• Photo - Matthew Davis, MD

    Matthew Davis, MD

    Family Practice, Medical Director

    Dr. Davis has been a Principal Investigator or Sub-Investigator for over 20 years, participating in over 500 clinical research studies. He was previously Chief Physician for the after-hours medical care division of a Rochester health care provider. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1981, received his MD from the University of Rochester in 1986, completed his family residency at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in 1989 and served three years on active duty with the US Air Force during the Persian Gulf War. He returned to Rochester in 1992 working in primary care, emergency medicine, and clinical research. Dr. Davis is board certified in family medicine, and a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Monroe County Medical Society.

  • Photo - Joseph I. Mann, MD

    Joseph I. Mann, MD

    Neurology & Headache Medicine, Investigator

    Dr. Mann joined the RCR organization after retiring from the Greater Rochester Neurological Associates. He completed over 40 years of clinical practice in Neurology with a strong subspecialty practice in Headache Medicine. He is a member of the American Board of Neurology and Psychiatry and has a subspecialty certification for Headache Medicine through the United Council of Neurological Subspecialities. Dr. Mann is a member of the American Academy of neurology and the American Headache Society. He was awarded Headache Healthcare Practitioner of the Year for 2016 by the National Headache foundation.

  • Photo - Joseph A. DiPoala Jr., MD, FACP

    Joseph A. DiPoala Jr., MD, FACP

    Internal Medicine, Investigator

    Dr. DiPoala joined RCR after practicing internal medicine for 30 years at Ridgeview Internal Medicine Group. He graduated from Colgate University with a bachelor’s in neuroscience and received his medical degree from Pennsylvania State College of Medicine. He completed residency training at the University of Rochester. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians.  Dr. DiPoala is a pioneer in the use of information technology to improve healthcare delivery.  Outside of work he enjoys running.

  • Photo - Shelly Kane, MD

    Shelly Kane, MD

    RCR Principal and Sub-Investigator

    Dr.Kane practices internal medicine at Ridgeview Internal Medicine Group. She joined the RCR team in 2021 through the RCR and Ridgeview Internal Medicine Group partnership. She received her BA in biological science from SUNY Buffalo and attended medical school and completed her residency at the University of Rochester School of Medicine. She has been practicing Internal Medicine for 25 years in Rochester. Outside of work she enjoys spending time with family, her pets, traveling, and camping.

  • Photo - Janet Casey, MD

    Janet Casey, MD

    RCR Principal and Sub-Investigator

    Dr. Casey is the owner of Legacy Pediatrics where she practices primary care and as a sub specialist consultant. Dr. Casey heads up the research team at Legacy Pediatrics where she has acted as the Principal Investigator for many pediatric research studies. Legacy Pediatrics and RCR started their partnership in 2018.

  • Photo - Mervyn Weerasinghe, MD

    Mervyn Weerasinghe, MD

    Internal Medicine, Consultant

    With over 15 years experience conducting research, Dr. Weerasinghe has been Principal Investigator or Sub-Investigator on more than 400 clinical research studies. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and has extensive practice experience in managed care settings. He was the Medical Director of an HMO for eight years, the Medical Director of a hospital for seven years and the Medical Director of a multi-specialty group practice for 10 years. He has served as Principal Investigator or Sub-Investigator in the areas of hypertension, diabetes, obesity, hyperlipidemia, asthma, osteoarthritis, hormone replacement therapy, smoking cessation, peptic ulcer disease and contraception.

  • Photo - Jean C. Kelly, MS, PA-C

    Jean C. Kelly, MS, PA-C

    Physician Assistant – Certified, RCR Sub-Investigator

    Jean joined RCR in 2020 as a Sub-Investigator after five years in Emergency Medicine and Critical Care. She is a board-certified Physician Assistant who graduated with a Bachelor’s/Master’s of Science degree in 2016 from the Rochester Institute of Technology. While obtaining her degree, Jean completed a clinical internship in Hematology/Oncology in Genoa, Italy. Post-graduation, Jean did a one-year Emergency Medicine APP Fellowship at the University of Rochester Medical Center and continued to work full time in their Emergency Department afterwards. She has spent the past two years in Cardiac Critical Care. Jean is excited to take on a new role in clinical research, the basis of medical advancements. Outside of work, she likes traveling, theater, cooking, and spending time with her family!

