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Clinical and Translational Science Center

Clinical and Translational Science Center

CTSC Program Leadership

Administration

Lars Berglund, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Berglund is Professor of Medicine, Senior Associate Dean for Research, and Director of NIH-funded Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC) at UC Davis. 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.

As the Senior Associate Dean for Research, Dr. Berglund oversees all aspects of the School of Medicine research portfolio. In his capacity as the Director of the Clinical and Translational Science Center and the PI for the NIH CTSA award, he is responsible for all CTSC infrastructure activities, including services, education and translational science projects.  He currently serves in an advisory capacity to national organizations (NIH, AAMC, AHA, Endocrine Society) and he represents the SOM at the institutional and national level in issues related to research. Dr. Berglund’s research focus is in the area of lipoprotein metabolism and cardiovascular disease and his research is funded by NIH. 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, and other aspects of daily operations, as well as the various areas of research support that the CTSC furnishes. As the Chief Administrative Officer for the CTSC, Ms. Lombardo serves on a variety of leadership, research, and compliance committees, as well as a local representative to the national CTSA consortium on the Administrative Key Function Committee. Ms. Lombardo graduated with honors from California State University San Diego with a degree in Health Science. Her professional background reflects over 25 years in clinical research management and support, regulatory affairs, and FDA approval processes. She most recently led clinical research for Abbott Medical Optics in Milpitas, CA and previously directed regulatory affairs and clinical trials as a civilian contractor for the Navy Refractive Surgery Center in San Diego.

Christine Hotz, D.V.M., Ph.D.

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. She is the CTSC Program Development officer and is the production editor of the CTSC Newsletter, creates web content, manages social media. Dr. Hotz develops seminars for the CTSC research community and collaborates with departments and other UC institutions to create or adapt research training programs for residents and fellows. She also serves as the liaison for the Health Sciences librarians, bibliometrics and education technology consultant, and communications point of contact. Dr. Hotz serves on the national CTSA Communications, Informatics (research networking), and Evaluation (bibliometrics) Key Function Committees and is a graduate advisor in the Health Informatics Program.

Bioethics

Mark Yarborough, Ph.D.

Dr. Yarborough is the Dean’s Professor of Bioethics and serves as Director of the Clinical Research Ethics component of the program. He previously served as Director of the Center for Bioethics and Humanities at the University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus and the Director of the Ethics Core of the Colorado Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSA site).

Biomedical Informatics

Michael Minear

Mr. Minear serves as UC Davis Health System Chief Information Officer and Director of the CTSC Biomedical Informatics program. He is a national leader with an extensive record of heading transformations of large, complex healthcare organizations in the use of modern IT. Mr. Minear ensures the harmonization between the CTSC and institutional resources and works closely with CTSC PI, Dr. Berglund and with other CTSC program leaders.

Hien Nguyen, M.D., M.A.S.

Dr. Nguyen serves as a member of the Biomedical Informatics team. Dr. Nguyen is the Medical Director of Electronic Medical Records, where he helps lead the implementation and integration of the Electronic Medical Record for the Health System. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, where he is a faculty member for both the Division of Infectious Diseases and the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, His research interests include applied biomedical informatics, outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy, and nosocomial infections. He received his medical degree from the University of California, Los Angeles and masters in clinical research from the University of California, Davis.

Kent Anderson, M.S.

Mr. Anderson is the Associate Director of the 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 UC Davis Biomedical Informatics program and other CTSA programs as well as representing UC Davis in the Statewide UCReX organization, and the CTSA Consortium at the national level. Mr. Anderson is charged with facilitating the integration of research technology within the UC Davis Health System, including health data reuse, 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 and serves as a representative to the national consortium of CTSA award recipients to develop resources to benefit all represented CTSA institutions. Mr. Anderson also 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 oversees the design, development and implementation of specialized databases, tools and applications to support clinical and translational research at UC Davis and acts as a representative to the national consortium of CTSA award recipients 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 help investigators 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.

Davera Gabriel, R.N.

Ms. Gabriel is responsible for the selection and application of standards that support strategic data sharing initiatives at the local, regional, and national CTSA Biomedical Informatics level. She provides data standards, terminology and ontological consulting services to projects supported in the translational biomedical informatics core.  She also leads the data harmonization effort in the University of California Research EXchange (UCReX) program.

Biostatistics

David M. Rocke, Ph.D.

Dr. Rocke, Distinguished Professor in the Division of Biostatistics, Department of Public Health Sciences, School of Medicine, and the Department of Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering, serves as Director of the Research Design and Biostatistics component of the program. 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 a history of fostering productive collaborations at UC Davis and nationwide, and he represents the CTSC at the national consortium level.

Sandy Taylor, Ph.D.

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 overall 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. She has expertise in the analysis of metabolomics and glycomics data and currently collaborates on several biomarker discovery projects focused on early detection of lung, ovarian and kidney cancers.

Clinical Research Resources and Facilities

Ted Wun, M.D., F.A.C.P.

