The Institute's research staff consists of an Executive Director, a Senior Research Scientist, a Clinical Operations Manager, two Project Managers, a Registry Assistant, and a team of experienced Clinical Research Coordinators.
In addition to supervising and facilitating clinical trials and physician-initiated research studies, the research staff is responsible for the preparation of abstracts, manuscripts, grant proposals, scientific posters and presentations, literature searches, local and regional conferences, community outreach programs, and multiple other research activities.
Christi T. Cadd, MBA
Christi, originally from Winston-Salem, began her career as a Clinical Research Coordinator with PMG Research, Winston-Salem. During her third year of employment she was offered the opportunity to move to Charlotte and was responsible for the initiation, advancement and expansion of a dedicated multi-specialty research office, Metrolina Medical Research (later renamed, PMG-Charlotte). MMR successfully conducted over 425 Phase II-IV trials under her direction.
In 2010, Christi joined OrthoCarolina Research Institute as the Executive Director. She reports to the OCRI Board of Directors and is responsible for the overall operations, management and protection of the organization's financial assets.
Christi graduated from Appalachian State University with a BS in Health Care Management and earned her Master's in Business Administration (MBA) from High Point University. She is married with four children Aiden, Greyson, Parker and Emerson.
Susan M. Odum, PhD
Susan is a native Charlottean and began her career with the Research institute in 1999. In addition to her OCRI role as Senior Research Scientist, Susan is a University of North Carolina-Charlotte adjunct professor in the College of Health and Human Services and teaches advance research design and advance data analysis in the Health Services Research doctoral program. She is also professionally active in the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons and is a reviewer for the Journal of Arthroplasty. She has authored more than 60 publications and her areas of expertise and areas of interests include research methodology including cost-effective analysis, observational research and registries.
Susan graduated from the University of Georgia with a BS in Exercise Science and Master’s of Education degrees in Exercise Science (University of Georgia). She has a second Masters degree from Bowling Green State University in Developmental Kinesiology a Doctor of Philosophy in Health Services Research from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.
Caryn Thompson, MBA, CCRC
Caryn earned her Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Healthcare Management from Pfeiffer University and completed a Masters in Business Administration (M.B.A.) from Queens University’s McColl School of Business. She became a certified clinical research coordinator (CCRC) through the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) in 2005.
Caryn started her career with OCRI in 2001 when she was initially hired into an entry-level data entry position with the Charlotte Orthopedic Research Institute (CORI). After working there she took a position as a clinical research coordinator with the O.L. Miller Research Institute (OLMRI). In 2006, CORI and OLMRI merged and became the OrthoCarolina Research Institute, Inc (OCRI).
Since joining the OCRI team Caryn has had many different job titles and responsibilities. After her work in data entry and as a clinical research coordinator, she became the Team Lead for the Scientific Outcomes Department and where she was responsible for overseeing daily work flow for projects as well as regulatory submissions to Institutional Review Boards (IRBs). In March 2008, she assumed the role of Manager of the FDA Clinical Trials Department. In June 2014 she assumed the role of Clinical Operations Manager (COM) and is responsible for the logistics, staff, and daily activities of both clinical trials and outcomes departments.
Caryn is married and has two children (Marley and Murphy) and two lab mix dogs (Leo and Davinci). In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family – often entertaining and going to outdoor concerts, festivals or sporting events.
Amy Roznowski, MBA, CCRC
Amy Roznowski, MBA, CCRC was hired in August 2006 as a clinical research coordinator for the outcomes and scientific studies position. In 2009, she received her certification through the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP). She is also a member of ACRP and the local chapter GCACRP. In January 2014, Amy took on a new position and is now outcomes project manager. She is managing over 100 research studies.
She is originally from Ohio and graduated from Kent State University in 2005 with a BS in health education. In 2008 she obtained a certificate in core public health concepts through UNC. In 2014, she obtained her MBA degree in health care management.
She is married and has two children, Andrew (born March 2014) and Ava (born December 2015). She also has 2 labs and a basset hound. She enjoys spending time with her family, being active, and watching sports. She is an avid sports fan including the Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Hornets, Ohio State Buckeyes, Cleveland Browns, Indians, and Cavs.
