Management Team

Corporate

Juan F. Granada, MD, is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation (CRF). A renowned leader in cardiology, he joined CRF in 2007 and served as Executive Director and Chief Innovation Officer at the CRF Skirball Center for Innovation, the preclinical division of CRF. He is also an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Dr. Granada is one of the world’s foremost investigators in the translational validation of novel cardiovascular therapies and has helped develop and successfully validate several endovascular imaging and device technologies. He received his medical degree from the Institute of Health Sciences in Medellin, Colombia and finished his cardiovascular disease and interventional cardiology fellowships at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. 

Donald L. Abrams, Esq., Chief Legal Officer, Office of Legal Affairs, has overseen legal, regulatory, and compliance matters at CRF since 2000, providing insight and guidance throughout the organization. Don is knowledgeable in areas of the law that include clinical and preclinical research, healthcare, life sciences, labor and employment, and immigration. He also oversees interactions with outside counsel responsible for real estate matters (including tax-exempt bond financing), intellectual property, not-for-profit corporate governance, and international law. Prior to joining CRF, Don managed legal affairs at Columbia Cornell Care, a management services organization responsible for physician contracting and credentialing. Before that, he was a litigator and a regulatory affairs attorney at Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield, where he served for several years as the in-house attorney with primary responsibility for combatting healthcare insurance fraud. Don has litigated several cases to verdict, including in New York State Supreme Court and the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, arbitrated millions of dollars in healthcare insurance disputes, and negotiated positive outcomes in numerous other matters.

Gary S. Mintz, MD, is Chief Medical Officer of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation, Editor- in-Chief of TCTMD.com, and the Managing Co-Director of Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT). Dr. Mintz joined the Cardiovascular Research Foundation in 1991. He is the author of more than 900 articles or book chapters and 700 abstracts focusing on intravascular imaging, but also including various aspects of hemodynamics, intravascular physiology, cardiac radiology, coronary arteriography, interventional cardiology, clinical cardiology, and cardiac ultrasound. In 2005, Dr. Mintz published the single-authored textbook Intracoronary Ultrasound. In 2014, he received the “Master of the Masters” career achievement award in Seoul, Korea. In 2015, he received the Chien Foundation Award for Outstanding Lectureship and Lifetime Achievement in PCI at the TCTAP-Cardiovascular Summit in Seoul, Korea. He also serves as co-director of both the annual TCT-AP Cardiovascular Summit and the annual China Interventional Therapeutics in Partnership with TCT.

Dr. Mintz completed his undergraduate education at the University of Pennsylvania in 1970 and received his medical degree from Hahnemann University in 1974, both in Philadelphia, PA. He finished his internship in 1975, residency in 1976, and cardiology fellowship in 1978, each at Hahnemann University. He joined the Hahnemann University Department of Medicine faculty (with a joint appointment in the Department of Diagnostic Radiology) in 1978 and was ultimately promoted to Professor of Medicine in 1987. His administrative appointments there included Director of the Cardiac Ultrasound Laboratory, Director of the Coronary Care Unit, and Director of the Cardiology Fellowship Training Program. He received teaching awards from both the Department of Medicine Residency and Cardiology Fellowship Training Programs.

Eileen Morales, MS, Chief Financial Officer, joined CRF in January 2001. Over the years, she has taken on increased responsibilities and assumed more important roles from staff accountant to financial planning and analysis, to controller. She was promoted to CFO in January, 2017. In her current position, Eileen manages day-to-day corporate operations including Finance, Office Services and IT. Prior to CRF, she managed the accounting office of a law firm in New York.

Emilia K. Halpern, GPHR, Director, Human Resources, is responsible for developing, managing, and implementing strategic human resource initiatives which align with CRF’s vision, mission, and goals. She provides daily oversight of all recruitment and employment processes, compensation matters, training, employment legislation compliance, HRIS management, and employee relations activities for the organization. Prior to CRF, she served as an International Human Resources Representative for the Wildlife Conservation Society and an Employment Coordinator at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Emilia is a graduate of McGill University with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Behavioral Science and holds a master’s degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from New York University.

