Clinical Research Unit (CRU)


To provide our patients with the opportunity to participate in innovative clinical research. Following Good Clinical Practice guidelines, Duke’s Clinical Research Unit (CRU) provides optimum staff coverage to meet protocol timelines within budget.

About Us

The Clinical Research Unit (CRU), formerly known as Clinical Anesthesiology Research Endeavors (CARE), is a departmental initiative to further organize our clinical research efforts in all areas of anesthesia and perioperative research at Duke University Medical Center and its affiliated sites. It began as an organization in 1999. After achieving great success in the cardiothoracic and critical care medicine divisions, the unit officially launched in January of 2003. The CRU is composed of an extensive network of investigators, clinical research support staff, biostatistics staff, perioperative and outcomes database staff, and business development staff.

The department has an outstanding reputation in clinical research, focused in the areas of postoperative nausea and vomiting prevention, preservation of cognitive function after surgery, transesophageal echocardiography, role of inflammation in clinical outcome, intravenous fluids, hemodilution and blood substitutes, hemodynamic monitoring, genetics and outcome, organ protection during surgery, pain management, regional anesthesia and clinical pharmacology. This research has led to changes in clinical practice and has improved outcomes for patients after cardiac and non-cardiac surgery.

The principles that guide us are:

  1. Quality Improvement.
  2. Improving outcomes for patients by improving clinical practice through clinical research.
  3. Improving medical practices by sharing knowledge gained through scholarly publications.

Tiffany Bisanar, RN, BSN, CCRP

Tiffany Bisanar, MHA, BSN, RN, CCRP
Assistant Research Practice Manager

Bonnie Funk, RN, CCRP

Bonnie Funk, BSN, RN, CCRP
Research Practice Manager

Alicja Szydlowska, BS, MBA, CCRC

Alicja Szydlowska, BS, MBA, CCRC
Assistant Research Practice Manager

Financial Practice Manager:
Tammy Kim, MA, CRA, AGM, RAA

Clinical Research Coordinator Senior:
Katherine Sweeney, RN, MFA, CCRP

Clinical Research Coordinators:
Lani Banez, CCRC
Ashley Burke, BS, CCRC
Emmalee Metzler, BA, CCRP
Sharon Norman
Omowunmi Olaleye, MS
Jhana Parikh, BS
Andreea Podgoreanu, BS
Jacob Ribet, AS, BS, RRT
Kelly Rodden, BSN, RN
Yanne Toulgoat-Dubois, BA
Peter Waweru, CCRP
Nicolle Willis, BS

Clinical Research Nurse Coordinators:
Tamara Cannon, RN, BSN
Carrie Schlabaugh, BS, RN

Clinical Research Specialist, Senior:
Alana Atkins, BS
Stratton Barth, BS
Lindsay Boerger, BA
Rachele Brassard, BSW
Courtney Holland, BS
Rhea Jain, BS
Erick Lorenzana-Saldivar, BS
Dieu Thao Nguyen, BS, MS
Brittany Thomas, BS
Samuel Weeks, BA, MS

Clinical Research Specialist:
Ashley Hall, BS

Statistical Support:
Mary Cooter, MS, Biostatistician II
Yi-Ju Li, PhD, Program Leader, Biostatistics and Clinical Outcomes
Viral Panchal, DrPH, Biostatistician II
John Hunting, MPH, Biostatistician II
Wenjing Qi, PhD, Postdoctoral Associate

Project Planning and Startup

  • Coordination with Industry Staff
  • Recruit Investigators


  • Randomize patients from caseload
  • Coordinate with study monitor
  • Strict adherence to study protocol


  • Coordination with Industry Statistical Plan
  • Interim Analysis available


  • Ensured followup of all queries
  • Longitudonal followup available


  • Presentation at National and International Scientific Meetings
  • Manuscript preparation with industry review
  • Neurological Outcomes in Cardiac, Thoracic and Medical Patients.
  • Investigational Cardiopulmonary Bypass lab providing pre-clinical support for neurological outcomes research.
  • Role of Inflammation in Affecting Clinical Outcome.
  • Perioperative Organ Protection.
  • Brain Protection in Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery.
  • Preservation of Heart Function.
  • Blood Substitutes.
  • Minimally Invasive Surgery and Off Pump Cardiac Surgery.
  • Transesophageal Echocardiography (TEE).
  • Renal Protective Strategies.
  • Molecular Biology.
  • Genetics of Perioperative Outcomes (Genomics).
  • Medical Economic Assessments of Interventions in Cardiothoracic Surgery.
  • Perioperative Control of Nausea and Vomiting
  • Perioperative Control of Pain
  • Pediatric Drug Development
  • Anesthesia and Postoperative Cognitive Decline

Edmund H. Jooste, MB ChB

Edmund H. Jooste, MB ChB

Clinical Director, Pediatric Cardiac Anesthesiology
Director of CRU (Clinical Research Unit)
Professor of Anesthesiology
Professor in Pediatrics

Contact Us

Department of Anesthesiology
Duke University Medical Center
P.O. Box 3094
Durham, NC 27710

Phone: 919-684-0861
Fax: 919-681-8076 [Attn: Bonnie Funk]

Chris KeithClinical Research Unit (CRU)