research at institutions of higher education.

Human Subjects Research Coordinator

The Human Subjects Research Coordinator is responsible for the education of the Illinois research community through presentations, meetings, and the continuing education of OPRS staff and board members. The position also provides leadership in examining overall office processes and efficiency.

Human Subjects Research Specialists

The Human Subjects Research Specialists are responsible for screening new, amendment, and renewal IRB applications for accuracy, clarity, and completeness. The research specialists interpret federal and university policies related to human subjects research providing feedback to investigators based on federal and university regulations and recommending level of review for each application responding to inquiries from faculty, staff and students about the IRB process.

Alisa Ortiz, MUP

Alisa Ortiz
(217) 300-3434
Human Subjects Research Specialist

Alisa Ortiz joined OPRS in July of 2017 after working as an Accessibility Specialist at Steven Winter Associates. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering and a Master's degree in Urban Planning. Her personal research interests are in fear of crime and transportation systems.

Jennifer Ford, MS

Jennifer Ford
(217) 300-2022
Human Subjects Research Specialist

Jennifer Ford joined the OPRS office in November of 2016 after working as a Systems Specialist in the Office of Sponsored Programs. She has degrees in Psychology and General Experimental Psychology. Jennifer's research area of interest is Clinical Health Psychology.

Office Support Specialist

The Office Support Specialist provides administrative support to the director. She is also responsible for processing submissions as they are received, transcribes material for OPRS staff members, determines needs and handles requests from researchers and IRB members.

Marnita Sills

Marnita Sills
(217) 244-3923
Office Support Specialist

Marnita Sills joined the Urbana campus in 2005 and began her office supporting position with OPRS in 2006. She has 23 years of experience as an office professional including clerical, accounting, and office management functions, Marnita holds a degree in accounting.