K2 Medical Research co-founder Sean Stanton has dedicated the last 28 years of his career to creating successful, high-performing research sites. In this latest endeavor, Sean leads a dynamic team of dedicated researchers in connecting the innovative solutions of clinical research to the health problems in our country.
Sean has led the start-up of 26 clinical trial sites, six inpatient hospitals, and 19 outpatient clinics. More than 5,000 clinical trials have been conducted at these sites, leading to more than 50 drug approvals in therapeutic areas including general medicine, mental health, neurodegenerative disease, oncology, vaccine, women’s health, diabetes, pain, heart disease, and sleep disorders.
Sean brings innovative thinking and unique problem-solving skills to clinical research in all aspects of site practices, from purchasing and resourcing, to the use of benchmarking and metrics in business planning to guide strategic clinical trial practice growth. He is frequently sought as an industry expert to speak on topics including building successful clinical research sites, patient recruiting, particularly difficult to recruit populations and decreasing time to complete research studies, protocol design, site selection, patient reported outcomes and other areas. He has advised hospitals and institutions on research site growth strategy and mergers and acquisitions.
After graduating from the University of Cincinnati he joined a team of clinical trial industry experts and has been in this industry ever since. Sean’s passion for clinical research and organizational leadership are a driving force in his life- he works hard every day to make clinical trials a care option for all people. A true people person, he loves to laugh and has a joyful nature that energizes others and allows him to easily motivate a team. Sean’s charisma is only matched by his fierce entrepreneurial spirit- he has a laser sharp focus and a gift for building an enterprise.
He is a member of the Board of Trustees at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, CA., founding member of the DAVOS Alzheimer’s Collaboration (DAC), a board member of the Alzheimer’s Dementia Resource Center in Central Florida, Strategic Advisor to the Global Alzheimer’s Platform, a member of CEO, and sits on the board of directors for Young Presidents Organization (YPO).
In his free time, Sean is an avid cyclist and competes at a national level with his K2-sponsored team of 35 members. He has been married for 21 years and says he owes the majority of his success to his amazing wife, Charlotte. They live in Winter Park and share four children, one at Baylor, one at Indiana University, and two high school sophomores.
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. Sejal Patel, a board-certified psychiatrist, joins K2 Medical Research as a Principal Investigator with over 16 years of clinical experience. While she specializes in post-traumatic stress disorder, Dr. Patel is proficient in a wide array of various psychiatric conditions. After obtaining her medical degree at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine in Columbia, she went on to complete her adult psychiatric resident training at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC while serving as an active-duty officer in the National Capital Consortium Program in the US Army. During her time in the military, she proudly served in Operation Iraqi Freedom while deployed at Camp Victory in Baghdad, Iraq as a psychiatric medical officer in charge of a combat stress control unit.
After working for several years in both inpatient and outpatient facilities for the US Army, Dr. Patel moved to Orlando and joined Compass Research, an independent research facility where she participated as the sole psychiatric Principal Investigator providing supervision and oversight to subjects enrolled in numerous psychiatric clinical trials in studies in Phases I-IV. She also offered her expertise as a Sub Investigator in neurology and general medicine trials, most notably including the SARS Covid-19 vaccine trials during the pandemic.
Dr. Patel is actively involved in the Orlando community- in addition to her role with K2, she is also on staff at University of Central Florida in the Behavioral Health Clinic serving the mental health needs of our local students and associates. In her free time, Dr. Patel enjoys traveling the world and spending quality time with her husband and two children.
Nicholas Weber, DO is a board-certified Family Medicine physician who joins K2 as Principal Investigator and Medical Director of the Winter Garden clinic. Dr. Weber is a graduate of the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine at Midwestern University. He completed his family medicine residency at nearby St. James Hospital before continuing his service as primary care physician to the local community. Specializing in preventative care, he is an experienced researcher who has participated in more than one hundred clinical studies across a broad array of therapeutic areas including more than sixty for Alzheimer’s Disease.
Dr. Elizabeth (“Beth”) Phillips joins the K2 medical team as a principal investigator with over 25 years of clinical expertise. Board certified in Emergency Medicine, Dr. Phillips’ experience encompasses all levels of emergency departments; in addition to managing emergent care in all areas of medicine, she has served administratively as departmental medical director, and has held faculty appointments as assistant professor and clinical instructor.
Dr. Phillips’ academic background includes a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of the South (Sewanee), followed by her Medical Degree at The University of Alabama School of Medicine. After graduation, she completed an internship in Internal Medicine at the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Virginia, then served as a General Medical Officer in the US Navy for four years. Following her military service, Dr. Phillips completed an Emergency Medicine residency program at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. She has also completed a fellowship in wilderness medicine through the Academy of Wilderness Medicine, and a Master’s in Business Administration through Auburn University Harbert School of Business.
