Ted Wun, M.D., FACP (Research Profile)
Dr. Wun is the Director and Principal Investigator of the NIH-Funded Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC) at UC Davis. He is also Director of the CTSC Regulatory Knowledge and Support program and serves on the CTSA Clinical Research Management and Clinical Services Core committees. In his role as Associate Dean for Research, Dr. Wun is responsible for expanding the breadth and depth of research at UC Davis Health, for increasing high-impact, interdisciplinary research, and for providing faculty oversight of the UC Davis Clinical Trials Office. Dr. Wun is Professor of Medicine and Pathology /Laboratory Medicine, and Chief of the Division of Hematology and Oncology, where he conducts independent investigations in the areas of hematology, oncology, and sickle cell disease. He also serves as Chief of the Section of Hematology and Oncology for the VA Northern California Health Care System.
Lars Berglund, M.D., Ph.D. (Research Profile)
Dr. Berglund is the Director Emeritus of the Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC) at UC Davis. He serves in an advisory capacity to national organizations (NIH, AAMC, AHA, Endocrine Society) and represents the School of Medicine at the institutional and national levels in related issues. He received his Ph.D. in 1977 and M.D. in 1981, both from University of Uppsala, Sweden. Dr. Berglund was recruited to Columbia University in 1993 and to UC Davis in 2002, where he is currently Professor of Medicine, Associate Vice Chancellor for Biomedical Research, and Interim Dean for the School of Medicine. In this capacity, Dr. Berglund oversees all aspects of the School of Medicine and research portfolio. Dr. Berglund’s research focus is in the area of lipoprotein metabolism and cardiovascular disease. He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed papers and is a member of the editorial board of several journals.
Vincetta ("Kitty") Lombardo
Ms. Lombardo is the Administrative Director of the CTSC. She oversees personnel, finance, facilities, contracts, agreements, marketing, operations, and oversees staff who support the various programs that the CTSC furnishes. As the Chief Administrative Officer for the CTSC, Ms. Lombardo serves on a variety of leadership, research, and compliance committees, and is a local representative to the national CTSA consortium for administrative functions. Ms. Lombardo graduated with honors from California State University San Diego with a degree in Health Science and an emphasis in community education, and completed leadership programs at UC Irvine and UC Davis. Her professional background reflects 30 years in clinical research management and regulatory affairs. She led a clinical research program for Abbott Medical Optics and directed regulatory affairs and clinical trials as a civilian contractor for the Navy Refractive Surgery Center in San Diego.
Christine Hotz, D.V.M., M.S.
Dr. Hotz is the CTSC Program Development officer and responsible for the production of the CTSC newsletter and developing content for the CTSC website. She also serves as a research navigator (concierge) for investigators exploring CTSC services. Dr. Hotz develops and promotes seminars and workshops for the CTSC research community and collaborates with departments and other University of California institutions to create or adapt research training programs for specific audiences. She also serves as the liaison for the Health Sciences librarians, provides consultation services for NIH Public Access Policy compliance, and is the local representative on the BRAID and CTSA Communications Committees. Dr. Hotz is a veterinary clinical pathologist with postdoctoral training in health informatics. Her areas of research include pathology informatics, data mining, bibliometrics, and social network analysis.
Nicholas ("Nick") Anderson, Ph.D. (Research Profile)
Dr. Anderson is the Director of the CTSC Biomedical Informatics program. An accomplished researcher with private industry and academic experience, he is the Robert D. Cardiff Professor of Informatics in the Department of Public Health and the Director of Research Informatics for the UC Davis School of Medicine. His research and academic expertise encompass clinical-translational data sharing, patient-centered health research, and bioethics policy issues. His recent work has focused on development of institutional-scale biospecimen and data repository resources for research, and he is actively engaged in advancing these areas across the UC Davis and University of California campuses. Dr. Anderson is an experienced academic mentor, with a primary goal of supporting students who seek to improve the quality of health and health information in society. He expects his mentees to become skilled writers, critical thinkers, and socially active academic citizens who take personal responsibility and seek perspective by cultivating balance in their lives.
Kent Anderson, M.S.
Mr. Anderson is the Associate Director of the CTSC Biomedical Informatics program. His responsibilities include oversight of informatics research in the UC Davis Health System. Mr. Anderson serves a key role in building extensive interactions between the CTSC Informatics program and other CTSA programs and in representing UC Davis in the Statewide UC-ReX organization. Mr. Anderson is charged with facilitating the integration of research technology within the UC Davis Health System, including health data re-use, secure research infrastructure provision, and development of population health datasets. He is responsible for directing the design, acquisition, development, and implementation of specialized databases, tools, and applications to support clinical and translational research at UC Davis. In addition, he serves as a representative to the national consortium of CTSA award recipients to develop resources to benefit all represented CTSA institutions. Mr. Anderson works closely with the Biomedical Informatics program director to help investigators make the most efficient use of informatics services and resources.
