Clinical Research Assistant
Clinical Research Assistant
Mobile Clinic Coordinator
Mobile Clinic Coordinator
Quality Control Associate
Quality Control Associate
Regulatory and Quality Affairs Associate
Data Entry Specialist
Brandon Lenox, DO is a board-certified anesthesiologist and epidemiologist with a long and distinguished career in medicine. As Chief Medical Officer of K2 Medical Research, Dr. Lenox provides the K2 team with over 20 years’ experience in clinical trials, medical research, and clinical practice. After earning his graduate degree in public health, he went on to graduate from Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine with highest honors then completed his residency training at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Lenox served as an epidemiologist with Department of Health and Human Services and Florida Department of Health where he specialized in outbreak research and chronic disease prevention; his ground-breaking work has been featured in numerous peer-reviewed medical journals. In addition, he has pharmaceutical industry experience in the development of antimicrobials and has been the primary investigator on multiple studies. Most recently, Dr. Lenox served as the Chairman of the Clinical Governance Board and President of US Anesthesia Partners of Florida where he oversaw clinical and research operations of over 500 clinicians across the state of Florida. He also served as the Director of Neuroanesthesia and as member of the medical executive committee for Advent Health.
Dr. Lenox is deeply committed to improving population health. He has spent most of his life determined to make a difference in the world and is a driving force for fostering change in the medical field and promoting the well-being of our community. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, surfing and spending quality time with his wife and three active children.
Dr. Sheila Baez-Torres joins the K2 medical team as a principal investigator. A neurologist and movement disorders specialist with over 12 years’ experience in the field, Dr. Baez-Torres’ main focus is neurodegenerative diseases- specifically dementia and Parkinson’s. After several years of inpatient and outpatient practice for Advent Health, she joined forces with Compass Research, an independent research facility where she participated as the acting clinical neurologist, providing supervision to patients enrolled in numerous clinical trials within her areas of proficiency. In addition to clinical investigator duties, she also lent her expertise in the referral and pre-screening processes at the site. In 2021, she opened her own successful private practice in Winter Park, Florida.
Dr. Baez-Torres’ academic background includes a bachelor’s in general science from the University of Puerto Rico, followed by her medical degree at Universidad Central del Caribe. After graduation, she completed her neurology residency program at Jackson Memorial Hospital at the University of Miami, then participated in a two-year fellowship in movement disorders and electromyography. Most recently, she obtained a master’s degree in business administration from University of Florida in Gainesville.
Dr. Baez-Torres is bilingual; she is fluent in both English and Spanish. She has two daughters and loves spending her free time with family and friends.
Dr. Ty Turbyfill, a board-certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon and decorated military veteran, joins K2 Medical Research as an investigator with over thirty years of clinical experience. Throughout his professional career, which has spanned the globe, he has held leadership roles in clinical practice, academia, humanitarian aid, product development and research. In private practice for the last twenty years, Dr. Turbyfill has been using his reconstructive skill set to treat some of the most complex head and neck issues, specializing in bone grafting, pain management, and full arch implant reconstructions.
After receiving his doctoral training from the University of Florida in 1993, he served in the U.S. Navy for over a decade, completing residencies in both General Practice and Oral and Maxillofacial surgery and collecting numerous commendation medals along the way. During his military career, Dr. Turbyfill rapidly achieved the rank of Commander in the Navy, where he treated patients on the frontline of the Gulf War as well as in a hospital setting, routinely addressing a wide array of concerns ranging from complex facial trauma to congenital craniofacial deformities.
Dr. Turbyfill’s contributions to developing nations during the war left a lasting impression; his experience providing humanitarian aid instilled a desire to contribute meaningfully to members in our own community lacking good-quality medical care. Dr. Turbyfill possesses a complex understanding of the importance of including culturally diverse patients in clinical trials and is excited to integrate his clinical skills and teaching ability to inspire others to do the same. When not at work, you can find him When not at work, you can find Dr. Turbyfill spending time with his family or competing in bicycle events all over the country.
Jennifer West, a certified physician’s assistant (PA-C), joins K2 Medical Research with more than a decade of clinical experience. Specializing in neurodegenerative disease research, namely Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, Jennifer has served as an investigator on over 30 trials. Prior to clinical research, she held roles in both primary and urgent care, which provided her a well-rounded background in general medicine.
