The Association of Clinical Research Professionals

ACRP Board of Trustees

Elisa Cascade

CHAIR
Elisa Cascade, MBA, is the Chief Product Officer at Advarra, where she is responsible for driving the technology product vision and management. Elisa has devoted more than 30 years to advancing clinical trial technology, direct-to-patient study operations, and healthcare strategy. Throughout her career, she has been instrumental in using technology to transform clinical research to better serve all industry stakeholders. Prior to joining Advarra, Elisa held a number of high-profile roles, including Chief Product Officer for Science 37, Executive VP and Product Line Executive for eCOA at Clario; Chief Product Officer at DrugDev, an IQVIA Company; and VP of the Digital Patient Unit at Quintiles. Her industry honors include being named to the PharmaVOICE 100 and the Medicine Maker Power 100 for her innovative approach to furthering clinical research through industry collaboration and standardization of clinical trial technology/processes.  Elisa earned an MBA at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Christina Brennan, MD, MBA, CCRC

VICE CHAIR
Christina Brennan, MD, MBA, CCRC, has devoted her career to clinical research and currently serves as Northwell Health’s senior vice president of clinical research. Committed to the advancement of science and medicine, Christina has more than 23 years of extensive clinical research experience, including more than 19 years in clinical research management roles. She received the Christine Pierre Clinical Trials Lifetime Achievement award in 2023 for the Clinical Trials Europe.  She is on the Board of Trustees for the Association of Clinical Research Professionals and the Steering Committee of the Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative (CTTI) in partnership with Duke University and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and on the Advisory Board for Florence Healthcare. She also sits on the Oncology Advisory Board and Technology Site Advocacy Group with the Society for Clinical Research Sites (SCRS). She is also an active member of Women in Bio and the American College of Healthcare Executives. Christina also has authored chapters in textbooks, coauthored many manuscripts and abstracts, presented at numerous scientific and research meetings, and developed a clinical trial budget course for the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI Program). She is an adjunct professor at Yeshiva University and CUNY York College, teaching graduate students on clinical trials.

IMMEDIATE PAST CHAIR
Christine Senn, PhD, has worked in clinical research since 2005, starting as a Coordinator at the University of Vermont College of Medicine then for 16 years at a Site network that grew into Centricity Research, which has more than 40 clinical research sites in the U.S. and Canada. There, she was actively engaged in everything related to change management: integrating companies after M&A, strategizing growth initiatives, planning and executing special projects and lines of business, and continuous process improvement.

Today Dr. Senn is a Consultant and also owns Research Designed, a marketing firm specializing in digital advertising and social media for the clinical research industry. She holds her PhD in Psychology and has Masters degrees in both Clinical Psychology and in Advertising and Public Relations. She was the 2023 Chair of the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP), proud ACRP Fellow (FACRP), and is double-certified as a Certified Clinical Research Coordinator (CCRC) and Certified Principal Investigator (CPI).

Mo Ali

TREASURER
Mo Ali is a digital evangelist and head of reporting, insights, and analytics at Astellas Pharmaceuticals. Previously, he served in roles with increasing responsibilities at Medable, GSK Pharmaceuticals, Boehringer Ingelheim, J&J, Novartis, and Roche. He is focused on the creation and execution of strategic programs which aim to serve the needs of patients by creating a digital footprint and platform that would enrich their overall clinical experience. As an advocate for the democratization of clinical research and access for patients, he believes that the tripod of clinical research involves the patient, sites, and sponsors, and each leg must aid in the delivery of the experience. He is also an experienced public speaker and has held key consortium or lead roles in many industry efforts, including the Decentralized Trials and Research Alliance, TransCelerate BioPharma, IEEE, CTTI, PhRMA, and more. Throughout his career he has worked from the site to the sponsor, enabling him to understand not just the process issues and struggles, but also the overall business exchange and changes that must occur between the two stakeholders to ensure success as a collaborative partnership. His experience in digital transformation and technological investments allows him insight into bringing this more to the forefront of clinical research for all the stakeholders. He is passionate about bringing the human element to our modern technological world—“After all, what is technology if it can’t connect to the most basic need in all of us, augmenting our human connection?”

