Interim Vice President of Scientific Affairs at the American Red Cross. Her early career centered on the study of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies or prion diseases with a special focus on the molecular mechanisms of prion replication and neurodegeneration and the development of biochemical and molecular tools for the preclinical detection of infectious prions in blood. Paula joined the American Red Cross in 2011. During her time with the organization, Paula led the Scientific Support Office laboratory and administrative functions on numerous studies related to transfusion transmissible infections and blood safety. In her currently role she’s leading an interdisciplinary group of investigators who manage multiple federally funded (CDC, FDA, NIH) epidemiological studies on blood donor and recipient safety. Her team provides operational support to the organization by monitoring blood screening assay performance characteristics, managing WNV tracking and triggering events, and donor reentry processes among other activities. In close collaboration with industry partners, the Scientific Affairs team is leading the optimization and development of NAT and serological assays for blood donation screening for the prevention of transfusion transmissible infections.