Dr. Wun is the Director of the CTSC Clinical Research Resources and Services program. He is Professor of Medicine and Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Chief of Division of Hematology and Oncology, Chief of Hematology Oncology, and Associate Dean for Research, School of Medicine. He also serves as Chief, Section of Hematology and Oncology for the VA Northern California Health Care System. He conducts independent investigations in the areas of hematology, oncology, and sickle cell disease. In his role as associate dean for research in the School of Medicine, Dr. Wun is responsible for expanding the breadth and depth of research at the health system, as well as implementing the health system's 2011-2016 Strategic Plan to increase high-impact, interdisciplinary research. Dr. Wun also serves on the CTSA Clinical Research Management and Clinical Services Core committees.

Nicole Hansen, R.N., M.S.N.

Ms. Hansen provides planning and operational oversight of the CTSC Clinical Research Center (CCRC). She oversees clinical research resources and services, such as space allocation, nursing, laboratory, nutritional, and physiology lab offered through the CCRC. Ms. Hansen monitors the conduct of clinical trials and data collection efforts supported by the CCRC staff to ensure that federal regulations, professional standards, hospital polices, and Institutional Review Board approved research protocols are not violated or compromised. She completed her undergraduate nursing degree at Samuel Merritt College and earned a Master of Science in Nursing degree from Duke University. A founding member of the International Association of Clinical Research Nurses, she is currently serving the role as Past President.

Community Engagement

Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Aguilar-Gaxiola is a professor of Clinical Internal Medicine and serves as Director of the Community Engagement program and Center for Reducing Health Disparities. He is an internationally renowned expert on mental health in ethnic populations, and was recently honored with a National Minority Health Community Leadership Award (Hispanic Community) from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, one of ten that recognize excellence and outstanding accomplishments of pioneering leaders dedicated to improving health in specific minority populations. He is P.I. of the Mexican American Prevalence and Services survey, the largest mental health study conducted in the U.S. on Mexican Americans, and the coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean of 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. His experience in developing culturally and linguistically sensitive diagnostic mental health measures and translating research into practical information for consumers and their families will strengthen the CTSC Community Engagement program.

MaryLou Siantz, Ph.D.

Dr. Siantz is the associate director of the Community Engagement program. With more than 20 years of experience in community based research in the Latino urban and rural communities of the United States and mentorship of diverse interdisciplinary scholars as a Latina nurse scientist, she brings to the investigative team specific expertise on a funded program of research focused on the risk and resilience of migrant/immigrant children and families, including intervention testing. 

Linda Ziegahn, Ph.D.

Dr. Ziegahn is the Community Engagement and Research program manager for the CTSC and the Center for Reducing Health Disparities. She earned a doctorate in Adult Education from Michigan State University. Dr. Ziegahn is able to apply her academic preparation in adult learning, community development, and intercultural communication to the many training and coaching situations that arise when clinical researchers, practitioners, and the community at large come together to engage in the translational research process. She develops and conducts community-engaged research training programs for clinical and health services researchers, residents, and community leaders. Additionally, Dr. Ziegahn helps link community health interests to faculty research expertise, and assists new academic-community partnerships in seeking funding sources, grant writing, and community-engaged research methodology issues. She also co-leads a national Clinical and Translational Science Award Consortium workgroup in community engagement and research training and educational efforts.

Education and Career Development

Frederick Meyers, M.D., M.A.C.P.

Dr. Meyers serves as Director of the Research Education and Training Program. Dr. Meyers is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine His research focuses on cancer medicine. He has conducted studies in the molecular biology of advanced cancer and conducted many clinical trials in investigational cancer therapy. Currently he works in health services research of cancer care, specifically in palliative care/ supportive care as a model of quality. His current NCI grant investigates the simultaneous provision of palliative care and cancer investigational therapy to patients in Phase I or II trials. Dr. Meyers has served as director of the UC Davis Cancer Center clinical trials group, building a premier organization. He is committed to education of scholars from diverse backgrounds. He serves on national committees that deal with educational policy. He has extensive mentoring experience, having been a major professor for two Ph.D. candidates who now have University appointments. He has mentored oncology fellows, several of whom have University appointments, and has begun to develop trainees in Palliative Care. Dr. Meyers has multiple junior faculty mentees as Department Chair and he sponsors two individuals for Robert Wood Johnson generalist physician awards in primary care. He is pleased to be the PI on the Mentored Clinical Research Training Program within the CTSC and PI of the stem cell training grant. Dr. Meyers is a member of the CTSC Oversight and Governance Committee.

Richard L. Kravitz, M.D., M.S.P.H.

Dr. Kravitz is Professor and Co-vice Chair for Research in the Department of Internal Medicine. He is a general internist and health services researcher whose interests include physician behavior, health communication, and preparing patients to become more effective agents for quality of care. He is a recipient of the UC Davis School of Medicine Research Award, Ambassador of Diversity Award, Dean's Mentoring Award, and serves as thethe Associate Director of the K12 program.

