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Clinical Research Institute

Methodist Health System Clinical Research Institute

The Methodist Health System Clinical Research Institute (MHSCRI) is a multi-disciplinary entity that facilitates research throughout Methodist Health System, its hospitals, and its affiliates. The MHSCRI was established to facilitate a culture of clinical innovation that benefits our patients and their families. The MHSCRI strives to ensure that researchers conduct their work in such a way that it meets or exceeds international, federal, and state regulations.

Our Mission

The mission of the MHSCRI is to provide professional, ethical, and relevant clinical research support to clinical investigators and research staff at Methodist Health System.

MHSCRI areas of expertise include:

  • Cardiology
  • Cardiovascular Surgery
  • Endoscopy
  • Endovsacular
  • Endocrinology
  • Family Practice
  • Gastroenterology
  • Hematology
  • Hepatology
  • Hepatopancreaticobiliary
  • Infectious Disease
  • Internal Medicine
  • Interventional Radiology
  • Neurology
  • Nursing
  • Obstetrics
  • Oncology
  • Orthopedics
  • Pain Management
  • Pathology
  • Pharmacology
  • Surgical Transplantation
  • Trauma
  • Vascular Surgery
  • Wound Care

Visit for a database of clinical trials.

To learn more about our Methodist Health System Clinical Research Institute, call (214) 947-1280.


Crystee Cooper, DHEd, MPH, CLSSBB, CRA®, Vice President of Research & Simulation

Dr. Crystee Cooper is the Vice President of the Methodist Health System Clinical Research Institute (MHSCRI) and the Center for Simulation and Wellness (C-SAW). As Vice President, Dr. Cooper leads a team of investigators, research administrative and clinical support staff, fellows, and volunteers in the conduct of high-quality, safe, and compliant clinical trials in collaboration with industry, academia, and government sponsors. Prior to joining Methodist Health System, Dr. Cooper served in several leadership roles with high-profile organizations and held an adjunct faculty appointment with the University of North Texas Health Science Center, School of Public Health in the Department of Health Behaviors and Health Systems.

Dr. Cooper is responsible for general oversight of the institute, including resourcing, business development, and client services. She establishes and maintains collaborative relationships with industry sponsors, academia, and other research and education organizations in an effort to support the provision, collection, and dissemination of high-quality services, data, and information. Under Dr. Cooper's leadership, and in collaboration with an esteemed group of medical providers and study teams, the MHSCRI continuously strives to improve communities one life at a time by doing its part to help increase access to new treatments, bridge research-practice gaps, and support nationally recognized programs across Methodist Health System and its affiliates.

Dr. Cooper holds a Doctorate of Health Education and Master of Public Health from A.T. Still University, formerly Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (KCOM), located in Kirksville, Missouri. She is a former National Institutes of Health (NIH) scholar at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine where she helped to design the Graphics Assisted Learning Environment (GALE) for computer-assisted instruction and clinical observation of rheumatic diseases. She has more than 20 years’ experience in the areas of research, healthcare administration, quality-assurance, compliance, grants administration, and public health. Dr. Cooper is certified in several disciplines, including health education, research administration, and Lean Six Sigma.

Colette Ngo Ndjom, MS, Director of the Clinical Research Institute

Colette is a research and regulatory professional with several years of experience in the areas of compliance and regulatory affairs. Prior to joining the Methodist Health System Clinical Research Institute (MHSCRI), Colette served as a research manager with an interest in immunotherapies. She holds a M.S, in Biotechnology with a concentration in enterprise and entrepreneurship / regulatory affairs from Johns Hopkins University and a B.S. in Biology from Oklahoma Baptist University.

At the MHSCRI, Colette has direct experience in regulatory oversight for all clinical trials issues in drug products and medical devices. Colette is involved with study startup and aptly interacts with stakeholders and sponsors to assist researchers in maintaining regulatory compliance during their studies. In 2019, she completed the Emerging Leadership Program offered at Methodist Health System, which identifies and recruits aspiring leaders and prepares them for possible leadership roles at Methodist Health System.

