Our Staff

Our staff consists of the following trained professionals:

 

Dr. Ashok K. Patel, Medical Director and Primary Investigator

Dr. Patel is a board certified Geriatric Psychiatrist and has been practicing at Bio Behavioral Health in Toms River, New Jersey for the past 20 years. He divides his professional time between clinical care and pharmaceutical research, both of which have helped him to develop a strong referral base in the local community. As Medical Director of Bio Behavioral Health, Dr. Patel has been the Principal Investigator on over 100 studies at Nursing Homes, Clinics, Hospitals, and Office settings. Dr. Patel attributes his interests in clinical care and pharmaceutical research to his training at Cornell University Medical College, where he initially began with research on Alzheimer’s and Depression, but has since pursued it further to include studies on Anxiety, Sleep Disorders, Autoimmune Disorders, Arthritis, Pulmonary Disorders, and Bipolar Disorders.

 

Dr. Patel graduated from Kasturba Medical College in India and completed his psychiatric residency at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in New York where he went on to become Chief Resident. Following residency, he completed his Fellowship in Geriatric Psychiatry at Cornell University Medical College in New York. Dr. Patel has since held faculty positions at both Cornell University Medical College and Robert Wood Johnson Medical School as an Instructor of Psychiatry. He is an active member of the American Psychiatric Association, the American Association of Geriatric Psychiatry, the NJ Psychiatric Association Geriatric Committee and the Indo American Psychiatric Association. His involvements with these organizations, clinical care and pharmaceutical research have granted him the opportunity to present over 200 presentations for multiple diseases and psychopharmacology. Dr. Patel was the 2011-2012 recipient of the Alzheimer’s Association New Jersey Chapter Humanitarian of the Year award and a 2014 recipient of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation award for skill and compassion in the practice of medicine.

 

 Judith Kern, Sub Investigator

Judy has worked with Dr. Patel for over 15 years and brings over 20 years of experience as an Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) to Bio Behavioral Health. She has served as Sub Investigator on numerous clinical trials, including studies on Rheumatoid Arthritis, Depression, Osteoarthritis, and Sleep, but she is particularly interested in Alzheimer’s as her mother was affected by the disease. Judy serves as a rater for all studies at Bio Behavioral Health as she is qualified for several scales. She is fascinated by determining where a patient is on the scale and how it affects their activities of daily living. She is also responsible for screening study subjects and following up with subjects appropriately in compliance with study procedures. Outside of clinical trials at Bio Behavioral Health, Judy ensures that all patients are cared for on a daily basis. She believes that patient education is important and her main objective is resolution of symptoms so that each patient may function at a higher level and live a better life.

 

Nancy Schindler, Clinical Research Site Manager and Regulatory Administrator

Nancy has functioned as Clinical Research Site Manager and Regulatory Administrator for over 100 Phase II-IV clinical trials at Bio Behavioral Health since 2008. As Clinical Research Site Manager, Nancy is responsible for supervising and guiding the research staff in all areas of study coordination as well as managing operations for study protocols, including timelines and personnel resources. As Regulatory Administrator, she maintains Bio Behavioral Health’s internal quality assurance at a high level and ensures that all clinical research trials follow FDA regulation and ICH/GCP/IRB guidelines. Furthermore, Nancy recruits new studies to the Bio Behavioral Health clinical research site location.

 

Doree Gordon, Clinical Research Coordinator

Doree has coordinated trials at Bio Behavioral Health since 2013 and brings 10 years of research experience with her from Merck and Bristol-Myers. Doree is certified as both a Clinical Research Associate (CRA) and a Clinical Research Coordinator (CRC) and has experience coordinating studies for Rheumatoid Arthritis, COPD, and Lupus, as well as Diabetes and Hypertension. She is formally trained in Good Clinical Practice for research trials, spirometry, phlebotomy, and has IATA certification. Doree is proficient at acquiring blood samples, EKG’s, and vital signs from study subjects. She is also responsible for screening study subjects, dispensing and accounting for study medication, and following up with subjects appropriately in compliance with study procedures.

 

Melissa Day, Medical Technician and Clinical Research Coordinator

Melissa has served as a medical technician and coordinated trials at Bio Behavioral Health since 2007. Melissa is a certified Clinical Research Associate (CRA) and has experience coordinating studies for Rheumatoid Arthritis, Alzheimer’s, Lupus, COPD, and Schizophrenia, as well as opioid induced constipation. She is formally trained in Good Clinical Practice for research trial, phlebotomy, and has IATA and OSHA certification. Melissa is proficient at acquiring blood samples, EKG’s, and vital signs from study subjects. She is also responsible for screening study subjects, dispensing and accounting for study medication, and following up with subjects appropriately in compliance with study procedures.

 

Lee Casagrande, Clinical Research Coordinator

Lee has coordinated trials at Bio Behavioral Health since 2008. Lee is a registered nurse and has experience coordinating studies for Depression, Alzheimer’s, and Schizophrenia. She is formally trained in Good Clinical Practice for research trials, various electronic data capture (EDC), and has IATA certification. Lee is adept at acquiring EKG’s and vital signs from study subjects and is responsible for dispensing and accounting for study medication and following up with subjects in compliance with study procedures.

 

Bharati Shrestha, Clinical Research Coordinator

Bharati, an international medical graduate, began coordinating Alzheimer’s trials at Bio Behavioral Health in 2014. She is formally trained in Good Clinical Practice for research trials and has IATA and ECFMG certification. Bharati is proficient as a rater for all memory scales in Alzheimer’s clinical trials and serves as a blind assessor for Rheumatoid Arthritis clinical trials at Bio Behavioral Health. She is also responsible for screening study subjects, dispensing and accounting for study medication, and following up with subjects appropriately in compliance with study procedures.

 

Susan Finkelstein, Therapist

Susan joined Bio Behavioral Health in 2007 and has since served as a Psychotherapist for all clients. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has 35 years of experience in the field, among all ages, individuals, and groups.