Jennifer’s academic background includes a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Secondary Education from Northern State University, followed by a master’s degree Physician Assistant Studies from the University of South Dakota. After graduation, Jennifer participated in the National Health Service Corp, where she provided quality healthcare to diverse and traditionally underserved communities.
While Jennifer’s medical training promoted a sophisticated understanding of disease processes, her background in education equipped her with tools to educate patients on the unique benefits of clinical trial participation. She doesn’t just advocate for her patients and their families; she teaches them how to effectively advocate for themselves.
A South Dakota native, Jennifer has lived in central Florida for the past eight years. When she’s not at work, you can find her painting, woodworking, and spending time outdoors with family and friends.
Melissa Belardo, is a certified family nurse practitioner (FNP-BC), joins K2 Medical Research with more than a decade of clinical experience. She has served as an investigator in over 20 trials. Prior to clinical research, she held roles in gastroenterology, hepatology, and nurse education.
Melissa’s academic background includes a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Adventist University, followed by a master’s degree in Family Nurse Practitioner from Georgetown University.
Melissa is a native of the US Virgin Islands’ and is fluent in both English and Spanish; Melissa has lived in central Florida for the past twenty years. When she’s not at work, you can find her volunteering at her local church and spending time with family.
Jim Hoeckendorf joins the K2 Medical Research team as a Project Manager. A magna cum laude graduate of University of Central Florida, Jim is a registered nurse with over 25 years of healthcare experience and 15 years of clinical trial experience. Early on, he worked as an in-patient psychiatry charge nurse before moving into a role as a disability nurse case manager. From there, Jim moved into the clinical research arena as a clinical research coordinator. He has remained in the clinical trials field since then, holding various roles such as site operations manager, site director, and global start-up manager with a well-known contract research organization.
For Jim, working in clinical research is a personal investment: his father participated as a volunteer subject at Fort Detrick, Maryland as part of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease. Commonly known as Operation Whitecoat, the program carried out biodefense research on volunteer enlisted personnel with the purpose of defending troops and civilians against biological weapons. Jim’s mission is to carry on this family legacy of assisting in the development of innovative scientific solutions that improve standards of care.
Jim lives in Winter Park, Florida with his wife, two sons, and his rescue dog, Piper. He enjoys playing sports, outdoor activities, and family trips to the beach.
Kim Stokes joins K2 medical research as a psychometrist with over a decade of experience in neuropsychological testing and clinical research. Her past roles include rater, rater trainer and psychometric supervisor for populations ranging from pediatric to geriatric. She has previous experience in clinical settings including hospital inpatient care, nursing home, federal bureau, rehabilitation facilities, psychiatric facilities, private practice and outpatient care. She was commended for national research in her work with St. Jude Hospital for Children and continues to be a guest lecturer at the University of Central Florida, helping to guide aspiring professional students. Additionally, she presented at the American Psychological Association and launched one of the first mini-mental status examination mobile applications. Kim graduated from the University of Central Florida with her BS in psychology in 2012 while continuing her work in private practice. Kim has a passion for animal rights and animal rescue. In her free time, she enjoys visiting Disney World with her husband, Tom, watching vintage films on TCM and listening to rat-pack style jazz.
Lauren Roth is a psychometrist with extensive experience in clinical research, including roles as coordinator, rater, and rater trainer for indications ranging from Alzheimer’s to pain management and mood disorders. She was the lead psychometric rater in one of the largest Alzheimer’s prevention studies to date, assisting in the enrollment of over 25,000 participants. Additionally, she provides sponsor-facing experience as an assessment specialist in one of the most renowned CROs in the world. Lauren graduated with honors from Rollins College with her M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in 2012 and transitioned into research shortly after. She has a passion for multiculturalism and human rights, is an LGBTQ ally and has given workshops on gender equality and social justice. In her down time, Lauren enjoys gourmet cooking, reading classic and contemporary literature and traveling with her husband and two young sons.