  • Photo - Leigh Schirmer MS, PA-C

    Leigh Schirmer MS, PA-C

    Physician Assistant- RCR Sub-Investigator

    Leigh joined RCR as a sub-investigator in early 2023 after 16 years of clinical practice. She is a board-certified Physician Assistant graduate of Philadelphia University, class of 2006. She obtained a Bachelor’s degree from Elmira College in 2004 with a double major in Biology and Psychology.  

    She started her PA career specializing in cardiothoracic surgery, moving on to critical care for several years.  Over the past 8 years, she has practiced general cardiology locally.  She is excited to expand her knowledge in the field of research! Outside of work, Leigh enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters!

  • Photo - Therese Dayton, RN, CCRC

    Therese Dayton, RN, CCRC

    Director of Nursing and Operations

    Therese has worked at Rochester Clinical Research for over seventeen years, after thirteen years as a labor and delivery nurse. She enjoys the fast pace of research and guiding studies from start to finish. She loves seeing our volunteers return time and time again because of the great care they receive.

  • Photo - Kathleen Ebeling, RN, CRRC

    Kathleen Ebeling, RN, CRRC

    Research Coordinator Nurse

    Kathleen Ebeling, RN joined Rochester Clinical Research in 2012 after working as a rehabilitation nurse and Clinical Coordinator in long term care. Prior to her second career in nursing she worked in Human Resources at The Episcopal Senior Life Communities, a Financial Analyst at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and a Program Controls Administrator with Hughes Aircraft in El Segundo California. She has her BA in psychology and a MBA with a concentration in health care Finance. In addition to work she enjoys volunteering for local charities and traveling.

  • Photo - Julie Mooney, RN, CRRC

    Julie Mooney, RN, CRRC

    Research Coordinator Nurse

    Julie started working at Rochester Clinical Research in December 2015 after working in the recovery room at a Rochester hospital. She received her Associates Degree in Nursing from Monroe Community College in 2008 and her BSN from SUNY Brockport in 2011. Her medical interests are surgery and research centered medicine and medical devices of the future.

  • Photo - Jaclyn Zona, RN, CCRC

    Jaclyn Zona, RN, CCRC

    Research Coordinator Nurse

    Jaclyn joined RCR in 2014, after working at Unity Hospital in the recovery room and medical units. Jaclyn has a bachelor’s degree in Nursing, Wellness Management and Health Education.

  • Photo - Deb Hodges, RN, CRCC

    Deb Hodges, RN, CRCC

    Research Coordinator Nurse

    Deb joined Rochester Clinical Research in 2016 and comes to us from Hurlbut Care communities where she was responsible for infection control. Deb attended Genesee Community College, graduating with an Associates Degree in Nursing and then went on for her RN certification.

  • Photo - Jennifer Foley, CCRC

    Jennifer Foley, CCRC

    Study Coordinator

    Jennifer joined Rochester Clinical Research in July 2020. She received a master’s degree in management from Keuka College and brings over 10 years of research expertise and clinical trial management. She has extensive experience working with under-resourced and marginalized populations, especially in the area of intellectual and developmental disabilities. Jenn is excited to contribute to research once again. When not working, Jenn enjoys spending time with her family.

  • Photo - Carolyn DiPoala, RN

    Carolyn DiPoala, RN

    Research Coordinator Nurse

    Carolyn joined RCR in August 2021. Before RCR, Carolyn worked for two years in inpatient intensive nursing care. Carolyn is excited for a change in work and to have the opportunity to learn every day at RCR. Carolyn is a plant lover and enjoys spending time outside of work with her family.

