Leadership & Staff

J. Richard Landis, PhD
CRCU Faculty Director, Professor Emeritus of Biostatistics

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).

Scheduling for Dr. Landis: Sandra Smith <sandra3@pennmedicine.upenn.edu>

Steve Durborow, BS
Senior 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

Chris Helker, MSPH
Senior 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

Lisa Wesby, MS
Associate Director, Project Operations & Compliance (POCO)

Ms. Wesby is responsible for the overall leadership of Project Operations & Compliance (POCO) within the CRCU. She provides leadership, coordination and management for the POCO staff, in their conduct of data project management across multiple projects within the CRCU. Ms. Wesby has over 15 years of project management experience with a strong knowledge of regulations and guidelines that apply to the conduct of clinical research. Ms. Wesby joined the CRCU in 2016 and has been with the University since 2007.

eMail Ms. Wesby: wesby@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Reese PP, Barankay I, Putt M, Russell LB, Yan J, Zhu J, Huang Q, Loewenstein G, Andersen R, Testa H, Mussell AS, Pagnotti D, Wesby LE, Hoffer K, Volpp KG. Effect of Financial Incentives for Process, Outcomes, or Both on Cholesterol Level Change: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Netw Open. 2021 Oct 1;4(10):e2121908.

Patel MS, Volpp KG, Rosin R, Bellamy SL, Small DS, Heuer J, Sproat S, Hyson C, Haff N, Lee SM, Wesby L, Hoffer K, Shuttleworth D, Taylor DH, Hilbert V, Zhu J, Yang L, Wang X, Asch DA. A Randomized, Controlled Trial of Lottery-Based Financial Incentives to Increase Physical Activity Among Overweight and Obese Adults. Am J Health Promot. 2018 Sep;32(7):1568-1575.

Yancy WS Jr, Shaw PA, Wesby L, Hilbert V, Yang L, Zhu J, Troxel A, Huffman D, Foster GD, Wojtanowski AC, Volpp KG. Financial incentive strategies for maintenance of weight loss: results from an internet-based randomized controlled trial. Nutr Diabetes. 2018 May 25;8(1):33.

Shaw PA, Yancy WS Jr, Wesby L, Ulrich V, Troxel AB, Huffman D, Foster GD, Volpp K. The design and conduct of Keep It Off: An online randomized trial of financial incentives for weight-loss maintenance. Clin Trials. 2017

Patel MS, Volpp KG, Rosin R, Bellamy SL, Small DS, Fletcher MA, Osman-Koss R,Brady JL, Haff N, Lee SM, Wesby L, Hoffer K, Shuttleworth D, Taylor DH, Hilbert V, Zhu J, Yang L, Wang X, Asch DA. A Randomized Trial of Social Comparison Feedback and Financial Incentives to Increase Physical Activity. Am J Health Promot. 2016 Jul;30(6):416-24.

Patel MS, Asch DA, Rosin R, Small DS, Bellamy SL, Eberbach K, Walters KJ, Haff N, Lee SM, Wesby L, Hoffer K, Shuttleworth D, Taylor DH, Hilbert V, Zhu J, Yang L, Wang X, Volpp KG. Individual Versus Team-Based Financial Incentives to Increase Physical Activity: A Randomized, Controlled Trial. J Gen Intern Med. 2016 Jul;31(7):746-54.

Patel MS, Asch DA, Rosin R, Small DS, Bellamy SL, Heuer J, Sproat S, Hyson C, Haff N, Lee SM, Wesby L, Hoffer K, Shuttleworth D, Taylor DH, Hilbert V, Zhu J, Yang L, Wang X, Volpp KG. Framing Financial Incentives to Increase Physical Activity Among Overweight and Obese Adults: A Randomized, Controlled Trial. Ann Intern Med. 2016 Mar 15;164(6):385-94.

Patel MS, Asch DA, Troxel AB, Fletcher M, Osman-Koss R, Brady J, Wesby L, Hilbert V, Zhu J, Wang W, Volpp KG. Premium-Based Financial Incentives Did Not Promote Workplace Weight Loss In A 2013-15 Study. Health Aff (Millwood). 2016 Jan;35(1):71-9.

Kullgren JT, Troxel AB, Loewenstein G, Asch DA, Norton LA, Wesby L, Tao Y, Zhu J, Volpp KG. Individual- versus group-based financial incentives for weight loss: a randomized, controlled trial. Ann Intern Med. 2013 Apr 2;158(7):505-14.

Kumanyika SK, Fassbender JE, Sarwer DB, Phipps E, Allison KC, Localio R, Morales KH, Wesby L, Harralson T, Kessler R, Tan-Torres S, Han X, Tsai AG, Wadden TA. One-year results of the Think Health! study of weight management in primary care practices. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2012 Jun;20(6):1249-57.

Kumanyika S, Fassbender J, Phipps E, Tan-Torres S, Localio R, Morales KH, Sarwer DB, Harralson T, Allison K, Wesby L, Kessler R, Tsai AG, Wadden TA. Design, recruitment and startup of a primary care weight loss trial targeting African American and Hispanic adults. Contemp Clin Trials. 2011 Mar;32(2):215-24.

Maria Blanco, BS
Associate Director, Clinical Data Management (CDM)

Ms. Blanco is responsible for providing overall leadership of Clinical Data Management (CDM) within the CRCU.  In CDM, the primary focus is to provide clients the appropriate tools and support required to implement their research ideas and protocols. Ms. Blanco is responsible for directing data management activities across several research studies from study start up to analysis and publication.  Ms. Blanco has over 15 years of data management experience with a strong knowledge of database development on various platforms that facilitate remote data capture and ensure data integrity. 

eMail Ms. Blanco: mblanc@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Shawn Ballard, MS
Associate Director, Research Technologies (RT)

Mr. Ballard is responsible for the overall leadership of the Software Systems Division (SSD) and the Database Services Division (DSD). He provides senior leadership and management for RT staff, who lead the software and database design and development activities across all CRCU projects. Mr. Ballard has over 25 years of experience performing and managing software development, database design, and database administration for a variety of small and large clinical research projects within an academic setting.

eMail Mr. Ballard: sballard@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Project Operations and Compliance (POCO)
Clinical Data Management (CDM)
Research Technologies
  • Dina H. Appleby, MS - Senior Informatics Analyst 
  • 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

ABOUT CRCU

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

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