Augusto Zabaleta joins K2 Medical Research as a trilingual psychometric rater with a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling. Originally hailing from Brazil, he can converse fluently and administer scales in Spanish and Portuguese, as well as English. Since obtaining his graduate degree in 2021, Augusto has been providing services through a local counseling agency, utilizing his skills to help members of our Central Florida community lead more meaningful and fulfilling lives. Augusto’s interest in healthy cognitive functioning is personal: a friend of his family was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and since then he has become personally and professionally dedicated to identifying ways to treat and prevent this disease that affects so many of our loved ones. He has since joined the innovative world of clinical trials and is living out his passion for improving the population’s mental health. When he is not working, you can find Augusto spending time with friends, sipping a good cup of coffee in a local cafe or enjoying the outdoors.
Bio Coming Soon.
Brooke Ina joins K2 Medical Research as a pharmacist with over 25 years of experience in the field. A magna cum laude graduate of the University of Kentucky, she brings with her a vast array of experience from working in both small, independent pharmacies and large, notable retail chains such as CVS, Target and Publix. Brooke has apothecary experience and is well versed in drug-compounding; she has also acted as pharmaceutical consultant for companies such as Eli Lilly. Most recently, Brooke spent the last decade working with Publix Pharmacy where she was an assistant manager and after demonstrating her strong leadership and communication skills, was promptly promoted to pharmacy manager. This promotion represents Brooke’s modus operandi; success follows because she is highly self-motivated, has a patient-centered approach to care and displays an eagerness to learn, grow and excel in every role she inhabits. Recently named Publix Immunization Ambassador by company leadership, she continues her mission to foster community engagement and inspire others to prioritize personal and public health. Brooke lives in Lake Mary with her two daughters, Tori and Abby, and dog Maddox. In her free time, she enjoys running, biking, swimming, and yoga.
Stacie Hoeckendorf joins the K2 Medical Research team as a Clinical Research Coordinator. A graduate of Indiana University, she received her BA in Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology. Upon graduation, Stacie worked as a court appointed special advocate where she represented children within the court system experiencing abuse or neglect. From there she moved to Florida and started her career as a disability insurance claims examiner where she stayed for several years. Stacie then pivoted into her role as a small business owner of a catering company serving the south Orlando community, which she successfully ran for nearly a decade.
Through her multi-faceted professional career working with many different populations, Stacie has honed her abilities and developed a tireless work ethic. Adept at multitasking, planning, problem solving, organization, teamwork, and time management, she is also highly skilled in inspiring the cooperation and collaboration of others. Four years ago Stacie’s father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease which prompted her to integrate her personal experience with her professional mission: advancing research to develop viable treatments for the degenerative diseases that harm our loved ones.
Stacie lives in Winter Park with her husband and two sons. In her free time, she enjoys gourmet cooking, watching her son’s baseball games with her family and exploring Florida beaches.
Joshua Bowman joins the K2 Medical team as a clinical research coordinator with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences from the University of Central Florida. In addition to his skills as a coordinator, he has excelled in roles including research assistant and pharmacy technician and has had extensive exposure to infusion therapy and outpatient surgery centers in a hospital setting.
Josh’s passion for research developed while studying at UCF. He had the opportunity to contribute to a study assessing the effects of nanoparticles on bacterial growth and it quickly became clear that clinical research was the right path for his future. Following graduation, Josh became an advanced pharmacy technician for a national pharmaceutical company while serving as a liaison with nursing care facilities to meet patient pharmaceutical requirements. He is excited to bring his laboratory experience as well as interpersonal and organizational skills to the K2 community.
Josh lives in Lake Mary with his adopted puppy, Oakley, an Australian Shepherd mix. In his free time, he participates in adult football and soccer leagues and enjoys watching and attending sporting events.
Emma Garcia joins the K2 Medical Research team as a project manager with more than 15 years of experience working in the medical field. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in computer programming and is certified in practice management with a proficiency in family practice, oncology, neurology, neurosurgery, and clinical research. Her experiences include managing three medical practices simultaneously as well as overseeing the data management department for three separate research clinics with over forty active studies. Emma’s core strengths are developing processes and workflows as well as mentoring and facilitating the professional growth of her direct reports. She is passionate about connecting patients with the best quality medical care and achieving superior patient outcomes. Emma’s leadership style is to lead by example, with empathy, integrity, and strong professional relationships as her guides. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, including five children and five grandchildren, going to the beach, and traveling.