Sam Morley, M.S.
Mr. Morley is the Manager of the CTSC Informatics program and oversees the design, development, and implementation of specialized databases, tools, and applications to support clinical and translational research at UC Davis. He is an active representative to the national consortium of CTSA award recipients and works to develop resources that benefit all represented CTSA institutions. He helps to facilitate the use of novel information technology and computing methods to assist investigators in managing and evaluating the clinical data necessary to support their research program. Mr. Morley works closely with the Biomedical Informatics program director to ensure that investigators are able to make the most efficient use of informatics services and resources. Mr. Morley graduated from Humboldt State University with a degree in biology and holds a master’s degree in biomedical engineering from California State University, Sacramento.
David M. Rocke, Ph.D. (Research Profile)
Dr. Rocke serves as Director of the CTSC Research Design and Biostatistics program and is the Vice-Chair of the Department of Public Health Sciences, as well as a Distinguished Professor in the Division of Biostatistics. He is also a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Director of the UC Davis Center for Biomarker Discovery. He directs a research group aimed at bioinformatics and data analysis of gene expression arrays, proteomics, metabolomics, and other high-throughput biological assays. He has successfully fostered productive collaborations at UC Davis and nationwide, and he represents the CTSC at the national consortium level.
Sandra “Sandy” Taylor, Ph.D. (Research Profile)
Dr. Taylor oversees daily operations of the CTSC Biostatistics program. In this role, she allocates requests for statistical assistance to CTSC biostatisticians, educates investigators about statistical support available through the CTSC, and seeks to improve the research quality by promoting greater integration of statistics into project planning and execution. Dr. Taylor earned her Ph.D. in Biostatistics from the University of California, Davis and also holds an M.S. in Zoology and Physiology.
Clinical Research Center
John "Jack" MacMillan, M.D. (Research Profile)
Dr. MacMillan is the Director of the CTSC Clinical Research Center (CCRC). In this role, he provides leadership and guidance to staff who support clinical research. His concurrent role as a UC Davis Institutional Review Board committee member provides him with the opportunity to educate residents and junior faculty about research and the regulatory environment so that they are able to more efficiently navigate their projects through the required regulatory approvals. Dr. MacMillan is also a hospitalist in the Department of Internal Medicine, with clinical expertise in hospice and palliative medicine.
Clinical Research Ethics
Mark Yarborough, Ph.D. (Research Profile)
Dr. Yarborough is the Director of the Clinical Research Ethics component of the CTSC. A Dean’s Professor of Bioethics at UC Davis, he previously served as Director of the Center for Bioethics and Humanities at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and the Director of the Ethics Core of the Colorado Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSA site).
Clinical Trials Office
Erik Henricson, Ph.D., M.P.H. (Research Profile)
Dr. Henricson is the Director of the CTSC Regulatory Knowledge and Support program, which houses the Clinical Trials Office. He has been working in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) research since the late 90s. As the former co-director of the Cooperative International Neuromuscular Research Group, a multinational multidisciplinary collaboration of researchers (genetics, veterinary medicine, pharmacology, neurology, rehabilitation medicine, public health), he set out to conduct what is now the largest and longest running study of the progression of DMD. The data are being used by academia, pharma industry and government regulatory agencies to help develop novel new gene- and drug-based therapies to improve outcomes in the disease. Dr. Henricson has experience in development, regulatory approval and logistical management of multicenter, international investigator-initiated clinical trials in pediatric rare diseases. His research focuses on the epidemiology of the disease, development of clinical trial outcome measures and biomarkers of disease progression, clinical study design, and most recently via studies in development of clinical and patient-reported outcome measures of community mobility and participation in daily activities. Currently, his major projects focus on development of tools for patients and their parents to report physical ability in activities of daily living (funded by the US Department of Defense) and on measurement of ambulation in the community using wearable devices (funded by the UC Berkeley CITRIS Center and the Banatao Institute).
Daniel Nishijima, M.D., M.A.S. (Research Profile)
Dr. Nishijima is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Medical Director of the Trial Innovation Network Hub and Liaison for the UC Davis CTSC. Dr. Nishijima’s research involves the treatment and management of injured patients and patients with neurological emergencies. He has extensive experience leading multicenter clinical trials and studies in regional and national consortiums.
