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Leadership & Team

School of Medicine Leadership

The UCI Center for Clinical Research (CCR) benefits from the strong leadership of the UCI School of Medicine. The School of Medicine's leadership plays an integral role in the direction and success of the CCR, including the development and execution of innovative research projects, as well as maintaining the highest standards of clinical care and safety for study participants.  

This close collaboration ensures that the CCR is able to leverage the vast resources and expertise of the UCI School of Medicine to advance our mission of accelerating the pathway of discovery from bench to bedside. The UCI School of Medicine's leadership provides the necessary guidance and support to ensure that the CCR remains at the forefront of clinical research, while delivering exceptional care to our patients and sponsors. 

Dean Michael J. Stamos Daniela Bota
Michael J. Stamos, MD
Dean, UCI School of Medicine
Daniela A. Bota, MD, PhD
Vice Dean for Clinical Research, UCI School of Medicine

Center for Clinical Research Directors

CCR has a highly experienced leadership team dedicated to advancing clinical research and improving patient health. Led by our Medical Director, Dr. Senthil, the leadership team includes key personnel in operations, clinical research coordination, administration, finance, and business development. They provide strategic direction, innovative solutions, and operational expertise to ensure that the center operates at the highest level of quality and efficiency. With a wealth of experience in diverse areas of clinical research, the CCR leadership team is committed to collaborating with sponsors, investigators, and the broader community to conduct clinical research that advances medical knowledge and improves patient outcomes.


Senthil_2023.jpgMaheswari "Magi" Senthil, MD, FACS
Medical Director, UCI Center for Clinical Research

Dr. Senthil is a clinical professor of surgery and the John Wayne Cancer Foundation endowed chair in the Department of Surgery. She is a nationally recognized surgical oncologist and surgeon-scientist with a special expertise in the management of patients with peritoneal carcinomatosis and advanced malignancies. She is also division chief for surgical oncology in the Department of Surgery, where she leads a strong, multi-institutional translational research program and serves as a primary investigator for many clinical studies, several of which she has initiated. Dr. Senthil’s appointment will provide the governance and leadership, market differentiation and growth, and process oversight and stakeholder experience the CCR will need to continue its upward trajectory and to adapt to the current and future needs of our researchers and the community.

beverly-alger.jpgBeverly Lo Alger, MD, CCRP, CHRC
Director of Clinical Trials, Administration and Finance

Dr. Alger joins UCI from Gilead Sciences, Inc., where she served as regulatory compliance global lead for the Americas and Asia. In this capacity, she was responsible for regulatory compliance and quality oversight worldwide for research and development groups conducting preclinical and clinical research, and pharmacovigilance activities for both investigational and post-approval products. Prior to Gilead Sciences, she served as director of compliance for the City of Hope National Medical Center. Dr. Alger also previously served as the research compliance officer for the UCI Medical Center.

jessica-spolarich-2.jpgJessica Spolarich, MBA
Assistant Director, Clinical Research Operations

Jessica joins our team from the UCI Cancer Center where she worked as a Clinical Research Manager and managed a team of 16 direct reports. She oversaw five disease site clinical trial portfolios, performed administrative and clinical operations for 160 trials and approximately 260 patients. Additionally, she developed SOPs to ensure compliance, worked with Medical Center Faculty and departments, and developed investigator-initiated trial protocols. Jessica’s background also includes assisting with industry sponsor budget and contract negotiations. Prior to UCI, Jessica worked for Eisenhower Health as a Clinical Research Associate. In her new role, Jessica is responsible for managing operations of the UCI Center for Clinical Research (CCR) and the associated quality, regulatory, and administrative functions of all clinical research activities.

carey-berkowick.pngCarey Berkowick, BSN, RN, CCRP  
Assistant Director of Research Nursing