Sandra Torres joins the K2 team as a Director of Clinical Partnership and Diversity and Registered Nurse with over a decade of clinical experience. An expert in her field, she began her journey in research administering infusions and now holds the prestigious title of CRNI (Certified Registered Nurse Infusion.) After graduating with a B.S. in nursing from the University of South Florida, Sandra worked as a pediatric emergency room nurse and graduate nurse preceptor. She went on to hold various leadership positions in clinical research such as Associate Manager of Site, Clinical Delivery Manager and served as Interim Site Director, focusing on all clinical deliverables, patient safety, community outreach and quality.
In 2015 Sandra was voted nurse of the year by her peers and joined her clinical team in a mission trip to Ethiopia to provide primary care for a village where more than 300 people received care and supplies. With a passion for the underserved and minority population and as an immigrant herself, she understands the struggles and barriers that this population experiences. Her goal is to educate her local community and provide access to clinical research opportunities. In her previous role, she initiated and led the diversity outreach program and significantly increased the Latino participation in clinical trials.
Sandra moved with her family from Mexico at the age of 11 years old and has lived in Orlando ever since. She enjoys attending cultural events and learn about the diversity and beauty of each culture. She now resides in the City Beautiful with her husband, three children and dog, Frida.
Bio Coming Soon.
Michelle Montone joins K2 Medical Research as Director of Marketing with nearly a decade of experience in clinical trials. Specializing in forming community partnerships, educational programs, and promoting clinical research, Michelle is a Certified Meeting Planner with a primary focus on marketing and event planning for neurodegenerative diseases and disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Prior to joining K2, she provided operational support for various industries, such as Ripley Entertainment and the Judicial Circuit Court system. A scholar and an athlete, she obtained her bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida in 2007 and won the All-SEC Freshman of the Year Award for the University’s softball team in 2004.
Originally hailing from South Florida, Michelle is bilingual: fluent in both Spanish and English. As a first-generation Cuban-American, she is well-versed in integrating cultures while still honoring their individual nuances; she hopes to use these skills to bring the benefits of medical research to traditionally underserved populations and end the stigma of clinical research in the Latin community once and for all.
In her free time, you can find her traveling, watching sports, and enjoying quality time with her friends and family.
Bio Coming Soon !
Bio Coming Soon.
Dennis Neumann joins K2 Medical Research as a clinical research coordinator after a long and successful career in broadcasting. A local celebrity in Orlando and its surrounding areas, he served as the radio voice of the NBA’s Orlando Magic for the last 23 years, providing entertainment to basketball fans of all ages. With this much-welcomed career transition, Dennis hopes to positively impact our Central Florida community in a different way: by assisting in medical research.
A graduate of the University of Oregon, Dennis was awarded the prestigious Evans Golf Scholarship in 1977. He began his forty-year broadcast career in Dallas, Texas in 1983 at KXVI/KTNS, then moved on to the Florida Radio Network and the USA Radio Network before joining the Orlando Magic in 1991. In 1998, he was named the radio play by play voice of the Magic and over the next 23 years went on to call 1900+ consecutive games without missing an assignment. He is detail-oriented, a people-person and possesses excellent observational skills, all of which are abilities that make a highly effective coordinator for patients enrolled in clinical trials. Dennis hopes to contribute to creating solutions for our country’s many health challenges and give back to the community he has enjoyed being part of for so many years.
He resides in Belle Isle with his wife Debbie and their two dogs, Murphy and Maggie. He and Debbie have three children: Bradley, Lisa, and Stephanie, as well as ten grandchildren. In his free time, he enjoys reading, running, and enjoying beautiful Lake Conway.
Mike Starr joins K2 Medical Research as a Recruitment Specialist, after a decade in Orlando and New York City recruiting volunteers to help develop the next wave of important medications, devices, and vaccines.
He has a long history in sports. Most importantly his time as an elite road cyclist. Racing 1000 days, and winning 60 races, his career as a sportsman took him all over the world, opening his eyes to varied cultures, and the realization of how many commonalities seven billion people hold.
Mike also served in the US Navy for four years, earning honors, and gained respect for the difficult job of training the world’s peacekeepers.
Currently Mike is living in NYC amongst the constant hustle and bustle, but has a quiet fondness for a few hushed days along Maine’s rugged coast. His passion for the urban advocation of walking, public transport and the use of micromobility is well known, and a source of many conversations.
If you are interested in learning more or participating in any of our studies, please fill out the form below and our office will get back to you within 1-2 business days.
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