Section A

Section B

Section C

Research & Innovation

Meet our Team
Clinical Trials

Tracy Butryn, MS, CCRP, CHRC
Director of Clinical Trials and Research
Co-Director, Post-Doctoral Research program
Associate Director of Regulatory Affairs – IRB

team Tracy Butryn began her career in research as a Project Manager at Fox Chase Cancer Center in 2006 after receiving her Master of Science Degree in Experimental Psychology from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA. Immediately prior to joining St. Luke’s, Tracy held the position of Associate Director of Regulatory Affairs at Thomas Jefferson University until January 2012, at which time she decided to return to her hometown in the Lehigh Valley after living in the Philadelphia area for almost 8 years.

Tracy started her career at St. Luke’s in January 2012 and developed the centralized Clinical Trials Office responsible for all aspects of research administration and compliance, as well as clinical coordination and operations, for all clinical trials conducted across the Network. In July 2014, Tracy further assumed the role of Associate Director of Regulatory Affairs as part of the SLUHN IRB, responsible for the development and maintenance of IRB policies and procedures in accordance with regulations, and later assumed the role of Co-Director of the newly developed Post-Doctoral Research Program. She enjoys working on the innovative side of healthcare and developing world-class teams and infrastructures needed in the fast-paced, ever-changing environment of clinical trials and research.

In her spare time while not working, Tracy enjoys spending time with her husband, Colin, and son, Liam. They enjoy taking family trips, trying new restaurants, and spending quality time with friends and family, as well as their dog, Carmella, in their Lower Nazareth home. Tracy also enjoys traveling, decorating, and shopping.

Barbara Reynolds
Clinical Research Assistant

team Barbara Reynolds started her career at St. Luke’s in 1996 at the Visiting Nurse Association working in the Human Resources Department as an H.R. Assistant. In 2001, Barbara transferred to Allentown as the Administrative Coordinator for the President; and, also, the Vice President for Medical Affairs at that campus. As Barbara’s journey continued through SLUHN, she then transferred to Clinical Trials and Research in January of 2012. She enjoys working with a first-rate team that is involved in groundbreaking work in patient care. Prior to working at St. Luke’s, Barbara had an 18 year career at Bethlehem Steel Corporation working in the Transportation Department. She lives in Hanover Township with her husband Frank. On weekends, they love getting in the car and ending up at a spur of the moment destination. They have two grown children who are proud graduates of Temple University.

Elana Pessin, MPA
Study Start-Up Project Coordinator

team Elana Pessin joined the Clinical Trials Office at St. Luke’s in January 2015 as the Study Start-up Project Coordinator. She is the primary point of contact for investigators and sponsors interested in opening a clinical trial at St. Luke’s. Her responsibilities include coordinating all study start-up activities from inception through trial activation. Elana has found clinical research administration to be her passion and previously worked for over 10 years as a research program coordinator at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. She obtained a Bachelor degree in Rehabilitation services from Penn State and a Master degree in Healthcare Administration from Long Island University. Originally from New York, Elana really enjoys living and working in the beautiful Lehigh Valley.

Karla Cressman, BS
Regulatory Coordinator

team Karla received her Bachelor of Science degree in Health Policy and Administration from The Pennsylvania State University and plans to pursue a Master Degree. Karla completed her internship here at St. Luke’s in the Medical Affairs Department where she gained exposure to the Institutional Review Board (IRB) and found a true interest in Research.

Karla joined the Clinical Trials team in March 2014 as a Clinical Research Coordinator for Oncology Clinical Trials, where she was responsible for the conduct of Cooperative Group and Observational/Registry Clinical Trials. In October 2015, Karla was promoted to a Regulatory Coordinator, responsible for all regulatory coordination across all service lines. In her free time, Karla enjoys spending time with family and friends, working out, coaching, and playing volleyball.

Sierra Mertz, BS
Regulatory Coordinator

Sierra Mertz Sierra joined the St. Luke’s Clinical Trials team as a Regulatory Coordinator in December of 2016. She received her B.S. in Biochemistry from East Stroudsburg University in 2012, as well as a B.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics from West Chester University in 2010.

Sierra began her regulatory career as a Regulatory Affairs Analyst for a global medical device company prior to joining St. Luke’s. She is responsible for Clinical Trials regulatory coordination across all service lines. In her free time, Sierra enjoys mountain biking, cycling, and cooking.

Anthony Collura, BS
Research Finance Compliance Analyst

team Anthony joined the St. Luke’s Clinical Trials team in March 2014 as the department’s Financial Research Analyst. Mr. Collura is responsible for the overall day-to-day pre- and post-award financial operations of industry and grant funded clinical trials. Prior to joining the St. Luke’s family, Anthony lived in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area and worked as a consultant for a national healthcare consulting firm.