Julie Schweitzer, Ph.D.

Dr. Schweitzer is Associate Director of the Mentored Clinical Research Training Program (MCRTP). Dr. Schweitzer is Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, faculty member in the Medical Investigations in Neurodevelopmental Disorders (M.I.N.D.) 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 serves on the steering committee for the UC Davis Schools of Health Mentoring Academy, is the Chair of its Curriculum Committee and an active facilitator in Mentoring Training workshops for faculty. She teaches in the MCRTP courses and is a member of the Education Leadership Committee for CTSC educational programs.  

Nicholas Kenyon, M.D.

Dr. Kenyon is the Vice Chief for Research in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine. He has had extensive experience directing and/or co-directing research training programs, clinical training programs, basic science research projects, clinical research trials and grants, and core clinical centers. He is Director of the CTSC T32 Pre-Doctoral training program, and Associate Director of the Pulmonary and Critical Care fellowship program. His experience leading core clinical centers includes serving as Co-Director of the UC Davis Asthma Network, and he is the Research Subject Advocate of the CTSC Clinical Research Center.

Jen Greenier, Ph.D.

Dr. Greenier is responsible for the day-to-day operation, facilitation and coordination of educational programs at the CTSC. 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, and is a member of the UC Davis Institutional Review Board. 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, post-doctoral fellows, and junior faculty. Working in concert with CTSC core 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.

Pilot Program

Alice F. Tarantal, Ph.D.

Dr. Tarantal is the Director of the Pilot Translational and Clinical Studies program and 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, and is Director and P.I. of the NHLBI-supported Center for Fetal Monkey Gene Transfer for Heart, Lung, and Blood Diseases. She also the Associate Director of the UC Davis Stem Cell Program, directs the Translational Human Embryonic Stem Cell Shared Research Facility, and is the scientific director of the Stem Cell Training Program.

Evaluation

Julie Rainwater, Ph.D.

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 Program. By working collaboratively with each program, the evaluators develop specific evaluation plans and rigorously assess progress toward objectives. Dr. Rainwater is 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 Clinical and Translational Science Center. He received his doctoral degree from UC Davis and has extensive experience using qualitative research methods, such as in-depth interviews and focus groups, in research and evaluation.

Regulatory Knowledge and Support

Deborah Diercks, M.D.

Dr. Diercks is Professor of Emergency Medicine and Director of the CTSC Regulatory Knowledge and Support program. She has a special clinical and research interest in the rapid evaluation and diagnosis of acute coronary syndromes. Her research also focuses on evaluation of women with chest pain. Dr. Diercks serves as a member of the UC Davis IRB and plays an active role in the Western Emergency Services Translational Research Network (WESTRN) - a consortium of emergency medicine researchers at sites with Clinical Translational Science Awards (CTSA) in the western U.S. The consortium’s objective is to conduct high quality multicenter research focused on important emergency medicine issues.

Kate Marusina, Ph.D., M.B.A.

Dr. Marusina is the Associate Director of the Regulatory Knowledge and Support program and leads the Clinical Trial Resource Group within the CTSC. She represents UC Davis CTSC on the National CTSA level in Public-Private Partnerships and IND/IDE Support task groups. Prior to UC Davis Dr. Marusina was a part of the Business Development Group of Novozymes Biotech Inc, a wholly owned subsidiary of Novozymes A/S, Denmark, a global leader in industrial enzymes with over $1 billion in worldwide revenues. As a part of the global BusDev team, she was responsible for the U.S. activities in partnering and technology/product licensing. From 1998 to 2000, Dr. Marusina served as Product Manager of Clontech, then a Becton Dickinson Company, based in Palo Alto, California. Among other portfolio products, she was responsible for the global strategy for the Creator, a universal gene cloning platform, and for the release of the Infusion, now a leading system for high throughput cloning. Earlier, Dr. Marusina was a Territory Sales Manager for Stratagene, La Jolla, CA. She received my Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from the Leningrad State University, Russia, Ph.D. in Molecular Immunology and MBA with specialization in Marketing, both from the University of Cincinnati, OH. She did postdoctoral Fellowship at Howard Hughes Medical Institute, UCSF, and San Francisco CA.

Translational Resources

Alice F. Tarantal, Ph.D.

Dr. Tarantal is the Director of the Translational Technologies, Methodologies, and Resources program, and 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. Dr. Tarantal is an internationally-renowned expert in the use of nonhuman primates for translational research with a focus on regenerative medicine, stem cell transplantation, and gene therapy, and the application and use of in vivo imaging modalities. She has a long-standing commitment to, and productive track record in, fostering partnerships and productive collaborations.

Cristina Davis, Ph.D.

Dr. Davis is a Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in the College of Engineering, and serves as Associate Director of the Translational Technologies, Methodologies, and Resources program. Her research focuses on development of novel chemical and biological sensor systems.