  • Photo - Gillian Hess-Caple, RN

    Gillian Hess-Caple, RN

    Research Coordinator Nurse

    Gillian joined RCR in January 2022 as a Study Coordinator. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Richmond and received her Bachelor’s of Nursing from the University of Rochester. She brings 2 years of hospital experience as well as experience from her time being a travel ICU RN across NY state taking care of critically ill patients including COVID ICU patients. Gillian is excited to start a career in research because of her inquisitive mind, and her curiosity to know why our bodies act and react the way they do. After seeing some of the absolute worst diseases, she wants to contribute toward finding ways to prevent and or cure those bad outcomes. Outside of work, she is an avid reader and has a cat and Goldendoodle puppy at home.

  • Photo - Stephen Gefell, RN

    Stephen Gefell, RN

    Clinical Research Nurse

    Steve started at RCR in July 2022. He earned his Bachelor’s in Nursing from SUNY Brockport and worked in outpatient hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis for Rochester Regional Health before joining the team. Steve is an Adirondack 46er and enjoys hiking, kayaking, and disc golf when he’s not at work.

  • Photo - Robin French, RN

    Robin French, RN

    Clinical Research Nurse

    I have been working in the medical field for over twenty years. My career started as a certified nursing assistant. I have held various roles from a medical claims examiner, medical assistant, and LPN. I was an LPN for 12 years when I graduated with my RN. The majority of my nursing experience has been in outpatient Women’s health. Most recently, as a Clinical nurse leader.

  • Photo - Kristine Hickin, RN

    Kristine Hickin, RN

    Clinical Research Nurse

    I grew up in Binghamton, NY, and came up to Rochester for college. I studied at St. John Fisher College and received my Bachelor of Science in Nursing. I have 3 years of medical/surgical experience at local area hospitals and was a local travel nurse during the COVID-19 pandemic. I am excited to learn more about research. Outside of work, I like to play volleyball and kickball with my friends.

  • Photo - Zerina Zornic, PharmD

    Zerina Zornic, PharmD


     Zerina went to MCC for undergraduate school when she realized she wanted to do pharmacy. She started pharmacy school at St. John Fisher Wegmans School of Pharmacy and graduated in May 2020. Her past experience includes working at CVS and Strong Outpatient Pharmacy as an intern and she is excited to help out with the research side of things. She currently works at Wegmans as a pharmacist as well. Outside of work, Zerina enjoys being outdoors, trying new restaurants, loves coffee and trying new coffee shops, and reading. She also has a 9-year-old black lab rescue named Rudy, who she adores.
  • Photo - Lynsey Collins, LPN

    Lynsey Collins, LPN

    Unblinded Vaccine Coordinator

    Lynsey joined RCR in November 2021 as an Unblinded Vaccine Coordinator. She brings 17 years of nursing experience, graduating from her LPN program in 2005. Lynsey has worked inpatient, specialized in Pediatrics, and was a part of the team that opened the Center for Refugee Health at RGH. Lynsey is excited for the change of pace and environment a new career in research brings. Outside of work, Lynsey enjoys spending time with her 2 daughters and 3 rescue pups!

  • Photo - Cassidy Glod

    Cassidy Glod

    Study Coordinator

    Cassidy joined Rochester Clinical Research in February 2021 after working at a Rochester hospital. Cassidy loves working with patients and has experience in inpatient cardiology, neurology, and surgery. She studied Biochemistry at St. John Fisher where she developed a passion for research in the medical field. Outside of work, Cassidy loves traveling, reading, and spending time with family and friends.

  • Photo - Jessica Fisher

    Jessica Fisher

    Research Assistant

    Jessica joined Rochester Clinical Research in September 2020. She has worked in customer service for 9 years, previously working at Greece Animal Hospital and in medical record aggregation for clinical trials. In her free time she loves to sing, dance, and paint, along with spending time with her friends and family.

  • Photo - Marissa Wuilliez

    Marissa Wuilliez

    Study Coordinator

    Marissa joined RCR in July 2021. She has her bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and is currently a student at St. John Fisher College working to get her Master’s in Public Health. She is excited to learn more about the research field. While not at work, Marissa is a volunteer firefighter!

