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People

Janet S Lee, MD
Janet S. Lee, MD

Director

Dr. Lee received her doctoral degree at Georgetown University School of Medicine in 1995. She completed her internship and residency training at University of Alabama at Birmingham, and then went onto pursue a Pulmonary and Critical Care fellowship at University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. During her post-doctoral fellowship, Dr. Lee pursued basic research in chemokine biology, leukocyte migration and recruitment related to the pathogenesis of lung inflammation and injury. She is a practicing clinician with expertise in critical illness syndromes as well as a basic and translational researcher with interest in innate immune mechanisms of lung inflammation and injury. Dr. Lee is currently the T1 Translational Track Director for the Masters of Science in Clinical Research Program, Institute of Clinical Research Education at the University of Pittsburgh.

leejs3@upmc.edu | 412-692-2210

   
   
Tim Corcoran PhD
Timothy E. Corcoran, PhD

Associate Director

Dr. Corcoran is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Division. He also holds secondary appointments in the Departments of Bioengineering and Chemical Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, and in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. He completed his Ph.D. in Bioengineering at Carnegie Mellon University in 2000, after completing his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering at Lehigh University. Dr. Corcoran’s primary research interests include aerosol drug delivery and aerosol-based nuclear imaging of the lung. He has been extensively involved in the development of inhaled medications for lung transplant recipients and cystic fibrosis patients and the development special techniques for improving inhaled drug delivery such as the use of low density gases and surfactants to improve drug distribution in the lungs. Dr. Corcoran had developed imaging techniques for quantifying pulmonary physiology including measurements of mucociliary clearance and liquid absorption in the airways. These techniques have been tested in a series of clinical studies involving adult and pediatric patients and will be used to screen new medications for treating lung diseases such as cystic fibrosis.

corcorante@upmc.edu | 412-624-8918

   
   
Seyed Mehdi Nouraie, MD, PhD

Lead, PTRC Biometrics Core

Dr. Nouraie received his MD degree and PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Tehran, Iran. Dr. Nouraie is an Associate Professor and an epidemiologist with extensive experience in sickle cell clinical research. Dr. Nouraie’s research expertise is in hematology oncology of African American population including sickle cell disease and GI cancer. He has published over 100 peer reviewed papers in different clinical fields.
Dr. Nouraie leads the PTRC Biometrics Core, providing comprehensive biostatistical and data management support, from hypothesis development and study design to data analysis and interpretation of results.

nouraies@upmc.edu | 412-648-6169

   
   
nydia chien
Nydia Chien, MSN, RN, CCRC

Director of Regulatory Affairs, Translational Research

Nydia holds a Master of Science Degree in Nursing, and has held clinical positions such as unit leader, nurse manager, infection control director and staff development director prior to her role in research. Nydia has over 20 years of combined experiences in clinical and research operations with a wide variety of experiences in all stages of research project development from grant writing, budget preparation and negotiation, protocol design and development, and study implementation. She has a great knowledge base of clinical trial execution from study start-up to closeout and is very familiar with local and federal regulatory issues. She has extensive experience in the drug development and regulatory approval process including a proven track record of success in IND/IDE applications. Nydia has also been performing regulatory and project management tasks for a number of large projects including translational program project grant and multicenter clinical trials for which she has a leading role in overseeing all aspects of study implementation and management activities at all sites. As the Director of Regulatory Affairs, Nydia oversees the operations of PTRC core service supports for all research projects and works closely with investigators, coordinators and Sponsors to facilitate and streamline all aspects of the research projects.

chienn@upmc.edu | 412-647-2791

   
   
vera
Vera Iouchmanov, BS, CCRC

Regulatory Coordinator

Vera obtained a Bachelor degree in Sciences and post-bachelor specialization course in Economics in Brazil. Vera is an accomplished clinical research coordinator with more than 10 years of experience in clinical research at University of Pittsburgh, with focus in regulatory affairs. She is familiar with the regulatory aspects of industry and federal trials as well as coordinating center protocols, and is familiar with local and federal regulations. She holds an ACRP certification for Clinical Research Coordination.

iouchmanovvl@upmc.edu | 412-864-3052

   
   
Sarah Rapport
Sarah Rapport, MPH

Clinical Research Coordinator

Sarah received her BS from the University of Pittsburgh in Psychology.  She then went on to work as a research specialist for the Center for Education and Drug Abuse Research (CEDAR) at the University of Pittsburgh for 10 years.  Her duties included subject retention for a pool of over 800 families, physical and psychological assessments of participants, and helping to compile data that has been used in over 80 published papers.  While at CEDAR, she also completed her Master’s in Public Health and became a Certified Public Health Professional from the National Board of Public Health Examiners.

rapportsf@upmc.edu | 412-683-7112

   
   
Anthony Wesolowski, BS, CRT, RPSGT

Clinical Research Coordinator

Tony received his BS from the University of Pittsburgh in Health Services. He is a Certified Respiratory Therapist, and a Registered Polysomnographic Technologist. He has extensive experience in the respiratory therapy field. He has managed multiple sleep centers in the UPMC health system for over fifteen years. During his time in the Sleep Center he assisted in many research projects involving BiPAP and Auto PAP trials. He also participated in the initial trials of using upper airway stimulation to treat obstructive sleep apnea.

wesolowskiap2@upmc.edu | 412-692-2263

   
   
Carol Oriss, BSN, RN

Clinical Research Coordinator

Carol has over 30 years of nursing experience, having graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing in 1987. Early in her career she held positions on oncology, neonatal intensive care, and bone marrow transplant units, as well as in private oncology practice. In the latter, she first became involved with research and has been a Clinical Research Nurse Coordinator since 1993. Notable among numerous positions held, she worked with Dr. Bernard Fisher on several of the landmark NSABP clinical trials, and has served as a liaison to the National Marrow Donor Program. In 2009 she was promoted to Clinical Research Manager and served in that capacity with the divisions of Infectious Diseases, Rheumatology & Clinical Immunology, and Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. Additionally, during her management years, to maintain her clinical skills, Carol has worked as a casual pediatric home care nurse for PSA Healthcare. Desiring a more clinical focus to round out her career, Carol joined PACCM in 2018.

orissca@upmc.edu | 412-864-6371

   
   
xiaoping chen
Xiaoping Chen, MS

Database Developer

Xiaoping is the database developer in PTRC.  She holds a M.S in Information Science from University of Pittsburgh and a MS in Zoological and Biomedical Science from Ohio University. Xiaoping works closely with research teams to get the project specifications and develop databases for our clinical trials and researches. She has developed and managed database for Lung Transplant Registry, Acute Lung Injury Registry, Asthma Institution, Simmons Center, Acute Pulmonary Embolus Registry and Translational Biorepository lab on different database management systems, varying from MS Access, SQL server, REDCAP and Freezerworks.

chenx9@upmc.edu | 412-578-9544

   
   
Rebecca DeSensi, BA

Data Manager/Database Analyst

Rebecca Shue DeSensi is a Data Manager in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine. With a research background spanning more than 20 years, Rebecca has also provided data management, team management, and research programming for the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine’s Department of Critical Care Medicine, University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine’s Center for Innovation in Restorative Medicine, University of Pittsburgh’s School of Dental Medicine’s Center for Craniofacial and Dental Genetics, UPMC’s Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic’s The Pittsburgh Girls Study, and the American Psychiatric Association’s Practice Research Network. She has broad research data management experience including in clinical trials, hospital electronic medical record data, large administrative datasets, high-density medical device data, genetic data, and longitudinal studies.

shuedesensirs@upmc.edu | 412-692-4167