Administrative Staff

Abdullah Ashraf, Staff Accountant

Abdullah Ashraf is a dedicated professional currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in accounting at the University of Texas at Dallas. With a strong background in finance and a proven track record in accounts payable and receivable roles, Abdullah has demonstrated exceptional attention to detail and accuracy in handling financial transactions. His experience includes working as an Accounts Payable Specialist at Methodist Health System, where he processed daily transactions averaging around 6 million dollars for Morrison and Dickson, a leading pharmaceutical company. Abdullah's skills extend to preparing reports on aging and productivity, reconciling accounts, and maintaining compliance with industry standards and regulations. Before Methodist, his work at Raytheon Technologies as an Accounts Payable Specialist showcased his ability to excel in a fast-paced environment, ranking first in accuracy among a team of 17 specialists. Additionally, his time as an Accounts Receivable Specialist at Keurig Dr. Pepper allowed him to hone his financial expertise. With a passion for finance and a commitment to delivering exceptional results, Abdullah is a valuable asset in the field of accounting and finance. His strong organizational skills, attention to detail, and effective communication make him a reliable professional in any financial setting.

Kasim Bhimani, BS, Regulatory Specialist

Kasim is an ingenious and driven professional who has years of direct patient care since his time at his undergraduate university. Kasim holds a certification of Good Clinical Practice (GCP) from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which he received before embarking on his journey at Methodist Health System Clinical Research Institute (MHSCRI) as a Regulatory Specialist. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of North Texas. He spent two years in medical school before pivoting into regulatory affairs in order to broaden his regulatory experience with clinical trials and to improve patient morbidity and mortality. His first two years in medical school allowed him to do systematic literature review in topics such as ‘artificial intelligence effect on the future of diagnostic radiology’ and ‘caffeine's protective factors in preventing cardiovascular disease’. Before coming to the MHSCRI, he gained experience in regulatory affairs as a regulatory specialist where he learned how to report adverse events to the Food and Drug Administration’s MedWatch, find discrepancies in drug advertisements, and maintain drug product labeling. Kasim has a strong foundation in the medical sciences and experience in pharmaceutical regulatory affairs. He also has worked in many healthcare settings under physicians of different specialties. He has a strong devotion to providing high-quality patient care, making use of his clinical skills to help others, and looks forward to bringing value to the MHSCRI.

Lauren Brady, Executive Assistant

Lauren Brady is an executive assistant with over 18 years of administrative experience in the healthcare industry. Her first role at Methodist Health System (MHS) provided support to project managers planning the expansion and renovations of MHS. These expansions included the ground breaking of Methodist Mansfield Medical Center, the addition of Pavilion III and Pavilion III parking garage at Methodist Dallas Medical Center (MDMC), the addition of the professional office building (POB) II and POB II parking garage at MDMC, and other internal renovations of MDMC and Methodist Charlton Medical Center. She also has a history of clinical administration experience at MHS working on inpatient nursing units alongside physicians, nurses, and other medical staff vital to providing quality patient care. Office management in Emergency Medical Services Education provided Lauren with experience in Emergency Medical Technicians-Basic/Paramedic program enrollment, licensing renewal, clinical affiliation agreements, utilizing the GI Bill for Veteran Affairs benefits, American Heart Association card classes, and ensuring Department of State Health Services compliance.

As an executive assistant to those in senior leadership positions, she has gained experience and proficiency in problem solving, project management, office management, customer service, and creating a positive environment for a cohesive team. At the MHS Clinical Research Institute (MHSCRI), Lauren performs diverse administrative activities to assist the MHSCRI Vice President, director, and managers as they strive to provide professional, ethical, and relevant support to principal investigators, research coordinators, clinical trial subjects, and other staff members within MHS.

Karen Castro, BS, CCRC, Clinical Trials Manager

Karen Castro obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Science (Biology) from the University of Texas at Dallas. She has over six years of experience in the clinical research industry. Prior to joining the Methodist Health System (MHS) Clinical Research Institute (MHSCRI), she performed various roles in clinical research at a contract research organization and a local hospital. Karen’s professional experience includes navigating phase I to IV trials for pharmaceutical companies as well as interventional and natural history investigator-initiated studies for various medical specialties. Karen joined the MHSCRI in 2022 as the clinical research trials manager. In this role, she is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day clinical research operations of sponsored trials for multiple specialties within MHS. Karen has a passion for innovation through clinical research. She leads her team in providing quality clinical research services to advance standard of care treatment and expand access to medical care for our patients at MHS.

Mingyang Cui, MSc, Data Science and Biostatistician Manager

Mingyang graduated from University of Minnesota with a bachelor’s degree in statistics before earning a Master of Science degree in statistics from George Washington University. Mingyang worked on many statistical analysis projects in school and attended data science competitions after graduation. An internship in the Bank of China helped him develop skills in coding, data cleaning, and data analysis. As the Data Science and Biostatistician Manager at Methodist Health System’s Clinical Research Institute (MHSCRI), Mingyang has the opportunity to contribute his statistical analysis skills to several facets of clinical research, including sample size calculations, statistical consulting, data cleaning, and data analysis. He also helps review and edit the statistical methods sections in investigator-initiated trial protocols, manuscripts, and conference abstracts. He has a strong passion to learn new methodologies that will help him provide excellent statistical support at the MHSCRI.

