Meet our Team
Clinical Research Assistant
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 II
Elana Pessin joined the Clinical Trials Office at St. Luke’s in January 2015 as the Study Start-up Project Coordinator. She served as the primary point of contact for investigators and sponsors interested in opening a clinical trial at St. Luke’s. In January 2018 she was promoted to Study Start-up Project Coordinator II, focusing on Oncology start-up and serving as a mentor and lead to others on the team. 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
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. Karla received her SOCRA CCRP certification in November 2016.
In October 2017, Karla was promoted to Regulatory Manager, where she serves as the leader of the Regulatory team and functions including oversight of regulatory compliance as it relates to FDA regulations and IRB policies, regulatory process improvements, and overall project management as it relates to regulatory functions and compliance needs.
In her free time, Karla enjoys spending time with family and friends, working out, coaching, and playing volleyball.
Regulatory Coordinator I
Danielle joined the team from Lehigh Valley Health Network where she gained her experience in Oncology Clinical Trials through their alliance with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor. She will serve as a Regulatory Coordinator I for Oncology Trials here at St. Luke’s. Danielle will take charge of the Cooperative Groups, managing study start up and regulatory needs.
Danielle completed her undergrad at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. During her time there, she worked at the Volunteer Office and led the initiative to start a University- wide Relay for Life program through the American Cancer Society which continues to thrive today! In her spare time, Danielle enjoys spending time with family, reading and attempting crafts from Pinterest. She also appreciates “FunFacts” and random trivia.
Regulatory Coordinator I
Cassandra received her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Susquehanna University in May 2018. During the summer of 2017, she participated in a 10-week research internship program in the Clinical Trials Office where she found her niche working with the Regulatory team on Institutional Review Board submission documents.
Cassandra joined the St. Luke’s team at the end of May 2018 as Regulatory Coordinator I, where she is responsible for all regulatory coordination for Oncology Clinical Trials. In her free time, Cassandra enjoys spending time with family and friends, working out, hiking, shopping, and playing soccer.
Anthony Collura, BS, MBA
Research Finance Manager
Anthony joined the St. Luke’s Clinical Trials team in March 2014 as the department’s first Financial Research Analyst, and was later promoted to Research Finance Manager in October 2017. Currently, Mr. Collura is responsible for the oversight of the day-to-day pre- and post-award financial and billing compliance 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 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 Bethlehem with his wife Katy and two sons Jack and Ben.
Research Finance Coordinator I
Justine DeLong joined the Clinical Trials Office at St. Luke’s in October 2016 as the Research Finance Coordinator I. 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
Oncology Clinical Trials Manager
Robyn completed her training as a Registered Nurse at Raritan Valley Community College in 2001. After spending several years building a strong passion oncology, she joined the Oncology Nursing Society and obtained her Oncology Nurse Certification in 2005. She went on to be an Assistant Nurse Manager where she gained exposure to oncology research, later becoming an Oncology Research Nurse. In 2009, Robyn joined the Society of Clinical Research Associates and became a Certified Clinical Research Professional.
In 2012 Robyn joined St. Luke’s as an Oncology Research Nurse primarily coordinating melanoma clinical trials. In 2016 she stepped into the Lead Research Nurse role, helping the team with day to day clinical operations across multiple campuses. In the spring of 2018 Robyn was promoted to Manager, allowing her to expand her leadership abilities and utilize her existing research knowledge to further develop the oncology clinical trials department. She enjoys being an integral member of an exceptional team, helping to expand the available treatment options for cancer patients through high quality clinical trials.
Robyn lives in Easton with her husband and two young children. When she’s not at work, she can be found spending time at the dance studio with her daughter and the karate dojo with her son.
Jillian Timer, RN, BSN
Oncology Research Nurse II
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 joined the Clinical Trials team in November 2016 as an Oncology Research Nurse and was quickly promoted to an Oncology Research Nurse II. She primarily serves 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.
Oncology Research Nurse I
Vanessa Shaw joined the Clinical Trials team in July 2018, as an Oncology Research Nurse I. Vanessa earned her Bachelors of Science degree in Health Policy and Administration from Pennsylvania State University in 1996. She managed a cardiology practice in New York, for Cornell Cardiology Associates, for five years before finding her passion for clinical research. Vanessa became a Clinical Research Coordinator in 2001 and began working in an Oncology practice in Summit, NJ. Vanessa stayed with that practice until 2005 when she decided to stay home to raise her three children. In 2015, with the support of her husband, Vanessa went back to school for nursing. She earned her RN from St. Luke’s School of Nursing in 2017 and was hired by St. Luke’s to work on the inpatient oncology unit. Always knowing that she wanted to pursue a career in research again, Vanessa was thrilled to except the opportunity to work with the St. Luke’s Clinical Trials team. She will primarily serve as coordinator for the Lung and GI cancer studies.