In the summer of 2007, Anthony interned at St. Luke’s in the Medical Affairs Department, gaining exposure to the organization’s exceptional culture and values, and always knew that he would one day work for St. Luke’s. Anthony received a Bachelor of Science in Health Policy and Administration from The Pennsylvania State University and is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration through DeSales University. When he is not working, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends, exercising, and learning how to cook. Anthony currently resides in Upper Bucks County with his wife Katy and their golden retriever mix Peyton.

Justine DeLong
Financial Research Assistant

Justine DeLong Justine DeLong joined the Clinical Trials Office at St. Luke’s in October 2016 as the Financial Research Assistant. Her duties include creating and maintaining study folders, databases, invoice preparation, Accounts Receivable, Collections and Sponsor liaison for billing inquiries for all clinical trials run through SLUHN. Prior working at St. Luke’s, Justine embraced a 16 year career at ClearChannel Airports division as the Accounts Payable Manager and Team Accountant for 200+ Airports in the United States, Canada, Caribbean Islands, Guam, Australia and New Zealand.

Justine lives with her husband and one very spoiled kitty named Bambie in Lehigh County where she considers herself an experienced home DIY’er. When not working on home projects, she maintains a large flower garden for all the birds, bees and butterflies in the neighborhood.

Robyn Rex, RN, OCN, CCRP
Lead Oncology Research Nurse

team Robyn completed her training as a Registered Nurse at Raritan Valley Community College in New Jersey in 2001. She was a member of Phi Theta Kappa, the National Honor Society for two-year college programs. After graduation, Robyn’s nursing career began in maternal child health, working on a comprehensive labor and delivery unit. She was trained in labor and delivery, post partum care, and well baby care. She also functioned as a surgical nurse in the L&D operating room for C-Sections.

She then transitioned into Oncology nursing in 2003 where she built a strong foundation and love of Oncology. Robyn became a member of the Oncology Nursing Society and obtained her Oncology Nurse Certification in 2005. Shortly thereafter she became an Assistant Nurse Manager, which allowed her to be more involved with other aspects of the cancer program, including community outreach and oncology research, later becoming a Research Nurse in 2006. She was an integral member of a cancer team helping to broaden the oncology research portfolio of available trials for patients. She joined the Society of Clinical Research Associates and became a Certified Clinical Research Professional in 2009.

Robyn continued to work in NJ until 2012 when she decided she wanted to be closer to home in order to spend more time with her husband and two young children. She then joined the St. Luke’s family as an Oncology Research Nurse located primarily at the Anderson Campus. She is the coordinator for Melanoma and Neuro-Oncology clinical trials. Working in clinical trials at St. Luke’s has afforded her the opportunity to be a part of innovative projects leading the way in cancer treatments. Her enthusiasm for her work and dedication to her patients earned her recognition as a Rising Star in 2014.

Jillian Timer, RN, BSN
Oncology Research Nurse

Jillian Timer Jillian Timer earned her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Cedar Crest College in January 2013. She began her nursing career caring for pediatric patients in various roles, both in the hospital care setting as well as in home care. During this time, Jillian became a Certified Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Nurse and developed a passion for working with Oncology patients as well as a strong interest in clinical research. Jillian recently joined the Clinical Trials team in November 2016 as an Oncology Research Nurse and is excited to begin a new chapter in her nursing career. She will primarily serve as coordinator for head, neck and renal cancer studies. Jillian is proud to be working with an expert team that provides exceptional and innovative care to the patients of St. Luke’s University Health Network.

Jennifer Howgate-Klingaman, RN
Oncology Research Nurse

team Jennifer has had a lifelong interest in research, but took a circuitous path to get there. Before pursuing research, Jennifer had over 20 years of experience as a registered architect in residential design. After retiring from architecture and moving to Pennsylvania, Jennifer started on her goal of becoming a research nurse when she entered the St. Luke’s School of Nursing diploma program and graduating in 2012. After graduation, Jennifer began working at St. Luke’s Hospital in the medical/surgical oncology unit, acquiring valuable experience as an oncology nurse. In 2014, she joined the research team in the Oncology Clinical Trials department as an Oncology Research Nurse, where she serves as the coordinator for the lung, pancreatic, and hematologic studies.

Along with pursing her research work, Jennifer is also working on her Master of Nursing degree in Clinical Trials Research at Drexel University with expected completion of the program in the Winter of 2016.

Jennifer lives with her husband and children on a small hobby farm in Northampton County, PA. She enjoys reading a good book when time allows.