Heather Grossman Verner, MS, ACRP-CP, Clinical Trials Manager (Trauma Research)

Heather is a scientist with over 10 years’ experience in multidisciplinary translational research. She earned a master of science in biological sciences focusing on pathogenesis modeling systems of emerging infectious disease. Heather has a passion for collaborative science and effective science communication. Her areas of expertise include in vivo and in vitro modeling as well as battlefield trauma standard of care. Heather served as a third-party manuscript editor, promoting the publication of scientific findings from non-native English speaking scientists.

At Methodist Health System, Heather manages an interdisciplinary research program fostering collaboration between system physicians and the trauma research team. Her program research aims currently target geriatric trauma (G60), mass casualty preparedness, penetrating trauma and antibiotic stewardship. Heather works to facilitate multi-center research trial in alignment with institutional investigator interests, provides research mentorship to surgical residents, and manages a Trauma Research Fellowship for aspiring surgeons. With her diverse background, she provides a unique lens to collaborate, drive, and report on projects aimed at developing and improving the standards of trauma care.

Traqueva Langrum, BAAS, Senior Staff Accountant

Traqueva is an accounting professional with fifteen years of accounting experience. She earned a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Science degree from the University of North Texas. In her previous position, Traqueva was responsible for multiple aspects of the accounting cycle, including month-end close and reconciliation while leading a team of various levels of accounting professionals. At the Methodist Health System Clinical Research Institute (MHSCRI), Traqueva helps perform several accounting activities, including assisting with the development, execution, and monitoring of program budgets, accounts receivables activities for clinical trials, grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements.

Kavya Mankulangara, PharmD, Regulatory Specialist

Kavya is a foreign pharmacy graduate with a PharmD degree and has been in the healthcare field for six years. She has published several research papers and completed a research study on the clinical pharmacist-initiated interventions in the geriatric population. She completed a clinical research program through Arizona’s State Approving Agency to receive Veteran’s Affairs education benefits. She also completed a course on data management in clinical research through Vanderbilt University. Kavya supports and contributes to the Methodist Health System Clinical Research Institute by helping deliver high-quality data and ensures patient safety through regulatory compliant and operationally efficient clinical trials. She assists in the development of clinical trial documents, institutional review board submissions, conducting monitoring visits, and obtaining and tracking relevant regulatory documents for clinical trial submission and management.

Anne Murray, PhD, MWC®, Lead Medical Writer

Dr. Anne Murray holds a PhD in Cell Biology from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and has over nine years of scientific writing experience in basic science research in the areas of cell and molecular biology, endocrinology, genetics, retina biology, and immunology. She is an active member of the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA). Through AMWA, she earned a Composition and Publication Certificate, attends education sessions to expand her medical writing knowledge, co-leads educational sessions at local and international medical writing conferences, and earned a Medical Writer Certified (MWC®) credential.

At the Methodist Health System Clinical Research Institute (MHSCRI), Dr. Murray performs comprehensive literature searches as well as writes, edits, and reviews manuscripts, abstracts, posters, and study material for Methodist Health System researchers. She ensures quality control review of all final documents, verifying that all documents comply with regulatory, journal, and other guidelines. Dr. Murray assists Methodist Health System researchers in developing comprehensive document strategies and detailed timelines for research dissemination. She also developed curriculum for an annual manuscript development seminar for residents, clinicians, and staff in several service lines at Methodist Health System. Dr. Murray also creates and disseminates informative documents to Methodist Health System researchers and employees associated with MHSCRI. In 2021, she completed the Emerging Leadership Program offered at Methodist Health System, which identifies and recruits aspiring leaders and prepares them for possible leadership roles at Methodist Health System.

Pritima Pathak, MS, Regulatory Specialist

Pritima Pathak is a graduate from University of Texas at Arlington where she received her Master’s Degree in Biology with an emphasis on Bioinformatics. Pritima has over five years of experience in the healthcare field where she has performed various roles. In her role as a Regulatory Specialist at the Methodist Health System Clinical Research Institute, Pritima is responsible for ensuring compliance with applicable regulations, preparing and submitting regulatory documents and staying updated on evolving regulatory requirements to support the successful conduct of clinical trials.

