AboutUs

OurTeam

Our team is comprised of dedicated professionals who are committed to the patients they serve. Our coordinators, nurses, doctors, scientists, and research personnel come from diverse backgrounds in both clinical and non-clinical fields.

NinaBracken | Research Manager

I am a Research Manager with the Breathe Chicago Center© (BCC) and Population Health Sciences Program (PHSP) and am thrilled to be able to work with such a dynamic and forward thinking group.  I am an Advanced Practice Nurse and am responsible for study protocol preparation, start-up, and oversight.  I provide clinical consult for our coordinators, physical examinations and clinical oversight for our participants.  I am passionate about the innovative research we conduct here at the BCC and PHSP, and am dedicated to providing education to our patients to empower them to better manage their condition.

YvetteCabada | Clinical Research Coordinator

I am a Clinical Research Coordinator with the Breathe Chicago Center© and Population Health Sciences Program. I have a background in neuroscience and love working in research. I assist in coordinating studies that focus on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) research. My goal is to ensure timely handling of recruitment and retention efforts for clinical research studies, provide guidance on best practices and lessons learned from recruitment efforts across protocol, and develop plans for engaging target population in clinical research. Working with a great team in studies that contribute in the improvement of the lives of those affected with COPD is a rewarding and unique opportunity I’m thankful for.

LaurenCastro | Director of Clinical Operations

I have been a part of the UIC research community since 2008, I am honored to be a part of the Breathe Chicago Center© and the Population Health Sciences Program. Our programs’ goals to improve the health for those in the UIC surrounding communities and beyond while giving special attention to improving health inequities at all levels is vital in our local and global communities today. I provide oversight for several of our research protocols as well as providing clinical consult as and Advanced Practice Nurse. I’m thrilled to be a part of our team’s cutting edge research and innovation and proud to work among such a dedicated team of professionals.

ValentinPrieto-Centurion | Assistant Professor of Medicine

I am an Assistant Professor of Medicine at UIC, responsible for developing and evaluating interventions to improve outcomes in persons with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), particularly during the hospital-to-home transition. I am the Principal Investigator of the PACE study, which aims to promote activity in patients with COPD, who have recently been discharged from the hospital. I also see patients with COPD and other respiratory conditions at the UIC pulmonary clinic.

Yu-CheChung | Biostatistician

I am a PhD candidate from UIC School of Public Health studying biostatistics. My role at Breathe Chicago Center© (BCC) is to apply statistical methodology to several ongoing research projects. Statistical methods include sample size determination, longitudinal data analysis, missing data analysis, and so on. I am happy to be a part of the BCC team and contribute to this talented team.

JanCotton | Patient Research Advocate

I am a Patient Research Advocate at the Breathe Chicago Center©. My area of concentration is the PELICAN study. Since I have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), this gives me the added expertise needed to reach out to others needing help with this disease. I firmly believe that patients should have the latest information available. I enjoy learning new techniques and how they affect people who are in need of the services offered.  I was an info line associate at the COPD Foundation, am a governing board member of the COPD Patient- Powered Research Network (PPRN), and an advocate for the Respiratory Health Association. I have a Master’s degree in Human Resources.

JulieDeLisa | Project Manager

I am a research Project Manager and Assistant Director of Research Compliance with over eight years of experience coordinating clinical trials in asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). I have worked with nationwide multi-site NIH-funded and industry-funded networks, in addition to single-site investigator-initiated trials. As Assistant Director of Research Compliance, I maintain over fifteen active protocols, and help to manage amendments, continuing reviews, and reporting requirements for each protocol. I also act as a resource for program staff and leadership to ensure our regulatory documents reflect our commitment to conduct our research in the best interest of our participants and communities.

JocelyneGeorge | Clinical Research Coordinator

I am a Clinical Research Coordinator with the Breathe Chicago Center© (BCC) and Population Health Sciences Program. Prior to joining the BCC team, I was a Bilingual Research Assistant for the Department of Sociology at UIC. Currently, I assist in the RELIANCE study call center as a bilingual point of contact to help serve the Spanish speaking population, as well as develop and implement effective patient recruitment strategies for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) studies. I am committed to helping improve the lives of individuals with lung disease and overall patient care.

WendyHasse | Clinical Research Coordinator

I am a Clinical Research Coordinator with the Breathe Chicago Center© and Population Health Sciences Program.  As a Clinical Research Coordinator, I have the privilege of working directly with study participants in order to provide them with the best possible clinical research experience. Prior to joining the BCC team, I was trained as a Registered Dietitian at Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital and also have previous experience in coordinating clinical trials within a diverse array of therapeutic areas.  As a member of the BCC team it is my goal to contribute to the innovative and important efforts of this interdisciplinary team in order to improve the lives of individuals with lung disease.