PUBLIC MEMBER
Catherine Shuster, BS, MS, BChE, has had a more than 20-year career, including management and executive positions with both Fortune 500 companies such as IBM and GE as well as midsize entrepreneurial companies. She received both her Bachelor of Science degree, with a biology major and chemistry minor, and her Master of Science degree in genetics from Purdue University. She also completed an Executive Business Program at Stanford. Later she went back to school for a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering. She was the first woman engineer at GE’s Plastics manufacturing site. She spoke at many colleges and universities encouraging women to go into engineering. When she was in college, only 2% of the engineering graduates were women. By the time she was speaking to co-eds there were 20% women in engineering. She thrives in environments where there are opportunities to problem solve. She has captained high-level teams that not only resolved issues but produced outcomes that led to innovations adopted by her employer. In one case, the innovation was eventually presented at the United Nations. Her forte has been the ability to bring together opposing groups to achieve stronger win-win outcomes. She is an avid supporter of ACRP’s mission. Research innovations and clinical trials have impacted her life in a very personal way. As the Association Board of Trustees’ public member, she is looking forward to giving back to the research community.

Suheila Abdul-Karrim, FACRP, CCRA, ACRP-MDP, MICR CSci, RQAP-GCP, is an independent clinical research consultant providing services and training to pharmaceutical industry sponsors, clinical research organizations, clinical investigators, and clinical research associates (CRAs). Based in South Africa, she has a post-graduate degree in science from the University of Witwatersrand and more than 27 years of clinical trials experience as a CRA, Clinical Research Manager, GCP Trainer, and Auditor. Suheila travels extensively to train investigators, site staff, and CRAs on ICH-GCP principles and best practices, and conducts monitoring and auditing activities in Africa, Asia, India, the Americas, and Europe. She provides functional expertise in Clinical Research Processes, Clinical Quality Assurance, Quality Management Systems, Process Improvement, and Change Management. She is an advocate for diversity in clinical research, having served on a diversity and inclusion committee, and always calls attention to the globalization of clinical research. Suheila lectures part-time to students and is passionate about continuous learning. She has presented at local and international conferences and has various publications. She has maintained her CCRA Certification since 2000 and has been actively involved with ACRP over many years, including service as an item writer, Chairperson of the Training and Development Committee, Leader of a GCP interest group, and Editorial Advisor to the Clinical Researcher journal. She is currently active on the ACRP Content Committee and the Fellows Advisory Panel. She is qualified as a Chartered Scientist in the United Kingdom and is a Registered Quality Assurance Professional (RQAP) in Good Clinical Practices.

Sergio Armani

Sergio Armani is Executive Vice President, Business Development, with Helios Clinical Research, a large multi-therapeutic site network with headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas. Prior to joining Helios, he was Vice President, Business Development, for the Review Services division of Advarra, where he had responsibility for managing business development supporting the company’s customer base of large pharmaceutical companies and contract research organizations, as well as supporting marketing and building out the business development functionality for the group. Additionally, he held senior-level business development positions at Greenphire, where he helped launch the patient payment business, and Bio-Optronics, where he helped launch the Clinical Conductor Enterprise offering. Sergio is also an avid cyclist and created the ACRP Ride4DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion), a 360-mile, self-supported bicycle ride to raise awareness and support ACRP’s efforts in diversity and inclusion in the clinical research workforce.

Leslie Byatt, BA, PMP, CCRC

Leslie Byatt, BA, PMP, CCRC, is the Director of Clinical Trials Operations at the University of New Mexico Hospitals (UNMH). She has been a leader in the clinical research space for more than 30 years. She has worked in the industry as a clinical research coordinator, as a community outpatient site manager, and as a global site liaison in Panama City, Panama, and at UNM Cancer Center where she served as the New Mexico Minority NCORP grant administrator and the study activation/regulatory operations manager. She has the pleasure of collaborating with private practices, public hospitals, and academic sites across the state of New Mexico and the US to facilitate change in the clinical research industry. Leslie is passionate about diversity in clinical trials, specifically minority and underserved populations in rural New Mexico. She had the opportunity to serve on the ASCO Ethnic Minority Populations in Cancer Clinical Trials steering group and participate as a panelist at the 2019 “State of Cancer Care in America: Closing the Rural Cancer Care Gap” event in Washington D.C. Leslie has contributed to several publications and abstracts related to clinical trial operations and clinical trial diversity, and participated in “The Next Phase” podcast, which focused on clinical trial access in rural America. She has also made contributions to the American Society of Clinical Oncology as a member of its Clinical Research Committee, to the Association of American Cancer Institutes as a Steering Committee member, and to ACRP as Chair of the CCRC Global Exam Committee. She received her BA from the University of New Mexico and currently resides in Cedar Crest, NM.