Kate Marusina, Ph.D., M.B.A.
Dr. Marusina serves as Director of the CTSC Clinical Trials Office at UC Davis. In this role, she develops university-wide programs to streamline and improve clinical research processes. Her team provides principal investigators and staff with logistical support for clinical trials, budgeting and billing assistance, monitoring of investigator-initiated trials, and training and education opportunities. Dr. Marusina developed several programs aimed at improving the transition of new products from bench to bedside via industry alliances or regulatory support and she published several peer-reviewed publications and book chapters. Prior to UC Davis, Dr. Marusina was a part of the Business Development Group at Novozymes A/S, Denmark She has experience in product licensing, product development and global strategy, forecasts, marketing materials and sales training.
Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, M.D., Ph.D. (Research Profile)
Dr. Aguilar-Gaxiola is the Director of the CTSC Community Engagement program. He also directs the Center for Reducing Health Disparities and is a professor of Clinical Internal Medicine. He serves as Co-director of the Latino Aging Research Resource Center and the Community Outreach and Engagement Core of the UC Davis Environmental Health Science Center. He is an internationally renowned expert on mental health in ethnic populations and is the recipient of multiple national awards for his work. He is principal investigator of the Mexican American Prevalence and Services survey, the largest mental health study conducted in the U.S. on Mexican Americans, and is the coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean in the WHO (World Health Organization) Mental Health survey. In this capacity, he coordinates the work of the National Mental Health Institute surveys in Mexico, Columbia, Brazil, Peru, Costa Rica and Portugal. Dr. Aguilar-Gaxiola is Co-chair of the CTSA Collaboration/Engagement Domain Task Force Lead Team. He is an author of the “Principles of Community Engagement” book and member of the External Advisory Boards of 7 CTSAs.
A. Tsahai Tafari, Ph.D.
A. Tsahai Tafari, Ph.D., is the Associate Director for Community Engagement. Before joining the CTSC/CRHD, Dr. Tafari led the Merit Review program at the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). She oversaw the work of the Merit Review Officers and collaborated with multiple internal and external groups, including Board and Executive leadership, to ensure the scientific integrity of the program. Prior to joining PCORI, Dr. Tafari managed the scientific peer review process for several large research programs on behalf of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs of the Department of Defense. She also contributed to several process-improvement initiatives and program-evaluation projects. Her experience includes basic scientific research, clinical data analysis, peer review and program management, and program evaluation. Dr. Tafari has a B.A. in history from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences, with a focus on cell biology, from the University of California at San Diego. She completed post-doctoral training at Duke University and at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
Education and Career Development
Frederick Meyers, M.D., MACP (Research Profile)
Dr. Meyers is the Director of the CTSC Research Education and Training Program and is a member of the CTSC Oversight and Governance Committee. Strongly committed to the career development of junior scholars, he is the principal investigator of the CTSC Mentored Clinical Research Training Program (MCRTP) and one of the principal investigators of the UC Davis NIH Common Fund Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training (BEST) award (the UC Davis FUTURE program). Dr. Meyers has extensive experience mentoring graduate students, fellows, junior faculty, and other trainees and is active on national committees that deal with educational policy. Having previously served UC Davis as Chief of Hematology-Oncology, Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine, and Vice Dean of the School of Medicine, he is currently a Professor of Internal Medicine/Hematology-Oncology and Associate Dean for Precision Medicine. In this leadership role, Dr. Meyers is focused on integrating Precision Medicine across all colleges and schools at UC Davis as well as the broader community.
James Holmes, M.D., M.P.H. (Research Profile)
Dr. Holmes is the Co-Director of the CTSC KL2 Research Training Program. As Professor and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Emergency Medicine, his research interests include the initial evaluation and management of injured patients, with a particular focus on injured children. Dr. Holmes is active in the Emergency Care Translational Research Collaborative (ECTRC), a group of emergency medicine researchers at sites with Clinical Translational Science Awards (CTSAs). The collaborative’s objective is to conduct high quality multicenter research focused on important emergency medicine issues. Dr. Holmes is also a recipient of the UC Davis Dean's Mentoring Award.
Julie Schweitzer, Ph.D. (Research Profile)
Dr. Schweitzer is the Associate Director of the Mentored Clinical Research Training Program (MCRTP). She is a Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, a faculty member in the Medical Investigations in Neurodevelopmental Disorders (MIND) Institute, and a clinical psychologist and neuroscientist. Dr. Schweitzer has expertise in translational research in neurodevelopmental disorders, particularly in the field of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and the application of learning theories to clinical populations. She is the Director of the UC Davis Schools of Health Mentoring Academy, the Chair of its Curriculum Committee, and an active facilitator in Mentoring Training workshops for faculty. She teaches in the MCRTP curriculum and is a member of the Education Leadership Committee for CTSC educational programs.