  • Photo - Alicia O’Lena

    Alicia O’Lena

    Research Assistant

    Alicia joined Rochester Clinical Research in March of 2022 after traveling the coasts as a military wife. Coming from Palm Springs, California, her 7 years of medical experience derives from pediatrics, dermatology, phlebotomy and general patient care in and out of the hospital setting. She enjoys traveling, dancing, being outdoors and fun times spent with her family.

  • Photo - Helen Bell Upsher

    Helen Bell Upsher

    Lab Technician

    I’ve been working with RCR for almost 3 months now and couldn’t be happier. Such a wonderful atmosphere and everyone makes me feel so welcome. I have 11yrs experience as a phlebotomist prior to coming to RCR. I didn’t have the clinical trial aspect of it, but since starting I’ve already learned so much!!! I have great preceptors and couldn’t of done it without them! I love to learn new things and stay busy. Coming to RCR was the best career choice for me.


  • Photo - Marie Musolino

    Marie Musolino

    Lab Manager

    Marie is our Lab Manager at RCR. She started here drawing blood and running the various tests associated with each study. She now oversees all lab operations. Marie is always a friendly presence and extraordinarily great at helping maintain quality data for RCR.

  • Photo - Ann Casey

    Ann Casey

    Lab Technician

    Ann started at RCR in 2019 after being coaxed out of retirement. She has an AAS in Medical Lab Technology from MCC, a BS in Biology from SUNY Geneseo and Secondary Education Certification in Biology and Chemistry from St John Fisher. Before starting at RCR she worked in Clinical Laboratory Medicine, Biomedical Research and Development at Eastman Kodak and J&J Ortho Clinical Diagnostics and at URMC in Aging and Developmental Biology and Lung Biology Research.
  • Photo - Pina Marseglia

    Pina Marseglia

    Research Assistant

    Pina joined RCR in September of 2020. Pina has worked in healthcare for over 20 years, specifically internal medicine, orthopedics, and ophthalmology. Pina is excited about the change working in clinical research brings! When Pina is not at work, she enjoys sewing and running!

  • Photo - Lydia Purcell

    Lydia Purcell

    Recruitment Manager

    Lydia began working with Rochester Clinical Research in December 2018. She attended Buffalo State College and has her undergraduate degree in Communication Studies. She has mostly worked in the service industry in the past and finds that it has helped her significantly when it comes to patient recruitment. She loves working in a fast-paced environment and talking with people. Her favorite things to do when she’s not working are traveling and attending concerts. She also loves dogs more than most humans, especially her welsh terrier Finnegan.

  • Photo - Alexis Johnson

    Alexis Johnson

    Patient Recruitment Specialist

    Alexis joined RCR in July 2020. Before coming to RCR she worked at a local hospital for several years as a medical secretary in the operating room. Alexis also has a background in Administration and Child & Family Services. When not working, she enjoys spending time with her 3 daughters and family.

  • Photo - Lynne Ver Straete

    Lynne Ver Straete

    Recruitment Patient Specialist

    Lynne is happy to bring her clinical trial, biomedical and customer service experience to RCR.  She earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Empire State College.  She enjoys helping people, spending time with family and pets, and exploring the Adirondacks.

  • Photo - Alyssa Daniele

    Alyssa Daniele

    Patient Recruitment Specialist

    Alyssa began working at RCR in September 2022. She received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Notre Dame and her Master of Public Health from Dartmouth. Her passion for research and healthcare drives her work at RCR. In her free time, Alyssa enjoys reading, traveling, and photography.

  • Photo - Alyssa Birkbeck

    Alyssa Birkbeck

    Patient Engagement Specialist

    Alyssa began at RCR in February of 2021 as an Administrative Assistant and was later promoted to Patient Engagement Specialist. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Public Health with a minor in Psychology from the College at Brockport. She is passionate about community health and wellness. In her free time, she practices yoga and snuggles with her two dogs.

  • Photo - Jordyn Lyons

    Jordyn Lyons

    Patient Engagement Specialist

    Over the last 7 years I have worked in a variety of medical/clinical settings including dermatology and ophthalmology. I am excited to be using my expertise and knowledge in the field of clinical research. In my spare time you can catch my husband and I on our boat wakeboarding and wake surfing. We enjoy taking our two dogs camping and going on hikes whenever we get the chance.