Doreen McGirl, Director, Quality Assurance, is responsible for the management, maintenance, and oversight of the comprehensive quality programs for CRF, leading its quality initiatives, and ensuring compliance with applicable GCP/GLP federal regulations. She manages the audit and CAPA management programs, the CRF Controlled Document program, and provides the processes to ensure that required trainings for regulated areas are current and adequately documented. She is also the primary contact for regulatory and quality assurance issues, and hosts sponsor audits and regulatory inspections. Prior to CRF, Doreen managed the Global GCP Audit Program at Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from Douglass College/Rutgers University. 

CRF SKIRBALL CENTER FOR INNOVATION

Greg L. Kaluza, MD, PhD, is the Director of Research at the CRF Skirball Center for Innovation. He has extensive expertise in guiding early ideas and inventions through comprehensive research programs to introduce practical therapies into clinical cardiovascular medicine. Prior to CRF, Dr. Kaluza served as Scientific Director of the Center for Research in Cardiovascular Interventions and as Co-Director of the Angiographic Core Laboratory at the Methodist Hospital Research Institute in Houston, Texas. He received his medical degree from the Nicolas Copernicus Academy of Medicine in Kraków, Poland. He completed his postgraduate fellowship at the Laboratory of Physiology, University of Antwerp, Belgium, and his residency in internal medicine at the Jagiellonian University College of Medicine, Kraków, Poland. 

Mark DeAngelis, Director, Skirball Digital Innovation, is responsible for creating digital media platforms to educate physicians and patients on technological and procedural advances in cardiovascular healthcare. Mark has experience in television programming and development. Most recently, he served as a consultant and project manager for Savillis-Studley and prior to that was VP of Development and Production at Imagina Media.  

CRF CLINICAL TRIALS CENTER

Ori Ben-Yehuda, MD, is Executive Director of the CRF Clinical Trials Center (CTC). As Executive Director, Dr. Ben-Yehuda is responsible for all CTC activities including trial design, data management, biostatistical analyses, event adjudication, and safety reporting. In addition, he oversees the CTC’s imaging core laboratories.

Dr. Ben-Yehuda was previously Vice President, Cardiovascular Clinical Research at Gilead Sciences. Prior to that, he was Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and the Director of the Coronary Care Unit at UCSD Medical Center. He also served as the Deputy Editor of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology from 2002 through 2010.

Dr. Ben-Yehuda received his medical degree from the Sackler School of Medicine at Tel Aviv University in Israel. He completed residencies in internal medicine at the Soroka Medical Center in Beer-Sheba, Israel and New York University Medical Center and Bellevue Hospital in New York. He also finished a cardiovascular medicine fellowship at the University of California, San Diego.

Ziad A. Ali, MD, DPhil, is Director of the Angiographic Core Laboratory at the CRF Clinical Trials Center. He is Associate Director of Translational Medicine at the Center for Interventional Vascular Therapy at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. He is also the Victoria and Esther Aboodi Cardiology Researcher at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He received his medical degree from the University of Sheffield and doctorate in cardiovascular medicine from the University of Oxford. Dr. Ali fulfilled a residency in internal medicine and fellowship in cardiovascular medicine at Stanford University Medical Center. He also served as Chief Fellow in cardiovascular intervention at Mount Sinai Medical Center.

Daniel Burkhoff, MD, PhD, is Director, Heart Failure, Hemodynamics and MCS Research at the CRF Clinical Trials Center. He is also an Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia University. A world-renowned expert in heart failure and hemodynamics, Dr. Burkhoff collaborates on heart failure research initiatives across all divisions of CRF. Dr. Burkhoff is author of Harvi, an interactive simulation-based application for teaching and researching many aspects of ventricular mechanics and hemodynamics. Dr. Burkhoff works with the CRF Center for Education to develop novel curricula using Harvi in educational programs for practicing physicians, fellows, and medical students around the world.