Siobhan Brunson, BS, CRC
Foot & Ankle
Siobhan was hired in January 2016 as a Clinical Research Coordinator for Foot & Ankle studies. Siobhan has worked in clinical research for 8 years, starting her career at Duke University.
Originally from Apex, North Carolina, Siobhan moved to Charlotte in 2011. She graduated from North Carolina Central University in May 2008 with a BS in Public Health Education. Siobhan is married and enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, sports, and staying active.
Ben Connell, BA, CCRC
Ben is a native of Birmingham, Alabama but has lived in Charlotte for most of his life. He attended Appalachian State University, graduating in May 2008. During college, he interned in the research department of Carolinas HealthCare System and the Blumenthal Cancer Center. He joined the Outcomes and Scientific Studies department of OCRI in August 2008 as a research assistant and has since become a Clinical Research Coordinator. He is currently the primary coordinator on a variety of outcomes studies in the hip and knee, hand, sports medicine, and pediatrics sub-specialties. Ben also coordinates with OrthoCarolina and OCRI to assist with the collection of patient reported outcomes and operative data for the different sub-specialties of orthopedics, utilizing a new electronic data capture system implemented across the entire OrthoCarolina practice. He is a member of the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) as well as their local chapter, GCACRP. He currently serves as the treasurer of GCACRP. He is trained in Good Clinical Practices and dangerous goods shipping (IATA).
Outside of work Ben enjoys road cycling, kayaking, history, and playing basketball.
Melissa Haug, BA, CCRC
Melissa works as the dedicated Clinical Research Coordinator for the Spine Center. She helps to facilitate all research patient activity and special projects specific to the Spine and Physiatry subspecialties.
Melissa graduated from The College of Wooster with a degree in neuroscience, where she developed her interest in research. During her time in college she completed a variety of research projects and internships focusing on behavioral research. During her senior year, she completed a year long research project and thesis focusing on the long term effects of concussions on cognitive functions in college athletes. She also completed a 3 month research internship working in the Emergency Department of the Carolina’s Medical Center.
Outside of the office she enjoys traveling, baking, swimming, and is a member of a local Crosssfit gym.
Priscilla Haug, BA, CCRC
Priscilla started her career in clinical research in 2013 when she was in intern for OCRI. Upon completion of her internship, she was hired as a Clinical Research Coordinator working primarily in Foot and Ankle. Prior to joining the OCRI team, Priscilla completed multiple research projects and internships throughout college, focusing on cellular and behavioral research before moving to orthopedic clinical research.
She graduated from The College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio with a degree in neuroscience and a minor in chemistry in May 2012. During her time in college she was a member of many clubs and pre-professional organizations, as well as the women’s varsity swim team all 4 years. During her swimming career she held multiple school records and qualified for Division 3 National Championships.
Outside of work she enjoys spending time with friends, being active, swimming and cooking.
Serit Kelly, BS
Serit is originally from Queens, NY. Before coming to OCRI, she attended UNC-Greensboro and graduated cum laude in May 2015 with a Bachelor's of Science in Kinesiology, with a Sports Medicine concentration. Serit is currently finishing up her requirements and studying for the MCAT in order to attend medical school. She has participated in, and aided in, several research studies for courses in biomechanics, motor development, and exercise physiology. Serit was also a group exercise instructor at the UNCG recreation center for two years and currently has her AFAA group instruction certification She is also certified in CPR and First Aid/AED. Serit has been a competitive dancer and violinist since the age of five. Outside of research, her hobbies are dancing, playing the violin, shopping, and spending time with her family.
Markecia Koulesser, BA
Markecia is originally from Connecticut and has been living in Charlotte since 2009. She graduated from Wake Forest University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology. Markecia's focus in college was osteological research (via her anthropology major) and she has a personal interest in bone anatomy and pathology. In the near future, she looks to obtain a Masters Degree in Ancient History, with a concentration on Ancient Disease and Wellness. Outside of work she enjoys binge-watching Netflix, going to museums, and trying new things.