  • Photo - Eddie Coomber

    Eddie Coomber

    Patient Engagement Specialist

    Eddie joined RCR in July 2021. He has experience in the medical field and advising. Eddie is people-oriented and is excited for this new opportunity to work with patients. In his free time, he enjoys acting and is involved with the local theatre.

  • Photo - Patricia Larrabee, RNNP, CCRC

    Patricia Larrabee, RNNP, CCRC

    Founder and Chief Executive Officer

    Pat founded Rochester Clinical Research in 1994 to provide residents of the Greater Rochester area with access to research studies. She has been a Sub-Investigator in over 450 clinical trials over 26 years, building on her clinical experience as a researcher and lecturer on high blood pressure, and her work with local physicians in managed care settings. Pat’s limitless energy, compassion and attention to detail have accounted for much of RCR’s success.

  • Photo - Adam Larrabee

    Adam Larrabee


    Adam joined Rochester Clinical Research in 2001. His love of people, quick wit and ebullient personality make him a natural for developing business relationships with partners and the community.    Adam is responsible for strategic marketing and business development, and contributes significantly to the corporate strategic plan.

  • Photo - Brendan Larrabee

    Brendan Larrabee

    Vice President

    Brendan joined Rochester Clinical Research in 2016 and has a background in Lean and Continuous Improvement. As an alumnus of Rochester Institute of Technology with a BS/ME in Industrial Engineering, Sustainable Engineering he brings his unique experience to help RCR maintain their exceptional quality focus.

  • Photo - Kelley Powers

    Kelley Powers

    Vice President of Strategy & Operations

    Kelley joined RCR in January of 2021 as our VP of Strategy & Operations. Kelley was born and raised in Buffalo, NY, and received a dual Bachelor of Arts degree from SUNY Cortland and a Master’s Degree from Brooklyn College. She brings a diverse professional background that includes acting in off, off, off-Broadway plays in NYC, working in Global Banking Private Client Services, working on Wall Street for over 10 years, then moving to Hollywood to work in Drama Development for Twentieth Century Fox Television. Kelley then changed gears to work on business analysis and client services where she climbed the ranks, building teams, expanding companies, and solving problems. Kelley recently moved back to Western New York with her husband, Tim, and two dogs, Buttercup and Wheezer. She loves enjoying all the fun, family, and weather WNY has to offer! She is excited to join RCR during such a time of growth and change.

  • Photo - Louisa Khalil

    Louisa Khalil

    Vice President of Business Operations

    Louisa joined RCR as the company’s Marketing Manager in 2018. After several promotions, she currently serves as the Vice President of Business Operations. She oversees all marketing communications, Budgets and Contracts, Patient Engagement and retention, and provides strategic vision related to the growth of RCR’s brand and study volunteer community. Louisa graduated from the University at Buffalo with a BA in Communications.

  • Photo - Cortney Pappa

    Cortney Pappa

    Business Development Executive

    I attended FLCC receiving an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (RN) and I also attended SUNY Brockport receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology.  I have 16 years of experience in Healthcare and 8 years of experience as a Registered Nurse working in a variety of settings including MedSurg, Emergency Department, OB/GYN, Mental Health, and Cardiology. For the last 4 years, I have worked in Medical Device Sales specializing in Cardiac Cath Lab Devices and Remote Monitoring Solutions. I am very excited to join the RCR team as working as a Business Development Executive. I have two sons named Connor and Caleb, a dog named Oliver, and a cat named Stella. As a family, we enjoy staying active with sports, outdoor activities, and traveling.  I also have a love for running and have completed 3 Half Marathons.

  • Photo - Ellen Robinson

    Ellen Robinson

    Staff Accountant

    I came to RCR at the end of July 2022 as a staff accountant from the manufacturing sector. I have done all aspects of accounting for different industries and am very excited to learn about clinical research. When I am not working, I like to hang out with my family and my two cats and play in the garden.