Jeffrey Wilson, BS, Regulatory Specialist

Jeffrey Wilson has a bachelor's degree in Exercise Sports Science from Texas State University. He has over 15 years of dynamic experience in human subject research. Before joining the Methodist Health System Clinical Research Institute (MHSCRI), Jeffrey gained valuable regulatory experience as a Clinical Research Coordinator at Baylor Scott & White, a Clinical Research Associate at DJO Surgical, a Contract Clinical Research Manager with the United States Army Public Health Command, and a Regulatory Monitoring Analyst in the Human Research Protection Program Office at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. As a Regulatory Specialist at the MHSCRI, Jeffrey helps ensure ethical compliance in research studies and contributes to the advancement of research standards.

Clinical Staff

Lainne Carey, Clinical Research Coordinator

Lainne Carey gained valuable research experience at Baylor University Medical Center, specializing in COVID-19, hepatology, and abdominal transplant pivotal trials. Lainne played a key role in collaborative efforts resulting in the presentation of a noteworthy poster at the 2021 American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases Meeting. The poster, titled "Impact of Glucocorticoid Therapy on Body Mass Index in Patients with Coexisting Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Autoimmune Hepatitis," demonstrated their commitment to advancing medical knowledge. Lainne is currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Health Sciences at the University of Arlington, displaying a dedication to academic excellence and continuous learning. Simultaneously, as a clinical research coordinator, they are actively involved in overseeing phase 2-3 trials in hepatology, highlighting their proficiency in managing complex research projects and contributing to the growth of medical knowledge in their field.

Dana Farsakh, MS, Trauma Research Coordinator

Dana Farsakh graduated with her Master’s in Clinical Research Management from the University of North Texas Health Science Center in 2023. Before joining the Methodist Health Center Clinical Research Institute (MHSCRI), she completed an internship at Baylor Scott & White Research Institute where she participated in advanced heart failure and transplant research. As a Trauma Research Coordinator, her responsibilities include patient screening, protocol writing, literature reviews, database collection and analysis, and abstract/manuscript writing. Her passion for improving patient care and community outreach motivates her on her journey further into medicine as she applies to medical school.

Melissa Galicia, BS, MCTM, Clinical Research Coordinator

Melissa Galicia is an accomplished professional with a multidisciplinary background, combining expertise in clinical research management, project leadership, and biomedical sciences. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Texas at Arlington. Kicking off her career journey, she embarked as a junior researcher in preclinical NIH-funded trials, where her focus primarily revolved around pioneering optogenetic studies. Melissa was awarded “Best Young Researcher Award”, which acknowledged her contributions and innovation in her field. Her academic and professional excellence paved the way for further specialization, and she earned a Master’s degree in Clinical Translation Management from the University of St. Thomas, excelling in coursework that bridged the gap between clinical research and its real-world application. In her current role at Methodist Health Center Clinical Research Institute, Melissa is grateful for the invaluable opportunity it provides. She recognizes it as a pivotal stepping stone that fosters professional growth, allowing her to contribute meaningfully while furthering her expertise in the dynamic field of clinical research.

Sophie He, BS, BSN, RN, Nurse Research Coordinator

Sophie He, an accomplished Registered Nurse (RN), holds a Bachelor's degree in Biology from Baylor University and a Bachelor's degree in Nursing from Texas Woman's University. During her tenure as a Research Assistant at the University of North Texas, she delved into the intricacies of gut microbiota genetics, contributing valuable insights to the field. Building on this foundation, Sophie transitioned to a role as a Charge Nurse after two years on a medical-surgical floor, demonstrating a unique blend of clinical expertise and leadership. In addition to her academic and clinical achievements, Sophie holds a chemotherapy certification, underscoring her proficiency in administering and managing chemotherapy treatments. Committed to professional development, she served as a preceptor, guiding and mentoring emerging healthcare professionals. In her current role at the Methodist Health System Clinical Research Institute, Sophie excels in the management of patient cases within sponsored clinical trials, specializing in infusion therapy. Her adept handling of complex research protocols and infusion-related aspects showcases her expertise in navigating the intricacies of clinical trials. Sophie's multifaceted experience positions her as a valuable contributor to the advancement of medical knowledge in this dynamic and challenging field.

Jennifer Kirchner, BS, Clinical Research Coordinator

With a Bachelor’s degree in biology from The Ohio State University, Jennifer brings a wealth of knowledge and a passion for advancing healthcare through clinical research. Prior to joining Methodist Health System Clinical Research Institute (MHSCRI), she worked in various hospital settings as a student assistant at the information and surgical desks, a patient care technician, and a research assistant. During her time as a patient care technician, Jennifer was exposed to the intricacies of clinical research. It was during that time that her interest shifted towards making a lasting impact on patients’ well-being and improving their (and future patients) healthcare. Jennifer is newer to MHSCRI as a clinical research coordinator, but her dedication to providing the best care for patient, results in a deep commitment to advancing healthcare through meaningful and impactful clinical research initiatives.