Deborah Driscoll

Deborah Driscoll, MS, has more than 20 years of experience in academia and the pharmaceutical industry. She began her career working as a research technician at the Boston VA Medical Center and Boston University. She began her career in industry at Roche as a pharmacology research scientist working in preclinical neuroscience research. She transitioned from the laboratory to clinical working as a clinical research associate in oncology and HIV research. Deborah spent several years at Pfizer working in Research and Development, including serving in the role of Vice President of Quality Assurance. Deborah joined Amgen as Head of Research and Development Quality Assurance in December 2022, assuming responsibilities covering GCP, GLP, and GPvP. She had previously held the Head of Research and Development Quality Assurance role at Merck and Pfizer. Deborah held the leadership role for TransCelerate BioPharma Inc.’s Clinical Quality Management System Team from 2014 to 2017, working with member companies to develop and advance a clinical quality framework to enable consistent and timely delivery of reliable data that may be used by an organization, its partners, regulators, clinicians, and patients to make informed decisions. Deborah holds a BS in Animal Science and an MS in Biology.

Catherine Gregor, MBA, CCRP, CCRC, is a transformational leader and business advisor with close to two decades of experience in clinical research. She currently serves as the Chief Clinical Trial Officer for Florence Healthcare, a software company focused on enabling sponsors, contract research organizations, and sites to do their best work. Catherine has worked in a myriad of therapeutic areas, including wound care, cardiology, pulmonary, immunology, and oncology. She is a subject matter expert and key opinion leader on patient-centric, decentralized, and hybrid trial design. Catherine has had the pleasure of conducting trials in both academic and community practices, including serving as the Director of Clinical Research Administration for the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. Additionally, Catherine is continually working to better the clinical trials industry through her role as the Chair of Florence’s Site Enablement League and her participation on the board of the Association of Clinical Research Organizations (ACRO), in the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) Partners Advancing the Clinical Research Workforce initiative, and with the Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative (CTTI). Catherine has an MA from Loyola University Chicago and an MBA from Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. She is certified by both ACRP and SoCRA as a clinical research professional and volunteers as a mentor in her spare time.

Tiffany Mayo

Tiffany Mayo, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist and Associate Professor of Dermatology at The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). She received a BS and MS in Chemistry at Tuskegee University in Alabama and completed her MD at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX. She completed an internship in Internal Medicine at McGaw Northwestern Medical Center in Chicago, IL, and her Dermatology residency at UAB, where she is the Director of Dermatology Clinical Research and Department Vice Chair of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Her clinical interests include skin of color, hair and scalp disorders, and hidradenitis suppurativa. In addition to her clinical duties, she serves on multiple UAB School of Medicine committees and is active in multiple dermatology organizations. She also mentors undergraduate and medical students. She is a member of the American Academy of Dermatology, National Medical Association, Women’s Dermatologic Society, Skin of Color Society, and other dermatology organizations. She is also a recipient of the National Institutes of Health Diversity Supplement Grant and Teaching Award for Resident Education. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her three children and husband.

R'Kes Starling

R’Kes Starling, RPh, MBA, is CEO and Founder of Reveles, Inc., a digital health company pioneering representation in clinical discovery. Through decentralized clinical trial approaches, R’Kes has been on the forefront of health equity in clinical research. He has more than 21 years of experience providing high-touch pharmacy services, clinical reach operations, specialty drug distribution, and clinical management to patients with rare and complex diseases such as chronic kidney disease, cancer, hemophilia, and cystic fibrosis. Prior to founding Reveles, R’Kes headed up the Specialty Pharmacy and Clinical Research Service businesses at McKesson, which comprised two separate business units of an oncology-focused specialty pharmacy and the “central depot” that provides investigational product distribution, accountability, and storage for the US Oncology Network. He oversaw a multidisciplinary clinical research team involved in more than 130 active oncology-focused clinical trials and was responsible for delivering more than 50,000 annual shipments of investigational products, laboratory kits, and clinical supplies to the US Oncology Network sites across the United States. Prior to McKesson, as the Vice President of Operations, he oversaw eight Home Infusion specialty pharmacies in six states with Coram CVS Specialty Infusion Services, which has translated into his in-depth experience and knowledge of providing direct-to-patient care for thousands of patients on commercialized medications with complex and rare diseases in their homes. Prior to Coram, he held various management roles with DaVita, Inc., a Fortune 500 Dialysis services provider, and worked in retail pharmacy operations management at Walmart, Sam’s Club, and Target Stores. Additionally, he consulted and worked collaboratively with more than 38 biopharmaceutical companies on pre-launch to commercialization development, launch strategies, and patient access programs for new specialty pharmaceutical therapies. R’Kes received his Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from Purdue University and his Executive MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Susan P. Landis

SECRETARY, NON-VOTING
Susan P. Landis joined ACRP as Executive Director in June 2021. Landis brings to ACRP more than 25 years of experience in organizational leadership, including as Vice President, Quintiles, where she helped build and lead a global clinical research engagement group. Most recently, Landis served for 6 years as Head of Strategic Engagement & Communications at Duke Clinical Research Institute, where she led external and internal marketing for the world’s largest academic research organization.