Carolyn Seith, BS, MSPH
Oncology Clinical Research Coordinator

team Carolyn Seith is an Oncology Clinical Research Coordinator at St. Luke’s. She coordinates registry trials for: chronic lymphocytic leukemia, melanoma, multiple myeloma, and solid tumor molecular biology. Prior to this, she was a part time professor at a local Community College and taught biology, anatomy and physiology. She received her B.S. from Cornell University in Nutritional Biochemistry and her M.S.PH from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Public Health. She finds working in cancer clinical trials rewarding because the field of oncology clinical research is full of advances in immunotherapies and targeted treatments. It’s exciting to be part of the St. Luke’s oncology research team who cares for these clinical trial patients.

Nicole Kern, BS
Oncology Clinical Research Coordinator

team Nicole graduated from East Stroudsburg University with a BS in 2015. She is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Public Health at East Stroudsburg University as well. Nicole joined St. Luke’s back in 2011 and served many positions within the network that includes being a PCA on P7, the Program Assistant for the Community Health Center on 8th Avenue, and the Family Liaison for the St. Luke’s Mobile Medical Van. In December 2015, she joined the Clinical Trials team as a Clinical Research Associate coordinating trials in both Oncology and Med-Surg. In November 2016, Nicole was promoted to a Clinical Research Coordinator in Oncology where she mainly works on Brain, Head and Neck, and Gu trials. She is proud to have had many opportunities and great experiences here at St. Luke’s and looks forward to what the future may bring.

Kendra Campbell, BS, MPH
Oncology Clinical Research Coordinator

Kendra Campbell Kendra joined the St. Luke’s Clinical Trials team in November 2016 as a Clinical Research Coordinator for Oncology Clinical Trials. Kendra moved to Pennsylvania in October 2016 after earning her Master’s Degree in Public Health in May at Emerson College and Tufts University School of Medicine. Her love of science, research, and medicine began at St. Lawrence University where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology in 2014. While at St. Lawrence, Kendra completed an internship with the Director of Oncology at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. Together they conducted a retrospective cohort study, which further confirmed Kendra’s love for research and sparked her interest in Oncology. Kendra was also a Dental Assistant from 2011 to 2016 while earning her degrees.

When she’s not at St. Luke’s, Kendra can be found at the PPL Center watching her significant other, Greg, play for the Phantoms. Through her connection with the Phantoms, Kendra is member of the LV Phantoms Wives Organization which gives back to the Lehigh Valley community by supporting local charities. The ‘Building Hope for Kids’ Project is one that the organization has had much success, and plans to continue on for years to come.

Kendra also enjoys traveling, baking, trying new restaurants, and spending time with her friends and family.

Lauren Downing, BS
Oncology Clinical Research Coordinator

Lauren Downing Lauren received her Bachelor’s Degree in Bio-Behavioral Health from the Pennsylvania State University with a minor in Psychology in 2012. She began her career at Lehigh Valley Health Network in the Technical Partner role on a Medical Surgical Unit at the Cedar Crest site. She later transitioned into the role of a Pre-Engagement Specialist working outside of the hospital at One City Center on Hamilton Street in Allentown. She started working at St. Luke’s University Health Network in November of 2016, joining the Clinical Trials team as a Clinical Research Coordinator in Oncology.

Lauren’s interest in research began as she worked in 2010, under the supervision of Dr. Tricia Kelly at Breast Care Specialists, LLC in Allentown, as a research assistant to facilitate a clinical research project examining the re-excision rates of lumpectomy sites in breast cancer patients. Additionally, Lauren worked as a Front Desk Attendant at Advanced Imaging for Breast and Body LLC, in 2011.

When she is not working, Lauren enjoys traveling, cooking/baking, spending time with family and friends but most of all spending time with her Golden Retriever, Jager.

Lauren is very excited to join the St. Luke’s team and to begin this new role as a Clinical Research Coordinator. She is looking forward to all the growth and learning opportunities this position will bring in the future.

Luz Herrera
Clinical Research Associate

team Luz graduated from Star Technical Institute in 1993 as a Medical Assistant & ECG Technician. After completing her internship, she was hired as a Medical Assistant and was able to use her skills to provide excellent patient care. Luz has been employed with St. Luke’s’ University Health Network since 1999 and began working in the Clinical Laboratory / Pathology Department prior to Clinical Trials.

As a Clinical Research Associate she processes and coordinates laboratory samples and receives the resulting data from the central laboratory facilities. Luz also participates in global conferences calls and meetings to review clinical trial progress, and also tracks completed CRFs and sets up systems for rapid CRF entry into databases.

Luz enjoys working at St. Luke’s, and believes her job is very rewarding. She loves being part of the Clinical Trials Office, and always strives to provide the best care for our patients.

In her free time she enjoys reading and spending time with her family and friends.