With a BSN in Nursing and a Masters in Healthcare Administration, Carey brings over a decade of nursing experience to our CCR Nursing team. She has led projects such as opening our new state-of-the-art research clinic (the Center for Innovative Health Therapies), migrating all nursing clinic encounters to the Epic EHR, and streamlining the Epic Research billing workflow. In her time managing operations of our two CCR clinics (Orange-CIHT and Irvine-Hewitt Hall), she has doubled the size of the Nursing team, which now supports over 200 clinical trials being conducted across UCI. Carey leads several key areas of CCR focus, including growing our clinic services offered, leading a change in our clinic’s licensure, adding clinical support to our research community locations, and fostering relationships with CCR partners and PIs across the university. Her contributions and dedication to CCR’s culture of collaboration and excellence are a vital component to our CCR team.

Stephen-Regal.jpgStephen Regal
Assistant Director of Finance

With a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Arizona State University and a Master of Public Health in Health Policy and Management from Columbia University, Stephen brings nearly two decades of experience in research finance management at prestigious academic institutions such as Columbia and USC to his role at UCI. With a proven track record in managing industry-sponsored and federally funded clinical trials, Stephen has a wealth of knowledge in the field of clinical research. His expertise and leadership are a valuable asset to our team at UCI Center for Clinical Research, and we're thrilled to have him on board. 

Dani-VanBlitter.jpgDaniella "Dani" VanBlitter Gibbs
Assistant Director of Business Development & Technology

ith a background in Cognitive and Biological Science, Dani is a proud UC Irvine alumna who has amassed a decade of experience in clinical trial and research. She joined the CCR in 2021 as a Recruitment Specialist, where her specific focus on research recruitment and enrollment strategies has been instrumental at CCR. In her current role as the Assistant Director of Business Development and Technology, Dani is responsible for expanding the CCR's profile of clinical trials, cultivating new business opportunities with industry sponsors, and managing key client relationships. She is also in charge of establishing data analytics, dashboards, and reporting functionalities for CCR stakeholders. Her creative and innovative approach to community engagement, through avenues such as newsletters, events, platforms, and campaigns, enables patients to have access to the latest clinical trials. Dani's unique set of skills, including her business development and creative thinking abilities, are a vital component of the CCR team. We are thrilled to have her on board and are confident that her contributions will help to take our organization to new heights.  

Center for Clinical Research Units

In addition to our esteemed leadership, we have a robust team of experienced clinical research professionals dedicated to the clinical and administrative operations of our team.

Clinical Operations Unit

Clinical Research Managers

scott-heese.pngScott Heese, MPH
Multispecialty Team

Anesthesia, Dermatology, Nephrology, Otolaryngology, Plastic Surgery, Psychiatry, Radiation Science, Rheumatology, Urology Family
veronica-martin.pngVeronica Martin
Neuroscience & Imaging Team

Family Medicine, Neurology, Pathology


rosie-magallon.pngRosie Magallon
Ophthalmology & Medicine Team

Benign Hematology, Emergency Medicine, Endocrinology, Immunology, Infectious Disease, Ophthalmology, Pediatrics, Pulmonology
lizette-spiers.pngLizette Spiers
Surgical Specialty Team

Cardiology, Gastroenterology, Neonatology, Neurosurgery, Ob-Gynecology, Orthopedics, PM&R, Surgery

Regulatory Affairs

jeein-kim.pngJeein Kim
Regulatory Affairs Manager

Research Nursing Unit

Nursing Team

Laboratory Services Team

Research & Department Finance Unit

beatriz-rivera.pngBeatriz Rivera
Department Finance Supervisor

Start up and Post Award

generic_avatar.jpgCarmen "Anca" Ariciuc, MBA
Research Finance Supervisor

Business Development & Technology Unit

Business Development
john-nguyen.pngJohn Nguyen
Participant Recruitment


jocelynn-suarez.pngJocelynn Suarez
Oncore Support
jon-erick-rodrigo.pngJon-Erick Rodrigo, RN
Data Analytics


erika-pitcher.pngErika Pitcher
Program Management