Oncology Research Nurse I
Linda Hosler joined the clinical trials team as an Oncology Research Nurse I in October of 2017. She started her career as a Research Assistant at New York Presbyterian Hospital after graduating with a BA in Biology from Lehman College, Bronx NY in 2003. She worked for 9 years in biomedical research, her longest tenure being at Nemours DuPont Hospital for Children in Delaware where she worked in the Neurogenetics Research Laboratory.
In June of 2012, she enrolled in a second degree accelerated nursing program at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing which she completed in December of 2013 with a BS in Nursing. As a nurse, Linda has worked in a medical/surgical environment, in hemodialysis and in the operating room.
In her free time, she enjoys hiking with her husband, travel, spending time with her daughters and stepdaughters, as well as reading a good book or watching old British sitcoms. She also works on healthcare and development initiatives for Cameroon, West Africa where she was born.
Oncology Research Nurse I
Diane Villasenor joined St. Luke’s in December 2018. Diane earned a Bachelors of Fine Arts from Temple University, Tyler School of Art in May 1997. She spent 11 years in the electronics components industry field before shifting gears and going back to school. She went on to earn her nursing degree from Bucks County Community College in May 2010. After graduating nursing school, Diane spent 5 years working as a staff nurse on a hospital inpatient med/surg oncology unit followed by shortly under 2 years on a hospital inpatient cardiac floor. Throughout her career as a staff nurse, Diane always felt a connection to oncology patients due to her own personal experiences. She is excited to work as an oncology research nurse where she can guide patients and be a part of their journey. In her free time, Diane likes to spend time with her son, Carlos and husband Jeff. She also enjoys playing on a woman’s soccer team and snowboarding.
Carolyn Seith, BS, MSPH
Oncology Clinical Research Coordinator II
Carolyn Seith is an Oncology Clinical Research Coordinator II 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.
Lauren Downing, BS
Oncology Clinical Research Coordinator I
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 Oncology Clinical Research Coordinator I.
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.
Clinical Research Coordinator I
Megan earned her Bachelor’s of Science degree in biology from Ursinus College in 2012. Before joining the St. Luke’s community as a Clinical Research Coordinator I, Megan first began her passion in the medical field as a veterinary technician. She then transitioned over to work as a dialysis technician which helped to instill her desire to work with people in health care. In the clinical trials team, Megan will be working primarily on brain, GU, and head/neck trials. She is extremely proud to have been welcomed into this department and she is looking forward to all of the opportunities ahead. Megan currently resides in the Slate Belt area with her husband Nate. They both enjoy gardening, traveling, and cooking together.
Jessicca Rosario, BS
Clinical Research Coordinator I
Jessicca received her Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmaceutical Product Development from West Chester University of Pennsylvania in 2017. During her time at West Chester University, Jessicca completed an internship at a pharmaceutical packaging company in Allentown, where her interests in research and the opportunity to engage with patients grew.
Jessicca began her introduction into clinical research while working as a Clinical Research Assistant in a private practice setting in Bethlehem, PA. She was then promoted to the role of Clinical Research Coordinator, where she was responsible for the oversight and coordination of patient recruitment and clinical visits.
In August of 2018, Jessicca joined the St. Luke’s Clinical Trials team as a Clinical Research Coordinator I where she will specialize in Lung & GI Oncology Trials. She is very excited to take on her new responsibilities and have the opportunity to connect with her patients.
In her free time, Jessicca enjoys exercising, spending time with family and friends, baking, and going to concerts.
Oncology Clinical Research Associate II
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 Oncology Clinical Research Associate II 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.
Oncology Clinical Research Associate II
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.
Oncology Clinical Research Associate II
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 Oncology Clinical Research Associate II, 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.
Oncology Clinical Research Associate I
Kayla graduated from Everest Institute in 2012 and earned a Medical Assistant diploma. Since graduating, Kayla began her career as a lead Medical Assistant in a Dermatology office for 3 years in NJ. She gained experience working with biopsies, treatment for skin cancers and pre cancers.
Through her experience with cancer in dermatology, and past experience with her mother’s cancer, Kayla decided she wanted to pursue a career in Oncology. In June 2015 she started working in Medical oncology. Kayla fulfilled 3 years of experience in the medical oncology field and had a desire to learn more of the clinical trial aspect.
In June 2018, Kayla joined the Clinical trials department as a Clinical Research Associate I. Her roles will include, processing and collecting lab specimens, and focusing on data management. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her two son’s Christopher and Hunter, hanging out with friends and family, and vacationing at the beach.
Thomas F. Parsons, RN, CCRP
Med-Surg Clinical Trials Manager
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.
Med-Surg Clinical Research Coordinator I
Susan joined the St. Luke’s Clinical Trials team in December of 2016 as a Med-Surg Clinical Research Coordinator I 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.
Clinical Research Associate
Margaret graduated From Lehigh Career & Technical Institute in 2014 as a Certified Nursing Assistant. She worked for 4 years proving quality care to the elderly in Allentown, PA. In 2018, she joined St. Luke’s Bethlehem as a Clinical Research Associate I. Margaret is going to Lehigh Carbon Community College to achieve her certificate as a Register Nurse. In her free time she likes to spend time with her family and plan getaways with her husband.