Kimberly Brooks
Clinical Research Associate

team Kim Brooks has lived in the Bethlehem area almost her entire life. She graduated from Northampton Community College with an Associates Degree in Applied Science. She began her career at St. Luke’s in 2009, working with the Cancer Care Associates surgical oncology team, and then the medical oncology team. Working with Cancer Care Associates helped her to obtain the knowledge needed to work as a clinical research associate. Kim joined the clinical trials team in November 2015. Her main role in the department is Data Manager, but also helps to process lab specimens as needed. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband Mike, daughter Riley, son Logan, and their dog Bailey, and cat Lucky. They enjoy taking trips together to the beach, swimming in the pool and building snowmen in the snow. Kim also teaches a class for Sunday school at her church, and helps co-direct with her children’s soccer league. She also enjoys decorating and gardening.

Grace Choo
Clinical Research Associate

Grace Choo Grace graduated from Municipal Training Center in New York in 1995 as a Certified Medical Assistant , Phlebotomist and EKG Technician. She began her career in Vento Medical Center in New York, where she gained extensive experience working for very busy medical office.

After moving to Pennsylvania in 2009, Grace joined the St. Luke’s Family Practice in Palmer, and later decided to stay within the St. Luke’s family joining the St. Luke’s Hematology and Oncology group in 2013.

Working for Hematology and Oncology was a very rewarding experience which initially sparked her interest in clinical trials and research, and ultimately steered her into her new career. In December 2016 Grace began this new career when she joined the Clinical Trials Office as a Clinical Research Associate in Oncology, focused on Data Management and Lab/Pathology processes.

Grace is also a recipient of the prestigious St. Luke’s PCRAFT Award –an honor that embodies the Network values of pride, caring respect, accountability, flexibility and teamwork.

Thomas F. Parsons, RN, CCRP
Manager, Med-Surg Integrated Clinical Trials

team Tom Parsons is a graduate of the Abington Hospital School of Nursing, (’92), and began his career in research as a research coordinator in 1997 after being an Operating Room nurse at MCP Hospital for 5 years . He obtained his certification as a research coordinator in 2001 through the ACRP and then in 2012 through SOCRA.

Prior to coming to work at St. Luke’s Health System, Tom has served as a Research Manager at the Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, a Director of the Cooper Research Institute at Cooper University Hospital in Camden New Jersey, and most recently as a Research Manager at the Temple Cancer Center in Philadelphia. He has also been a certified CPR instructor for the American Heart Association since 1988. Tom has served in the U.S. Army from 1976-1987 as a cryptographic communications repairman, and as a medical aidman.

In his spare time while not working, Tom enjoys traveling, fishing, and swimming; as well as coaching diving for a local swim team.

Erin McLane, RN, BSN
Med-Surg Research Nurse

Erin McLane, RN, BSN Erin McLane joined the Clinical Trials Office at St. Luke’s in September 2016 as a Research Nurse Coordinator in the Medical/Surgical division. Erin received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Cedar Crest College. Prior to joining the St. Luke’s family, she was a Trauma nurse at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon. In 2014 Erin decided to return to her hometown in the Lehigh Valley. St. Luke’s has been the hospital network of choice for her and her family. She was actually born at the St. Luke’s Bethlehem campus.

Erin has a passion for health care and enjoys building relationships with her patients and their families. She pursued a career in research because, for her, it is the perfect blend of patient care, passion for science, and being part of future medical advancements. She is excited to be part of a robust clinical trials department, where cutting-edge treatment is being developed to give the absolute best care to our patients.

In her free time, she enjoys travel, reading, home projects, cooking, hiking, and spending time with family and her dog Samson.

Leah Bryant, BS, LPN
Med-Surg Clinical Research Coordinator

team Leah is a Clinical Research Coordinator in the Medical Surgical Clinical Trials Division. She received her Baccalaureate of Science in neuro-psychobiology from DeSales University in 2003. She later went on to achieve her certificate as a Licensed Practical Nurse from Lehigh Carbon Community College in 2014. She has spent the last 18 years serving the needs of clients in the behavioral health aspects of care. Her roles ranged from counseling to social work to nursing. With her interest toward research continually growing, she decided to join the ever advancing Clinical Trials and Research Department at St. Luke’s University Hospital.

Susan Hahn
Med-Surg Clinical Research Coordinator

Susan Hahn Susan joined the St. Luke’s Clinical Trials team in December of 2016 as a Clinical Research Coordinator in the Med/Surg. division of the ever-growing and ever-exciting field of clinical research.

Susan started her career in the clinical research field more than 20 years ago working in an Allergy/Asthma/Immunology private practice where she participated in all aspects of clinical research and a variety of clinical trials. On a personal level, Susan believes that working as a Clinical Research Coordinator provides a sense of reassurance and education to a patient that cannot be provided on any other health-related platform.

While not working, Susan enjoys spending time with her children and helping family members who own a local produce farm. Additionally, Susan is very active with her church where she is a parish board member and is the Chairperson of the Altar Guild. Additionally, Susan enjoys volunteering with her local country fair.