Dr. Burkhoff’s interests include cardiovascular modeling and research in basic and clinical aspects of ventricular mechanics, cardiovascular monitoring, heart failure, device and pharmacologic treatments for heart failure, including left ventricular assist devices. He was instrumental in the creation of the CRF Skirball Center for Innovation, and served as Director when it opened in 2005. Before returning to CRF, he was Vice President of Medical Science for HeartWare International. Previously, he served as Medical Director of CircuLite. He received his medical and doctor of philosophy degrees from The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and completed his cardiology fellowship at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Jose M. Dizon, MD, is Director, ECG Core Laboratory at the CRF Clinical Trials Center. He is a practicing cardiologist and an Associate Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center. Dr. Dizon's area of clinical expertise is cardiac arrhythmia management, including ablation of arrhythmias and device therapy. He received his medical degree from Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Dizon completed his internship and residency at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, and cardiology and electrophysiology fellowships at Columbia University Medical Center.

Ovidiu Dressler, MD, Director, Medical Analytics and Programming, oversees the SAS programming group. He provides clinical input to study teams for protocol development, statistical analysis plans, table shells, case report forms, and database design. He is also responsible for clinical review and quality control for all deliverables and clinical/programming support for academic requests. Prior to joining CRF, he worked as an associate professor of pathophysiology at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Timisoara, Romania, where he also received his medical degree. During his teaching career, he specialized in the field of basic cardiovascular research and completed his residency in nuclear medicine.

Rebecca T. Hahn, MD, is Director, Echocardiography Core Laboratory at the CRF Clinical Trials Center. She is currently the Director of Interventional Echocardiography at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. Hahn is a leading authority in the field of echocardiography. For the last 15 years, she has served as Course Director for the Annual State-of-the-Art Echo Course which trains and educates health care professionals on established and new recommendations of the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE). Previously, she directed the Echocardiography Lab at North Shore University Hospital and prior to that, was the Director of Clinical Echocardiography at Cornell University. Dr. Hahn received her medical degree from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri and completed her internship, residency, and fellowship at New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center.

Ivana Jankovic, MD, Director, Core Lab Operations, is responsible for operations of the CTC’s imaging core laboratories (ACL, IVI, OCT, Echo, CT, MRI and ECG). She is also responsible for the timeliness of image analyses and oversight of technical personnel, including performance quality across all groups. Ivana has several years of core lab and project management experience and has managed multiple phase I-IV clinical studies. Prior to joining CRF, Ivana worked as a project manager for the Yale Cardiovascular Research Group of the Yale University School of Medicine. Ivana holds a medical degree from Belgrade University School of Medicine in Serbia.

Allen Jeremias, MD, MSc, is Director of the Physiology Core Laboratory at the CRF Clinical Trials Center. He is also Director of Interventional Cardiology Research and Associate Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn, New York. He was previously the Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at Stony Brook University Medical Center and an Associate Professor of Medicine at SUNY Stony Brook. He received his medical degree from the Heinrich-Heine-University School of Medicine, Germany. Dr. Jeremias also completed his residency at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and fellowships in cardiology, interventional cardiology, and peripheral interventions at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Omar K. Khalique, MD, is Director of the Structural CT Core Laboratory at the CRF Clinical Trials Center. He is an attending non-invasive cardiologist at the Columbia Heart Valve Center at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, specializing in non-invasive imaging of valvular and structural heart disease.

Dr. Khalique received his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He completed his internal medicine residency and his fellowship in cardiology at Westchester Medical Center of New York Medical College in Valhalla, New York. He did an advanced echocardiography and computed cardiac tomography fellowship, followed by further training in interventional and valvular echocardiography at Columbia University Department of Medicine. Dr. Khalique is board certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular disease, echocardiography, cardiac computed tomography and nuclear cardiology.

Katharine Lymberis, Director, Administration, joined CRF in 2005 and is responsible for all operational activities in the Administration and Data Entry department, including resource allocation, budget review, and strategic planning. She is responsible for the direct oversight of all incoming media and data entry for all departments under the CRF Clinical Trials Center. Prior to joining CRF, Katharine worked at NYC Physical Therapy and Pain Management, which treated more than 200 patients a day, where she oversaw 15 employees. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in forensic psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Akiko Maehara, MD, is the Director of the Intravascular Imaging Core Laboratory at the CRF Clinical Trials Center. She is also an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. She is a leading authority in the field of intravascular imaging and physiology. Dr. Maehara received her medical degree from Yamaguchi University School of Medicine in Yamaguchi, Japan. She completed her clinical fellowship in the Toranomon Hospital in Tokyo, Japan, and a cardiovascular fellowship at the Cardiovascular Center in Toranomon Hospital, also in Tokyo. Dr. Maehara finished a research fellowship in cardiovascular interventions at Stanford University School of Medicine in Stanford, California, with an additional year of fellowship in the Cardiovascular Research Institute at the Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC.