Rabiya Mian, MBBS, MPH, Clinical Research Scientist (Trauma)

Dr. Rabiya Mian, a physician and epidemiologist, holds a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (M.B.B.S) degree from F.M.H. College of Medicine and Dentistry, Pakistan, and a Master of Public Health (MPH) in Epidemiology from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. An active member of prestigious organizations, including the Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health, APHA, and AMWPA, Dr. Mian’s medical and epidemiological background provides a profound understanding of healthcare systems and the intersection of clinical practice and research. She has contributed to diverse research projects, showcasing her statistical programming skills in data collection, management, and analysis.

Currently serving as the clinical research scientist for Trauma and Acute Care Surgery at Methodist Health System, Dr. Mian leads the development, coordination, writing, and analysis of trauma research projects. In this capacity, she optimizes the clinical trial management system, applies analytical methods, and employs rigorous study design to assess value and guide improvements in the care of injured patients, demonstrating her commitment to advancing trauma research and patient outcomes.

Uyen Pham, BSN, Nurse Research Coordinator

Uyen Pham, a dedicated professional, earned her Associates of Nursing (ADN) from Tarrant County Community College. With a solid foundation as a staff nurse, Uyen progressed to a preceptor role, imparting knowledge and expertise. Elevating her career, Uyen assumed responsibilities as a charge nurse, displaying leadership and organization skills. Concurrently, she pursued her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) at the University of Texas at Arlington, show casing her commitment to continuous growth. Uyen actively contributed to the healthcare community through involvement in the Unit Practice Counsel (UPC) and participation in the Wound Care Committee.

At the Methodist Health System Clinical Research Institute, Uyen is a nurse research coordinator who orchestrates the seamless execution of clinical studies with precision and dedication. Armed with extensive clinical expertise and a passion for research, she plays a pivotal role in protocol management, patient recruitment, and ensuring compliance with regulatory standards. Balancing meticulous data collection and patient care, Uyen collaborates with interdisciplinary teams, sponsors and regulatory bodies to foster a dynamic research environment. Uyen is committed to advancing medical knowledge through the facilitation and coordination of impactful clinical research initiatives.

Brooke Southard, LPN, RN, Nurse Research Coordinator

Brooke Southard is a graduate from Navarro College, where she received her Licensed Practical Nursing and Registered Nurse credentials. Brooke has been a nurse since 2019 where she has worked in home health as a geriatric private duty nurse, pediatric and allergy nurse, correctional nurse, and bedside as a progressive care nurse. Brooke is working towards completing her Bachelors of Science in Nursing, which she is expected to complete in 2024. She is very excited to learn and grow within the research community here at Methodist Health System, and is honored to utilize her nursing skills to help others.

Miguel Talamo, BS, Clinical Research Coordinator

Miguel graduated from The University of Texas at Dallas with a Bachelor’s degree in neuroscience. Prior to joining the Methodist Health System (MHS) Clinical Research Institute (MHSCRI), he performed work for various academic research institutions in topics ranging from cognitive and behavioral sciences to metabolism and genetics.

At the MHSCRI, Miguel is a Clinical Research Coordinator, where he ensures protocol compliance and good clinical practice in all phases of the research process. By collecting, completing, and reporting clinical data and ensuring adherence to regulations from the FDA, IRB, and other regulatory agencies, Miguel provides quality and diligence to MHSCRI’s scientific and clinical efforts.

Cynthia Villalta, DO, Trauma Research Coordinator

Dr. Cynthia Villalta graduated from the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine (AZCOM) in 2022. Before joining the Methodist Health System Clinical Research Institute (MHSCRI), Dr. Villalta served as Vice President of the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons Medical Student Section at AZCOM. Her past research includes investigating etiology of spontaneous coronary artery dissection and its impact on pregnant women and maternal death.

At the MHSCI, Dr. Villalta is the clinical research coordinator for the department of Trauma and Acute Care surgery. Her responsibilities include patient screening and consenting for study eligibility, manuscript writing and editing, literature reviews, data collection, and analysis of large databases such as the National Trauma Databank and Trauma Quality Improvement Project. With professional interests in surgical innovation and community outreach, Dr. Villalta plans to make an impact in the medical field by combining her experience in research with a future career in surgery.