  • Photo - Armita Lewkowicz

    Armita Lewkowicz

    Director of Human Resources

    I’ve been with RCR since 2019 and brought over 30 years of experience in HR.  Most of that time in the manufacturing industry but I have found a new home in the clinical research environment.  In my free time, I love spending time with family/friends and either watching or reading a good mystery.

  • Photo - Matthew Fuino

    Matthew Fuino

    Director of IT

    Matthew came to RCR in May 2021. He brings over 25 years of experience in network engineering, system administration, and IT management. Matthew has worked in manufacturing, medical and academic environments. While not at work. Matthew is a huge car enthusiast. He enjoys driving, racing, and attending auto shows and cruises. Matthews other hobbies include writing, photography, gaming, game, and app development, science fiction, and videography.

  • Photo - Dave Hurley

    Dave Hurley

    Information Technology

    Dave has been at RCR for several years, making sure all of our technology is up to date and working just as hard as the rest of the company. He also doubles as our very own “Mr. Fix-it”.

  • Photo - Sarah Brooks

    Sarah Brooks

    Quality and Compliance Specialist

    Sarah joined RCR in January 2022 as our Quality and Compliance specialist. She graduated from RIT with a degree in Biotechnology and has her CCRA certification from the ACRP. She brings over 8 years of clinical research experience, managing a clinical research department as well as working as a Cardiac Safety Manager. When not at work she enjoys spending time with her family, including her 2 daughters and 2 dogs.

  • Photo - Abigail Purcell

    Abigail Purcell

    Regulatory Specialist

    Abigail joined RCR as a Research Assistant in July 2020 and moved into the Regulatory Specialist position in late 2020. She has a background in library and information science and is passionate about genealogy. When she is not tracing her family history, she is usually dreaming about traveling, making nachos and learning bits of random trivia.

  • Photo - Keli Collazo

    Keli Collazo

    Regulatory Specialist

    Keli started at Rochester Clinical Research in January 2019, and brings over 20 years of experience in all different aspects in the medical field. Keli graduated with an Associate’s degree from the Rochester Business Institute. Outside of work, she loves to spend time with family and watch her favorite teams – the NY Yankees and Buffalo Sabres!

  • Photo - Cathy Russell, LPN

    Cathy Russell, LPN

    Quality Assurance Coordinator

    Cathy has been at Rochester Clinical Research since May 2016. Her experience with medicine as an LPN has made her a great asset to the RCR Recruitment Team before being promoted to Quality Assurance Coordinator in 2019.

  • Photo - Tori Fox-St. Jacques

    Tori Fox-St. Jacques

    Clinical Data Coordinator

    Tori began at RCR in November 2021 as our Data Capture Analyst. Tori received her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from SUNY Geneseo and her Master’s Degree in Public Health and Health Service Administration from SUNY Buffalo. She brings prior experience as a Research Analyst researching mitigating and monitoring the impact of COVID on First Responders. In her free time, Tori enjoys traveling, hiking (and has even been to a handful of National Parks), camping, and watching Marvel movies! Tori is excited for the opportunity to get involved in the research field in such a hands-on way!

  • Photo - Liz Saitta

    Liz Saitta

    Administrative Assistant

    Liz has been an Administrative Assistant with RCR for over a decade. Her friendly demeanor and organizational skills make her a great asset to the RCR team.

  • Photo - Beverly Shaff

    Beverly Shaff

    Administrative Assistant

    Bev started working for RCR in 2010 as a Volunteer Recruitment Specialist.  She has been a Research Assistant, and now works as an Administrative Assistance. Originally from Texas, she enjoys spending time with her husband and her dogs, traveling and reading.

  • Photo - Grace Andolina

    Grace Andolina

    Marketing Coordinator

    Grace recently joined RCR in May 2022, upon graduating from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. In college, she majored in digital marketing and analytics and is very passionate about the constant evolution that marketing is. She is from Pittsford NY, and in her free time, she likes to work out and cook up new recipes for her family. Grace is excited to be in the clinical research field and learn all about how treatments come to life.