Tom McAndrew, PhD, is Associate Director, Biostatistics at the CRF Clinical Trials Center. Tom designs and analyzes clinical trials, participates in data safety monitoring boards, and directs the academic statistics. He also serves as the statistical editor for Structural Heart. Tom earned his BS in biomathematics, MS in biostatistics, and PhD in mathematical sciences. His research focuses on many different aspects of mathematical/statistical analysis. Prior to CRF, Tom taught college-level calculus and worked as a statistical geneticist for Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Ozgu Ozan, is Associate Director, Biostatistics at the CRF Clinical Trials Center. She is responsible for managing the statistical and data management functions for sponsored clinical trials. Prior to joining CRF in 2015, she worked as a clinical statistician at Boehringer Ingelheim and taught statistical methods classes during her graduate studies. Ozgu holds a Bachelor of Science degree in statistics from Middle East Technical University in Turkey and a Master of Science degree in statistics from the University of Georgia.

Barbara Santiago, Associate Director, Project Management, CRF Clinical Trials Center.

Barbara’s responsibilities include oversight of the project management team and management of a portfolio of high-profile projects at the CTC. She brings a wealth of regulatory experience to her role. Prior to coming to CRF, she worked at the Brain Trauma Foundation, Columbia University, and the University of Pennsylvania. Barbara holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and political science from the University of Pennsylvania.

Ryann Sardinia, Director, Project Development, is responsible for the oversight of the project development department within the CRF Clinical Trials Center. The project development team creates all study budgets and proposals, and collaborates with the Legal team to execute study contracts. Ryann is also responsible for the development of new business and helps to lead the financial and operational activities within the CTC. She has clinical research experience in juvenile diabetes, gynecologic and thoracic oncology, and skin cancer. Prior to joining CRF in 2013, Ryann worked in clinical research at Columbia University and did a brief stint in promotional medical writing. She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor of Science degree in health service administration.

CRF CENTER FOR EDUCATION

Tricia Rawh, is Acting Director of the CRF Center of Education. She was previously Director, Industry Relations, leading the sales and business development operations for the division, including exhibits, sponsorships, satellite programs, and educational grant acquisitions. Tricia joined CRF in June 2008 as a Project Manager in the Creative and Marketing Services department before transitioning over to a program project management role in the Educational Services & Strategic Relations department. Prior to joining CRF, she was an Account Manager at Thomas Publishing Company LLC.

Stephanie Gutch, Director of TCTMD/Digital oversees content and operations for TCTMD.com, and the CRF Studio. Stephanie joined CRF in 2008 as Content Coordinator for TCTMD. Prior to joining CRF, she was the web editor for Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, a seven-hospital system based in Memphis, TN.

Colleen Whelan, Director of CME Program Development, has experience in global medical meetings and continuing medical education, as well as extensive expertise with the ACCME reaccreditation process. She oversees the educational content and CME accreditation for all of CRF’s programs including live meetings, live and enduring webcasts, and non-accredited education. Colleen also manages program development for live case transmissions, calls for science, and hands-on skills training. Prior to joining CRF, she coordinated research in the cardiac catheterization laboratory at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Shelley Wood is Managing Editor of TCTMD and the Editorial Director at CRF. She did her undergraduate degree at McGill University and the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and her graduate degree in journalism at the University of British Columbia, specializing in medical reporting. Before joining CRF in 2015, Shelley was Managing Editor at theheart.org and Senior Director, Global News for Medscape. Her work has won the National Institute for Health Care Management's excellence in print journalism prize, the Online News Award for best specialty site journalism, two prizes from the Canadian Online Publishing Awards and Gold from the Association of Healthcare Publication Editors Awards. She is also the host of TCTMD’s Heart Sounds podcast, which won the 2016 merit prize in the Digital Health Awards, Audio/Mobile category.