A native Alabamian, Dr. Phillips recently relocated to Central Florida, where she lives in Winter Park with her husband, Terry. A lover of modern and classic literature, when she’s not working, you can find her curled up with a good book, enjoying the warm Florida weather.
Bio Coming Soon.
Bio Coming Soon.
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.
Bio Coming Soon.
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.
Victoria Marsh joins K2 Medical Research as Managing Director of K2 SODO. Victoria began her career in clinical research in 2009 while pursuing a graduate degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at the University of Central Florida. Her prior roles in research include Clinical Research Coordinator, Lead Neuro-Clinical Research Coordinator, Project Manager and Psychometric Rater.
Victoria has extensive experience with geriatric populations and neurological indications to include Mild Cognitive Impairment, Mild-Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease. Victoria’s intellect, caring nature and warmth is prized by her teammates and patients alike- she thoroughly enjoys connecting with people and finds fulfillment in helping others.
Victoria graduated from the University of Central Florida as a Lead Scholar with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and minor in Sociology in 2009. She is passionate about dogs, animal rescue and welfare. In her free time, she enjoys running, yoga and being outdoors with her two dogs, Chloe and Kona.
Matt Bubalo, a licensed clinical mental health counselor with over 12 years of clinical experience, joins K2 Medical Research as a project manager specializing in psychiatric research studies. Matt began his career in clinical research while attending the Rollins College graduate program in clinical mental health counseling in 2010. Since then, he’s pursued both avenues simultaneously through different organizations. Now at K2, both paths join. Matt is excited for this opportunity to merge his role as a psychotherapist working on an individual level and his work on psychiatric research studies, which has a has an impact on the future of pharmacotherapy. Through his investment in both areas, he hopes to improve the overall mental health of our community and that of the world at large.
Matt has experience counseling in both in-patient and out-patient settings and has contributed through various roles within the clinical research industry, primarily in neurology and psychiatry. In 2015, he had the life-changing experience of helping establish a community-based mental health program in the East African country of Uganda through JENGA Uganda, a non-profit outreach organization. He, along with his wife and family, stayed in the city of Mbale for two years getting to know members of the community, forming relationships, and assisting with developing infrastructure for social services through schools, support groups and rehabilitation programs. He is passionate about the mission of this longstanding and locally trusted organization to which he still maintains close connection.
Matt, his wife, and three children live in the Wekiva area of Altamonte Springs and enjoy outdoor activities, the beach, and playing soccer.
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.
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 !
Bio Coming Soon !
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.
Joann Venant joins the K2 team with over 10+ years of clinical experience. To date, Joann is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who initially began her career with the Department of Children and Families to support/connect families. With this as her base, Joann soon earned an MS in Counseling Psychology from Palm Beach Atlantic University, where she began working as a lead therapist for incoming MS students.
From there, Joann’s passion for mental health accentuation influenced her to join the counseling landscape, later bringing that mentorship experience with her to the academic space. During this time, Joann began teaching relationship education at the Marriage and Family Research Institute at the University of Central Florida, a multi-million dollar grant initiated to help drive higher relationship satisfaction through effective education. Furthermore, Joann also became accredited for her work on leading and supporting non-profit grant development for better teen parenting education in underserved populations. During this time, she was personally invited to join the Palm Beach Atlantic University team as an adjunct professor teaching Gen Psych to incoming freshmen. That said, Joann’s achievements have not gone unnoticed, as she was often requested to be a public/guest speaker for radio stations, tv shows, and conferences at The University Behavioral Center.
Fast forward to today, Joann has since blended her inventory of successes and experiences to become a Bilingual Psychometric Rater at K2. Though much of Joann’s passion for Alzheimer’s research stems from her innate dedication towards improving life quality across all scales, it also comes from a personal place as she devastatingly lost her grandmother to this disease. From witnessing the harsh realities of Alzheimer’s to her strong history in academic/clinical relations, it collectively motivated Joann to begin leveraging that dynamicity at K2 – not only to help unveil revolutionary reform, but do so all while propelling community initiatives forward along the way.
When Joann is not working, you can often find her donating 10 hours a week to mentor and counsel others, spreading fun and laughter, and above all, spending time with her friends, husband, and her two amazing daughters.
Bio Coming Soon.
Bio Coming Soon.
Bio Coming Soon.
Bio Coming Soon.
Dr. Robert Cohen joins the K2 Medical team as a board-certified clinical neuropsychologist. With over 15 years of practice in neuropsychology and nearly a decade of experience in clinical research trials, his specialty lies in traumatic brain injury, PTSD, and elderly patients, though he is proficient in a wide array of disorders. After graduating from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in 2003, Dr. Cohen completed his internship at the North Chicago office for veterans’ affairs and his post-doctoral residency at All Saints Hospital in Wisconsin. In 2005, he created the Orlando Health Neuropsychology Department where he served as head of the department for over a decade, successfully leading a team of assessment specialists in diagnosing patients with a variety of neurological and psychiatric conditions.
