Leadership & Staff

J. Richard Landis, PhD
CRCU Faculty Director

Dr. Landis is Director of the Research Methods Core and Co-Investigator in the Informatics Core in Penn’s CTSA-Hub (2016-21). He serves as Principal Investigator of the DCC for NIDDK’s “Multidisciplinary Approach to Pelvic Pain (MAPP) Research Network” (2008-19) (http://www.mappnetwork.org), having previously served as PI of the DCCs for NIDDK’s Urologic Pelvic Pain Collaborative Research Networks (CPCRN, ICCTG, CPCRN-2, ICCRN) that conducted 9 RCTs (1998-2008). Within renal research, he also serves as Co-PI (with Dr. Feldman, PI) of the Scientific and Data Coordinating Center (SDCC) for NIDDK’s “Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) Research Network” (2001-18) (http://www.cristudy.org), MPI (with Dr. Dember, MPI) for NIDDK’s “Data Coordinating Center for Hemodialysis Pilot Studies Consortium” (2013-18), and Co-Investigator (with Dr. Dember) for the “Pragmatic Trials in Maintenance Hemodialysis” (2012-17).

Contact for Dr. Landis: Antoninette Huddleston, Administrative Coordinator

Stephen Durborow, BS
Director, Research Technologies & Research Development & Internal Operations QA (RT, RDQA)

Mr. Durborow is responsible for the overall leadership for the Software Systems Division (SSD) and the Database Services Division (DSD). He provides senior leadership for two divisional technical directors, who lead the software and database design and development activities across all CRCU projects. Mr. Durborow has over 25 years of experience performing and managing software development, database design, and database administration, focusing the last 15 on clinical research. Mr. Durborow is responsible for the implementation of technologies new to the CRCU, like Oracle Clinical, in support of the NIH Roadmap and other CRCU projects.

eMail Mr. Durborow: sdurboro@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Christopher Helker, MSPH
Director, Clinical Data Management (CDM)

Mr. Helker is responsible for the overall leadership of Clinical Data Management (CDM) and Interim Director of Project Operations & Compliance (POCO) within the CRCU. He provides senior leadership for the CDM and POCO staff, in their conduct of data management, quality assurance procedures, and project management across the broad array of funded projects within the CRCU. Prior to joining the CRCU in 2000, he served as Coordinator for the AIDS Clinical Trials Unit at The University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Helker is a Certified Clinical Data Manager (CCDM) and a Registered Nurse (RN), licensed within the State of Pennsylvania.

eMail Mr. Helker: chelker2@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Project Operations and Compliance (POCO)
Clinical Data Management (CDM)
Research Technologies
  • Dina H. Appleby, MS - Senior Informatics Analyst 
  • Shawn E. Ballard, MS - Technical Director, Software Systems
    • Traci Chai, MS - Software Development Engineer
    • Raymond Hilderbrand, MBA, MS - Senior Applications Designer/Developer
  • Massimo Bigliardo, MS - Technical Director, Database Services
    • Nate Croston, MS - Senior Database Administrator
Research Development and Internal Operations QA (RDQA)
Communication Services


The CRCU provides expertise in project management, data coordination and research computing tailored to meet your project requirements.