Ted Wun, M.D., FACP (Research Profile)
Ted 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 Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Clinical Research Management and Clinical Services Core committees. In his role as associate dean for research, he 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.
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.
Nicholas Kenyon, M.D., M.A.S. (Research Profile)
Nick Kenyon is the associate director of the UC Davis Clinical and Translational Science Center, director of the CTSC Translational Research Education and Development program, and director of the ICorps@NCATS program at UC Davis. A graduate of the CTSC Mentored Clinical Research Training Program and prolific collaborator on innovative research and development projects, Kenyon was also the recipient of a career development award to study the effects of nitric oxide in models of airway inflammation and this work translated into an FDA new drug application and clinical trial to study L-arginine in adult severe asthma. He is the co-principal investigator on an NCATS U18 RADx SCENT (Kenyon, Davis) proposal to define breath signatures of COVID-19 and bring breath sensors to market.
Kenyon is professor and division chief of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine. His clinical interests focus on asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), environmental health, non-invasive markers of airway disease and critical care. His research interests are in airway diseases and lung injury. As a physician-scientist and co-director of the UC Davis Asthma Network (UCAN) clinics with a research interest in adult severe asthma, he and his laboratory staff and are working to develop the next medications to improve the care of all patients with severe asthma.
Angela Griffiths, Ph.D.
Angela Griffiths is Chief Administrative Officer of the CTSC. She oversees finance, facilities, contracts, agreements, marketing, operations, and the staff who support the various programs that the CTSC furnishes. In this role, she serves on a variety of leadership, research, and compliance committees and is a local representative to the national CTSA consortium for administrative functions.
Griffiths graduated with honors from Walden University with a Ph.D. in health psychology and from California State University, San Marcos, with a master’s degree in experimental psychology, and has recently completed multiple leadership programs at UC Davis. Her professional background reflects nearly 20 years in research administration, program management, communications, consulting and grantsmanship. She has worked in the UC system since 2011, transferring from the UC San Diego Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute as the research communications director to lead the CTSC’s Clinical Trials Office education and training programs prior to stepping in to this role.
Nicholas ("Nick") Anderson, Ph.D. (Research Profile)
Nicholas 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 UC Davis and other University of California campuses.
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.
Kent Anderson is the associate director of the CTSC Biomedical Informatics Program. His responsibilities include oversight of informatics research at UC Davis Health. He 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.
Anderson is charged with facilitating the integration of research technology within UC Davis Health, 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. He works closely with the Biomedical Informatics Program director to help investigators make the most efficient use of informatics services and resources.
Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Research Design
David M. Rocke, Ph.D. (Research Profile)
David Rocke serves as director of the CTSC Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Research Design 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)
Sandra Taylor oversees daily operations of the CTSC Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Research Design Program. In this role, she allocates requests for statistical assistance to CTSC biostatisticians, educates investigators about biostatistics and its role in biomedical research, and seeks to improve the research quality by promoting greater integration of statistics into project planning and execution. Taylor earned her doctor's degree in Biostatistics from the University of California, Davis and also holds a master's degree in Zoology and Physiology.
Clinical Research Center
Daniel Nishijima, M.D., M.A.S. (Research Profile)
Daniel Nishijima is a professor of emergency medicine and the medical director of the CTSC Clinical Research Center. He is also medical director and a CTSC Hub Liaison for the CTSA Trial Innovation Network. His 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.
Christopher Kain, RN, M.S.N., CNL
Christopher Kain serves as associate director of the CTSC Clinical Research Center. He is also a member of the UC Davis Institutional Review Board (IRB) and the Translational Research Integration Compliance Committee (TRICC). Kain previously served as an administrative nurse manager in the Department of Radiation Oncology and clinical nurse in the GI Lab at UC Davis Health. He also has a B.S. in Business and vast experience with different companies as a manager and business owner.
Clinical Research Ethics
Mark Fedyk, Ph.D. (Research Profile)
Mark Fedyk is the director of the Clinical Research Ethics component of the CTSC. He is an associate professor in the School of Medicine at UC Davis. His primary research consists of building conceptual modules that can be smoothly integrated with clinical practice in nursing and medicine, models that increase the ability of clinicians to solve concrete yet complex real-world ethical problems. He is also interested in a cluster of methodological problems having to do with how scientific progress can be a source of ethical progress, and ethical progress a source of scientific progress. Fedyk is IOR for several courses at UC Davis Health, covering topics in research ethics, clinical ethics, applied statistics, philosophy of science, and health systems science. He is also a faculty member of the Family Caregiving Institute and the Center for Neuroengineering and Medicine.