Dr. Cohen joined Compass Research as Director of Neuropsychology in 2012 and since then has provided oversight to hundreds of participants in numerous clinical trials within his area of expertise. More recently, he and his wife Robyn opened a private practice, Neurocognitive Consultants of Orlando, providing neuropsychological evaluations to patients of all ages. Dr. Cohen has been the neuropsychologist for the Orlando City Soccer Club since 2014; he also contracts with the VA to provide evaluations for veterans. He is currently a captain in the US Florida Army National Guard and is a board member of Share the Care, a non-profit organization that provides services to caregivers of elderly patients living at home. He lives in Winter Park, FL with his wife and two young children, Sophia and William, and dog Arlo.
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.
With over 25 years of experience in the medical field and an extensive background in oncology clinical trials, Floribeth Roman joins the K2 Medical Research team as Project Manager. Prior to joining K2, she was a valued member of the research department at a private physician group specializing in hematology and oncology. During her time at the clinic, Floribeth successfully managed multiple high-enrolling clinical trials simultaneously, acting as liaison between the site and sponsors and assisting with all processes from study start up to termination.
Floribeth’s introduction to the world of research was profoundly personal: in 2009, her daughter Isabela was diagnosed with Tay Sachs disease and enrolled in a clinical trial with National Institutes of Health. Unfortunately, in 2012 Isabela succumbed to her disease. But Floribeth’s passion for research continued. In a testament to her strength and resilience, she has been able to integrate her family’s personal tragedy into her professional mission by providing patients and their families the care that they need with the warmth, respect and dignity that they deserve. As a result, she gains the trust of those around her and actively inspires others to triumph over adversity. Floribeth lives in Orlando with her sons. In her free time, she enjoys quality time with her family, CrossFit workouts and the Florida sun.
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.
Adelina St. Surin joins the K2 Medical Research team as a clinical research coordinator with a background in community health. With over six years’ worth of experience as a lab technician, she specializes in the processes that allow a laboratory to run safely and smoothly, making certain that protocols are properly adhered to for the calibration of equipment and for the sterilization and decontamination of the cleanroom environment. An educator and an advocate by nature, Adelina strives to make a positive impact in the local community by offering her expertise and sharing her knowledge to reduce the social stigmas that undermine participation in clinical trials. With a mind for science and a heart for people, Adelina is truly an ambassador for public health.
Adelina endeavors to be the best at what she does – she prioritizes learning and is on track to obtain her graduate degree in public health from the University of South Florida in Tampa. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, traveling and cooking. Adelina is also blessed with a green thumb – she enjoys making teas and tinctures with the fresh herbs she grows in her garden, and she loves to share her bountiful harvest with neighbors.
Tim Schubert, a veteran Clinical Research Coordinator, joins K2 Medical Research with 41 years of healthcare experience under his belt. After spending 20 years in the psychiatric department at Florida Hospital (now Advent Health), Tim was recruited to manage coordinating and marketing for an independent clinical research site run by the hospital’s medical director. He has enjoyed a long and illustrious career in clinical research ever since.
In the past two decades, Tim has gained therapeutic experience in indications ranging from psychiatric disorders such as depression and schizophrenia to neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. He has explored various positions in the research realm, fulfilling the roles and responsibilities of a psychometric rater, community liaison, recruitment specialist and project manager, respectively. But despite Tim’s many talents and interests, he has always returned to his roots as a coordinator because of the personal and rewarding nature of the work. His warmth, compassion, patience, and flexibility are appreciated by patients and co-workers alike; new coordinators find his guidance and mentorship both pragmatic and meaningful to their careers.
Tim is passionate about helping others and is proud to be part of the K2 family. When asked the reason he chose research as his life’s path, he says, “where else can you help people for no cost and still make a good living? I got the best job!”
In his free time, you can find Tim tending to his orchids, volunteering at church, and spending time with family and friends
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.
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.
Brianna Luciani joins K2 Medical Research as a Laboratory Specialist after receiving her BS degree in Biology in May of 2020. While earning a degree amid the pandemic presented many challenges for Brianna, she also found an excellent opportunity serving as a medical technologist in a clinical laboratory. She worked in the molecular department processing large volumes of samples, including Covid-19, and learned how to keep a sterile work environment. She gained ample experience working with Roche and Cepheid platforms, and familiarized herself with Hologic, Biosystems, and Hamilton platforms. She is most familiar with PCR and RT-PCR assays and understands the strict documentation and quality control necessary to keep the lab running efficiently.
With just over a year of clinical experience under her belt, Brianna decided to leave Massachusetts, where she grew up, and move to Florida for new opportunities. She is new to clinical trial-based research but feels it will provide valuable experience and is excited for the journey. When not at work, you can find Brianna crocheting, watching football or ice hockey, tending to her houseplants and pets (especially her beloved cat, Max) and spending time with her boyfriend.
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.
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.
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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.