The Office of Research Integrity and Compliance (ORIC) announced Linnea Ista will be the new Director of Conflict of Interest in Research and Research Misconduct Programs. In this position, Ista will manage, coordinate and operate the research compliance programs addressing research misconduct and conflicts of interest in research, as well as undue foreign influence in research aspects associated with those programs.

“I have worked occasionally with ORIC as a scientific expert over the past few years and found the important work this office does fascinating. I was also extremely impressed by the positive work environment and excellent management I experienced,” Ista said. “When a full-time position opened up, I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to continue to contribute to the research mission of UNM while exploring new horizons. I am absolutely thrilled that I was the successful candidate.”

Ista was previously a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and the Center for Biomedical Engineering (CBME) whose research emphasizes bacterial interactions at the solid/liquid interface. She holds fifteen patents, all the result of her work at UNM. Her primary work emphasizes bacterial/surface interactions as they affect biofilm formation and disinfection, as well as probing the bacterial surface with conjugated nanoparticles to probe likely sites of bacterial interaction. Ista maintains collaborations with UNM researchers in Pathology, Civil Engineering, Biology, Chemistry, The Center for Global Health, and the Center for Emerging Energy Technologies, as well as at other universities including Duke University, the University of Southern California, the University of Birmingham (UK), and Newcastle University.

Ista is a proud UNM alumna, graduating with her PhD in 2011 from the Department of Biology. She has worked in the School of Engineering since 1995 and was a founding member of the Center for Biomedical Engineering. She obtained her masters in Biochemistry in 1994 from the University of Missouri and her bachelors in Biology (Chemistry minor) from the University of Puget Sound.

"Dr. Ista’s accomplishments, which set her apart, include 26 years of research experience at UNM, prior service in multiple UNM offices supporting research, extensive research output demonstrated through her extremely high h-index and numerous patents, many Innovation Awards from STC/UNM Research Innovations (RI) and being the first female researcher at UNM to be inducted in the STC/RI honorees," said Ana Andzic Tomlinson, Executive Director of ORIC. "I had the privilege of working with Dr. Ista in her various roles in the past and have found her to be genuinely interested in and keenly committed to research compliance. Dr. Ista will make a positive contribution to UNM and to research in general in her new role and I am excited it will be through ORIC."

ORIC (formerly known as Office of Research & Compliance) is dedicated to advancing a culture of ethics, integrity, and compliance through awareness programs, as well as monitoring and responding to non-compliance. Visit their website at