Clinical Trials Office
Erik Henricson, Ph.D., M.P.H. (Research Profile)
Erik 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.
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)
Daniel Nishijima is an associate professor of emergency medicine and medical director of the Trial Innovation Network Hub and liaison for the UC Davis CTSC. He is also the Director of the CTSC Clinical Research Center (CCRC). His 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.
Kate 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. She 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, 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)
Sergio 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 World Health Organization (WHO) 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. 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.
Luis G. Carvajal-Carmona, Ph.D. (Research Profile)
Luis Carvajal-Carmona is co-director of the CTSC Community Engagement Program. He is a professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine and holds the Auburn Community Cancer Endowed Chair in Basic Science at UC Davis. He is the Associate Director for the Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEAL) Office and the Founder Director of the Latinos United for Cancer Health Advancement (LUCHA) Initiative and the Center for Advancing Cancer Health Equity at the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center. At the UC Davis Clinical and Translation Science Center, he co-directs of the Community Engagement Program. Carvajal-Carmona has been a member of the NIH CHSA Study Section (2018-2022), the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Minorities in Cancer Research Council, the AACR Minority Scholars Awards Committee (as co-Chair) and the AACR Molecular Epidemiology Working Group Steering Committee. He currently sits on the Advisory Board of the California Cancer Registry, the AACR Racial Inequities Task Force and National Cancer Advisory Board Ad hoc Working Group on Strategic Approaches and Opportunities for Research on Cancer Among Racial and Ethnic Minorities and Underserved Populations.
Vanessa Trujillo, M.P.H.
Vanessa Trujillo is the program manager of the CTSC Community Engagement Program. Vanessa understands the significant role community engagement plays and brings extensive experience to clinical and translational sciences. Prior to joining the UC Davis team, Vanessa spent four years as an Operations Analyst at the University of California, San Francisco’s (UCSF’s) Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) where she provided support for special ad hoc assignments. Projects ranged from measuring the impact of UCSF’s clinical research infrastructure and services in accelerating scientific discoveries and across public health initiatives to providing network and resources to community partners to help address healthcare disparities. She was also an active member of UCSF CTSI’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusive, and Anti-Racist (DEIA) workgroup where she helped develop strategic plans aligning with CTSI’s mission in building and strengthening a diverse and inclusive work culture.
Vanessa has a Health Science B.S degree from Saint Mary’s College of California and a Master of Public Health degree with an emphasis on health care policy, leadership, and research from the University of San Francisco.
Stuart Henderson, Ph.D.
Stuart Henderson is the director of the CTSC Evaluation Program. He and his team are responsible for the comprehensive evaluation of the CTSC, including the CTSC Translational Research Education and Development programs. By working collaboratively with each CTSC component, his team develops specific evaluation plans to assess progress toward objectives and overall impact of the center.
Henderson is also the director of the UC Davis School of Medicine Office of Research Evaluation Unit. He received his doctorate in sociology from UC Davis and has over twelve years of of experience in program evaluation in health care and educational settings. His areas of expertise include evaluation design, mixed methods research, and data reporting. He is active in the American Evaluation Association and is co-founder of the UC Davis Qualitative Health Research Symposium.
Health Equity Resources and Outreach
Kathleen Angkustsiri, M.D., M.A.S. (Research Profile)
Kathleen Angkustsiri is co-director of the Integrating Special Populations into Research Program within the Health Equity Resources and Outreach Program.
Angkustsiri is a developmental-behavioral pediatrician with interests in neurodevelopmental disabilities including autism, chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11.2DS), down syndrome, and fragile X syndrome (FXS). She completed her B.A. in Psychology and Human Biology at Stanford University and received her M.D. from New York University School of Medicine. She is involved in research on immune dysfunction and GI conditions in autism, behavioral characteristics of children with 22q11.2DS, and clinical trials in autism, FXS, and down syndrome.
Oanh Meyer, Ph.D., M.A.S. (Research Profile)
Oanh Meyer is co-director of the Integrating Special Populations into Research (INSPIRE) Program within the CTSC Health Equity Resources and Outreach Program. She is an associate professor in the Department of Neurology at the UC Davis School of Medicine. She also leads the research education component at the UC Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.