Nicholas Kenyon, M.D. (Research Profile)
Dr. Kenyon is the Director of the CTSC TL1 Pre-doctoral Training Program and the Co-Lead of the Career Development Program in a P30 grant in Environmental Health. As Chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care in the Department of Internal Medicine, he has had extensive experience providing leadership to research training programs, clinical training programs, basic science research projects, clinical research trials and grants, and core clinical centers. His experience leading core clinical centers includes serving as Co-Director of the UC Davis Asthma Network.
Jen Greenier, Ph.D.
Dr. Greenier is the Associate Director of the Research Education and Training Programs administered by the CTSC. She also serves as the Director of the FUTURE program, a professional development and career exploration program (funded by the NIH BEST initiative) for biomedical graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Dr. Greenier leads a team of program managers responsible for implementing training grants that are collectively designed for research career development for medical students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty. Working in concert with CTSC program directors and co-directors, faculty, collaborating institutions, consortium partners, and staff, Dr. Greenier is responsible for implementing a strategic plan to establish and maintain a comprehensive educational program that will lead to successful career development in clinical and translational science. Dr. Greenier earned a Master's Degree in Marine Science from Moss Landing Marine Labs and a Ph.D. in Genetics at the University of California, Davis.
Julie Rainwater, Ph.D. (Research Profile)
Dr. Rainwater is the Director of the CTSC Evaluation program. Dr. Rainwater and her team are responsible for the comprehensive evaluation of the CTSC, including the CTSC Research Education and Training Programs. By working collaboratively with each program, her team develops specific evaluation plans to assess progress toward objectives. Dr. Rainwater is also the Director of the UC Davis Schools of Health Research Education Outcomes Evaluation Unit. She received her doctorate in sociology from Stanford University and has two decades of experience in program evaluation in health care and education settings. Her areas of expertise include mixed-methods evaluation design, survey research, and social network analysis.
Stuart Henderson, Ph.D.
Dr. Henderson is the Associate Director of Evaluation for the CTSC. He received his doctoral degree in sociology from UC Davis and has over twelve years of research and evaluation experience. His areas of expertise include evaluation design, qualitative research methods, and data visualization. He co-organizes a bi-annual UC Davis Health symposium on qualitative health research and is program co-chair of the American Evaluation Association’s Qualitative Methods Topical Interest Group.
Pilot Award Program
Alice F. Tarantal, Ph.D. (Research Profile)
Dr. Tarantal is the Director of the Pilot Translational and Clinical Studies program. She is Professor and Vice-Chair for Research in the Department of Pediatrics with a joint appointment in the Department of Cell Biology and Human Anatomy, School of Medicine. She serves as a Core Scientist and Unit Leader of the Reproductive Sciences and Regenerative Medicine Unit at the California National Primate Research Center, where she also leads the Multimodal Imaging Core. She is Director and Principal Investigator of the NHLBI-supported Center for Fetal Monkey Gene Transfer for Heart, Lung, and Blood Diseases, the Associate Director of the UC Davis Stem Cell Program, and directs the Translational Human Embryonic Stem Cell Shared Research Facility.
Alice F. Tarantal, Ph.D. (Research Profile)
Dr. Tarantal is the Director of the Translational Endeavors program. She is Professor and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Pediatrics, with a joint appointment in the Department of Cell Biology and Human Anatomy, School of Medicine. She also serves as the Unit Leader of the Reproductive Sciences and Regenerative Medicine Unit at the California National Primate Research Center, where she leads the Multimodal Imaging Core. She is an internationally renowned expert in the use of nonhuman primates for translational research with a focus on regenerative medicine, gene therapy, maternal/fetal interactions, pediatric congenital and acquired diseases, and translational in vivo imaging. Dr. Tarantal has a long-standing track record and extensive expertise in providing research opportunities to investigators and trainees, and implementing highly successful programs.
Cristina Davis, Ph.D. (Research Profile)
Dr. Davis serves as Associate Director of the Translational Technologies, Methodologies, and Resources program. She is a Professor and Vice Chair of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in the College of Engineering, and her research focuses on development of novel chemical and biological sensor systems for clinical diagnostics. She has a long history of helping to match engineering team members to clinical researchers to solve new and innovative translational medical problems. She is active with several T32 training programs within the medical school, and she is a co-founder of two start-up companies that have spun out of UC Davis to commercialize basic research into useful products for society.