SaiIllendula | Data Manager

I joined Breathe Chicago Center© and Population Health Sciences Program in June 2016.  I am responsible for data management of multiple ongoing research studies, database development and maintenance, and ensuring data quality. I also produce data reports and data visualization for our clinical research projects. It is always a privilege to be involved in the process of solving problems, especially for a data enthusiast like me. Working with our team keeps me motivated and passionate about helping do my part to answer important research questions through solid data management.

JerryKrishnan | Associate Vice Chancellor, Population Health Sciences Program | Director, Breathe Chicago Center

I am a Professor of Medicine and Public Health, Director of the Breathe Chicago Center© and Associate Vice Chancellor for Population Health Sciences Program in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs at the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System (UI Health System). I am responsible for developing, testing, and implementing healthcare interventions to improve care, outcomes, and affordability of care for populations served by the UI Health System. I am passionate about conducting comparative effectiveness research and assessing outcomes that are most important to patients and their caregivers.

StephanieLaBedz | Pulmonary Fellow

I am a board certified internal medicine physician who is completing fellowship training in pulmonary and critical care medicine. I joined Breathe Chicago Center© as a T32 post-doctoral research fellow with the goal of developing a career as a physician-scientist. My work focuses on the transition from hospital to home for patients hospitalized for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). In addition to research activities, I also care for patients with diverse respiratory diseases at both the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System and the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center. It is a privilege to work with such a distinguished and dedicated group of colleagues at the Breathe Chicago Center©.

CinthiaLeman | Director of Administrative Operations, Population Health Sciences Program

I am the Director of Administrative Operations for the Population Health Sciences Program in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs at the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System. I am responsible for providing administrative oversight of our program’s innovative initiatives and ensuring that the attainment of our goals is possible from an operational standpoint. I am excited to work with such a dedicated team and to lend my skills to UI Health’s mission to reduce health disparities and improve the lives of the population we serve.

JohnLinnell | Patient Research Advocate

I serve as a Patient Research Advocate for the PELICAN project at the Breathe Chicago Center©. I am also a patient with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) diagnosed in 2005. Firmly believing that the patient needs to be an integral part of both treatment and research, I am heavily involved in patient education and advocacy. I find it rewarding to help other patients understand that their COPD is manageable and it is simply a different chapter in their lives. In addition to helping recruit patients for the PELICAN project, I sit on the Executive Board of EFFORTS (a COPD Foundation led program), am a State Captain/Advocate for the COPD Foundation, am the patient representative of the Data Safety Monitoring Board of another clinical research study, and am a voting patient representative for scientific peer review of a Congressionally Directed Medical Review Program.

EleanorMusick | Lab Technician

I am a Lab Technician working at the Breathe Chicago Center© (BCC). I am responsible for the processing of biospecimens within the laboratory for SPIROMICS II, and I aid in quality control measures for data accuracy and reliability. I recently graduated from McGill University with a degree in history and specialization in the history of medicine. I joined the BCC team in late 2018 to work on publication projects and then transitioned to laboratory-focused work for SPIROMICS II. I am also currently attending UIC for a post-baccalaureate program before applying to medical school. I am truly lucky to be a part of such a brilliant, multi-disciplinary team.

M.Lourdes Norwick | Research Nurse

I am a Registered Nurse with over 20 years experience in pulmonary and critical care nursing. I am currently the Research Nurse for the Breathe Chicago Center© (BCC) and cover both asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) trials. I also serve as clinical resource for the BCC, as well as provide education for study participants and clinical patients on inhaler technique.

KylePotter | Clinical Research Coordinator

I am a Clinical Research Coordinator at the Breathe Chicago Center© and am excited to be a part of such a talented and dedicated team. I assist with the coordination of a number of studies that look to find innovative ways to treat and improve the lives of patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). My experience in clinical research has highlighted the importance of a strong partnership between researchers and study participants, and I’m eager to form those bonds with our community as we work together toward improving the lives of patients with COPD.

JordanRoss | Office Manager

I joined the Breathe Chicago Center© (BCC) in 2018 as a Staff Clerk. My role has transitioned to Office Manager, which allows me the privilege of working in some capacity with everyone in our team on administrative affairs. Before joining BCC, I worked as an Administrative Aid for four Patient Care Directors and the CNO of Women & Children’s Health in UIC’s inpatient clinics. The opportunity to work among such a diverse team of bright and innovative professionals who are dedicated to the progressive evolution of healthcare has been unequivocally gratifying.

EllenStein | Data Manager

I joined Breathe Chicago Center© and Population Health Sciences Program as a Data Manager in June 2019. My primary role is to analyze and report data for multiple, ongoing research projects. This includes designing databases, ensuring data quality, and creating data visualizations. I am excited to use my problem solving and quantitative skills I gained in my Master’s program to collaborate with this multi-disciplinary team.