Meyer received her Ph.D. in social psychology and her Masters in Advanced Study in Clinical Research at UC Davis. Her current research interests include social determinants of cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD), geographic disparities in cognitive and mental health for older adults, and culturally appropriate dementia caregiving interventions. She has a particular interest in reducing ADRD for older adults and their family caregivers. She has been continuously funded by the National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association for her work on dementia and dementia caregiving in ethnically diverse populations.
Elizabeth Vasile, Ph.D., M.S.
Elizabeth Vasile is director of the CTSC Health Equity Resources and Outreach Program. She works with researchers and her administrative counterparts across the institution to nurture relationships with community stakeholders, organize public dialogues and learning activities, convene and expand access to community advisory groups, and develop strategies and capacities to bring patient voices into research design and content, with special attention to the unique health needs of populations at different points in the human lifespan, and of historically underserved, disadvantaged, and culturally diverse communities.
Before coming to work at UC Davis Health, Elizabeth managed an NIA/NIH-supported P30 center at the University of California, Berkeley, where she facilitated the development and dissemination of studies in the demography of aging. Her research background is in the social sciences, with a broad base in community development and regional change and in field studies employing qualitative, ethnographic methods to examine mechanisms of shifting social identity and material practices. She earned a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of California, Berkeley. She has lived, worked, and conducted field research in North Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean and with Latinx, Asian, and African-American communities in California, and trained and supervised field teams in ethnographic techniques and cultural analysis, working in Spanish and French.
Translational Research Education and Development
James Holmes, M.D., M.P.H. (Research Profile)
James Holmes is the co-director of the CTSC KL2 Research Training Program in collaboration with Frederick Meyers. 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.
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. He is also a recipient of the UC Davis Dean's Mentoring Award.
Valentina Medici, M.D., M.A.S., FAASLD (Research Profile)
Valentina Medici is the principal investigator and director of the CTSC TL1 Clinical and Translational Research Training Program. She is the Fred and Pat Anderson Endowed Professor in Liver Research and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Internal Medicine, and professor in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Her research focus is the epigenetic regulation of gene expression in Wilson disease and the study of metabolic liver diseases, including non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, working on mouse models of liver diseases. Medici also conducts and collaborates with industry-funded and investigator-initiated clinical trials and translational studies in liver diseases. Medici is a graduate of the CTSC Mentored Clinical Research Training Program and a member of the Education Leadership Committee of CTSC educational programs.
Frederick Meyers, M.D., MACP (Research Profile)
Frederick Meyers is the KL2 co-director in collaboration with James Holmes, and a member of the CTSC Oversight and Governance Committee.
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, he is focused on integrating Precision Medicine across all colleges and schools at UC Davis as well as the broader community.
Julie Schweitzer, Ph.D. (Research Profile)
Julie Schweitzer is the director of the Mentoring Academy for Research Excellence (MARE) and the Mentored Clinical Research Training Program, in addition to serving as the TL1 co-director alongside Valentina Medici. 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.
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.
Stephen G. Henry, M.D., M.Sc. (Research Profile)
Stephen Henry is associate director of the CTSC Mentored Clinical Research Training Program (MCRTP) and chair of the UC Davis Graduate Group in Clinical Research. He also has an appointment at the Sacramento VA Medical Center with a focus on mentoring clinical researchers. Henry is a general internist and primary care physician who does clinical and health services research in two main areas: (1) analyzing patient-clinician communication developing interventions that improve patient outcomes and quality of care through improving patient-clinician communication. Most of his projects in this area focus on communication about opioids and chronic pain. (2) opioid epidemiology and policy research. He has led several federally-funded research projects analyzing California’s prescription drug monitoring program data and evaluating opioid overdose prevention efforts in California. Other research interests include methods for analyzing patent-clinician interaction, pain management in primary care, treatment of opioid use disorder, and medical epistemology.
Rachel Reeves, Ph.D.
Rachel Reeves is associate program director of the CTSC Translational Research Education and Development program.
Pilot Award Program
Alice F. Tarantal, Ph.D. (Research Profile)
Alice 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 National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute-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)
Alice 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. She has a long-standing track record and extensive expertise in providing research opportunities to investigators and trainees, and implementing highly successful programs.