Caleb Michalek, BS, CCRC
Caleb is originally from Chester, VA. He moved to North Carolina in 2009 to attend Campbell University. During his final semester at Campbell, Caleb moved to Charlotte to complete an academic internship with OCRI. He graduated from Campbell University in May 2013 with a Bachelors of Science in Clinical Research and a General Science minor. Since completing the internship and graduating, Caleb joined the OCRI team full-time as a Clinical Research Coordinator primarily in Sports Medicine and Hip & Knee, with studies in many other subspecialties as well.
Outside of work, Caleb enjoys spending time with friends, mixing/recording music, playing guitar, and going to concerts.
Donna Philbeck, BA
Donna was hired in June 2016 as the Accountant for OCRI. She graduated from Belmont Abbey College with her BA in Accounting in 2010, and comes to OCRI with almost 30 years of accounting experience -- 13 of those with other non-profits. Prior to her career in accounting, Donna worked as a medical assistant. After graduating from Central Piedmont in 1984, she worked in the Medical Assistant positon for three years before transitioning over to a financial position. Donna enjoys spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren. She loves reading, scrapbooking, and running/walking.
Katherine Prassas, CCRC
FDA Clinical Trials
Katherine was hired in April of 2002 as a research assistant with Charlotte Orthopedics Research Institute (CORI). In 2004 she accepted a position as clinical research coordinator with CORI. She became a certified clinical research coordinator (CCRC) through the Association of Clinical Research professionals (ACRP) in 2008. She is a member of ACRP and the local chapter, GCACRP.
She is currently working as a Senior Clinical Research Coordinator on investigational drug (IND) and device (IDE) trials in the Foot and Ankle, Pediatric, Spine, Hand and Total joint subspecialties. She is trained in, Dangerous Goods Shipping (IATA), Good Clinical Practices and Phlebotomy. In March of 2007 she had her first FDA audit, which she received no form 483. She is also bilingual (Greek).
Katherine is also the Internship Coordinator for OrthoCarolina Research Institute (OCRI)
Katherine graduated from Central Piedmont Community College as a Medical Assistant and prior to working in clinical research, she had seven years of medical office experience in patient services and billing.
In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, going for a run on the Greenway, and hiking.
Alexis Ready, BS, CRC
Originally a native of Montclair, New Jersey, Alexis joined the OCRI team in 2016 with a background in Pharmaceutical, Biomedical, and Clinical Research operations. Alexis previously obtained her Bachelors in Science from Penn State University and is also certified as a Pharmacy Technician. She has always had a strong interest in new and developing pharmaceuticals, which began her love of clinical research. Alexis brings great attention for detail and quality experience from her past role as a Quality Affairs Admin, in which she performed QA/QC audits of trial regulatory binders, managed staff training files, and assumed many other functions at a small CRO. Outside of work, Alexis enjoys staying active through traveling, skiing, being adventurous and spending time with her family.
Taylor Rowe, BA, CRC
Taylor is a native of Charlotte, North Carolina. He attended Washington & Lee University, graduating in May 2015 with a major in History and a minor in Environmental Studies. He is currently attending the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in order to complete the requirements to take the MCAT and attend medical school.
While attending Washington & Lee, he participated in many extracurricular activities including being a 4-year letter winner in baseball, a member of the Kappa Alpha Order, and a member of the Outing Club. As a collegiate athlete he was a member of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference All-Conference team as a junior, and as a senior was a Washington & Lee Scholar-Athlete and Team Captain.
Outside of work he enjoys fishing, camping, as well as playing basketball and other sports.
Rebekah Smith, BS, CCRC
FDA Clinical Trials
Rebekah's love for research began early in her life on the quiet neighborhood streets of Charlotte. In 2002, she graduated from Campbell University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. After college, Rebekah started her career in clinical research working in a variety of therapeutic areas before joining OrthoCarolina Research Institute in October of 2011.
She was certified as a clinical research coordinator through the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) in March of 2011. At OCRI, she is currently enthusiastically working in the spine, hand, and hip/knee sub-specialties. She is trained in phlebotomy, Good Clinical Practices (GCP), and Dangerous Goods Shipping (IATA). Outside of work, Rebekah continues her research pursuits as she enjoys exploring her family genealogy, buffering her vast knowledge of classic film history, and finding places to shoot her next photographic masterpiece. She is also a long-suffering fan of the Chicago Cubs.
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