Research Integrity & Compliance Leadership


Sonya Hadrigan




Sonya Hadrigan

Associate Provost for Research Integrity and Compliance

Sonya Hadrigan has over 20 years of experience in translational research oversight, compliance and business operations. She has served in leadership roles at academic medical centers, university systems, and national oversight agencies. Sonya is a recognized expert at effectively assessing processes, developing gap analyses, and proposing and implementing sustainable solutions for optimal, ethical, and compliant research operations, focused on organizational culture, change management and collaboration.

Sonya is a Family Nurse Practitioner, Certified IRB Professional, and is completing her Master’s in Jurisprudence.



Melissa Thompson




Melissa Thompson

Executive Director for Research Integrity & Compliance

Melissa has over a decade of experience in the fields of research integrity and regulatory compliance, which she developed through previous positions with two renowned R1 institutions (the University of Maryland, College Park and Johns Hopkins University). She has served in a variety of related roles, including Research Integrity Officer, Director of Research Integrity, and Assistant Director of Outside Interests, with responsibility for handling research misconduct cases, developing and overseeing Responsible Conduct of Research ("RCR") programming, and reviewing and managing conflicts of interest related to research.

Melissa has an extensive background in coordinating efforts to broadly foster research integrity and compliance, particularly through the creation of associated education and resources, collaboration with related institutional offices and committees, identification of associated policy and program needs, and engagement with federal partners in related funding and regulatory oversight agencies. She is an active member of the Association of Research Integrity Officers and has participated in a number of conferences and special interest groups for research integrity-focused organizations, such as the Big Ten Academic Alliance Responsible Conduct of Research Collaborative.

Prior to this work, Melissa practiced law with a general litigation firm in Maryland. She received her juris doctorate from the University of Maryland School of Law, along with a certificate in health law, and has a bachelor's degree in political science from Salisbury University.







Cynthia Gates

Interim Managing Director, Regulatory Oversight

Cindy Gates received her law degree from Seattle University School of Law and a nursing degree from Middle Georgia State University. She has dedicated over two decades to the field of human subject research protection.

Starting at Western IRB (WCG), Cindy honed her expertise over a 12-year tenure, laying a strong foundation in ethical and regulatory compliance. Her leadership skills were further recognized as she steered the Human Research Protection Programs at the University of California, Davis, and the University of Miami, showcasing her ability to manage complex research environments and enhance institutional compliance.