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The Lexitas leadership team offer our customers decades of opthalmology clinical trial experience.

GREAT COMPANY - GREAT LEADERS

Our vision is to be the best ophthalmology clinical research service provider in the industry, from the perspective of both our clients and our employees. We are keenly focused on building and maintaining collaborative, long-term relationships with sponsors, investigators, vendors, partners and employees.

The Lexitas Founders have a common desire to build a CRO that focuses on ophthalmology and wants to partner with companies that have a vision of improving eye care.

Chad Ice

Chad Ice

Chad Ice
Co-Founder and CEO

Chad has over 20 years of experience in clinical research, most of which has been focused on ophthalmic drug development.  During his 12 years with Inspire Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Chad was responsible for the oversight of both the ophthalmology and respiratory clinical operations departments and was a consistent contributor to medical affairs and ophthalmology business activities.  Chad has held key leadership positions overseeing multiple ophthalmic clinical programs including dry eye, blepharitis and glaucoma.  He has played an integral role in communicating clinical data and scientific information to pharmaceutical company commercial teams and has had the opportunity to be a part of significant discussions with the FDA.  Chad is passionate about using past experiences and lessons learned to help sponsors move forward with their products as efficiently as possible and find best-fit solutions.

Karen Kuhn

Karen Kuhn

Karen Kuhn
Co-Founder and Vice President, Clinical Research Science

Karen has extensive experience managing and overseeing ophthalmology clinical trial programs.  She began her clinical research career with experience at both ClinTrials and GlaxoWellcome.  She then went on to spend 12 years at Inspire Pharmaceuticals, Inc. where she gained deep expertise in Ophthalmology clinical research.  She personally managed or oversaw multiple dry eye and blepharitis studies as well as wrote numerous clinical protocols.  A key strength of Karen’s is her ability to understand the key scientific issues in a protocol and ensure that they are translated into successful trial execution.  Karen thrives on finding creative solutions to the complex challenges that arise in the course of a clinical trial.

Saiid Davari

Saiid Davari

Saiid Davari
Co-Founder and Vice President, Clinical Site Relations

Saiid applies his unique style and hands on approach to build strong relationships with clinical research investigators.  With over 15 years of experience in Ophthalmology clinical research, he has built a wide network of high-quality, high-performing clinical research sites.  He is dedicated to understanding the individual needs of each site and ensuring that they are positioned for success.  Saiid has held clinical monitoring and study management roles with both large and mid-sized pharma as well as large CROs. He brings a wealth of experience and diverse background to the Lexitas leadership team.

Chris Brown

Chris Brown

Chris Brown
Co-Founder & CFO

Chris is a Life Sciences professional with more than 15 years of direct pharmaceutical, biotech and CRO experience.  His diverse knowledge is from various roles including financial management, finance compliance and auditing and IT management.  This includes serving as the CFO of Lexitas and as the head of Information Technology at three publicly listed pharmaceutical companies.  These roles have provided Chris with a broad understanding of the clinical R&D business as well as cross-functional understanding of the life sciences industry from discovery to commercialization.  Chris' education includes an undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina and an MBA focused on Finance from East Carolina University.

Joanna Williams

Joanna Williams

Joanna Williams
Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer

Joanna's clinical research expertise is in clinical technology.   Her career began as a clinical site coordinator and data management analyst where her foundation of clinical research was built gaining experience from a CRO and sponsor perspective.   In 2000, she co-founded a clinical technology company providing IVR/IWR systems which was later acquired by ICON Clinical Research. As the Vice President of Interactive Technologies, Joanna was responsible for growing the IVR/IWR service offering for ICON from the ground up including business development, creating and implementing business process and overseeing software delivery and management teams.  In her 14 years at ICON, Joanna held numerous leadership positions primarily focused on project management, quality management, business process improvement and clinical technology implementation and oversight.

Teresa Anile

Teresa Anile

Teresa Anile
Clinical Research Coordinator

Teresa has worked in the clinical research industry since 2015 when she joined Lexitas. Teresa’s prior experience was in hospitality and sales. She has owned and managed several Durham, NC restaurants. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Stephen F. Austin State University. Outside of the office, Teresa enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading and running.

Sarah Callahan

Sarah Callahan

Sarah Callahan
Associate Director, Clinical Studies

Sarah has worked in the clinical research industry for 12 years. Sarah started her career at Inspire Pharmaceuticals and also worked at Synteract before joining Lexitas in October 2012. Sarah received a BS in Biology from UNC-Chapel Hill and an MS in Clinical Research from Campbell University. Outside of the office, Sarah enjoys relaxing with her family at Lake Gaston.

Tommy Cocciardi

Tommy Cocciardi

Tommy Cocciardi
Clinical Research Coordinator

Tommy has worked in the clinical research industry for 3 years and has been with Lexitas since September 2014.  Tommy started his career as a Medical Writing intern at Genzyme and then worked in a pre-clinical lab prior to joining Lexitas.  He received a BA in English Literature with a minor in Biology at Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island. Since then, he’s also completed an MS in Regulatory Affairs for Drugs, Biologics, and Medical Devices from Northeastern University.  Outside of the office, Tommy likes to cook, especially with what’s been growing in his garden.

Jennifer Daniels

Jennifer Daniels

Jennifer Daniels
Clinical Study Manager

She has worked in the clinical research industry for 16 years and has been with Lexitas since May 2016.  Ten years have been spent in project management along with five years of onsite monitoring.  Jennifer started her career at Quintiles and then worked at PAREXEL prior to joining Lexitas.  She received her AA in Psychology from Peace College in Raleigh, NC and her BA in Psychology at NC State University in Raleigh, NC.  On her days off, she is chauffeuring her daughters from one activity to the next.

Ariana Davari

Ariana Davari

Ariana Davari
Clinical Research Operations

She has worked in the clinical research industry for two and a half years and has been with Lexitas since June, 2014. She received her BS in Psychology from California Polytechnic State University, Pomona. On her days off she likes to go hiking, spoil her dog Chloe and attempting DIY projects.

Lynn Dunn

Lynn Dunn

Lynn Dunn
Senior Clinical Research Coordinator

Lynn has worked in the clinical research industry for 16 years and has been with Lexitas since February 2014.  Lynn started her career at PAREXEL and then worked at EMD Pharmaceuticals and Pozen Pharmaceticals prior to joining Lexitas.  On her days off, she spends her time at the beach.

Heidi Durham

Heidi Durham

Heidi Durham
Clinical Research Associate

She has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for 16 years and has been with Lexitas since January 2014.  Twelve of those years were spent in post-marketing medical and drug information, where she worked in various roles, including project supervision and mid-level management.  Heidi started her career at Eckerd Drugs as a community pharmacist and then worked at PPD prior to joining Lexitas.  She received her doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  On her days off, she enjoys travel, puzzles, baking and doing yoga.

Ellie Einolhayat

Ellie Einolhayat

Ellie Einolhayat
Clinical Research Associate

Ellie Einolhayat, BA, RN, is a Clinical Research Associate with over 15 years of clinical research experience. Ellie has 6 years of monitoring and 10 years of global project management experience conducting Phase I, II, III and retrospective studies, including inpatient and outpatient studies across multiple therapeutic areas. Ellie worked at PRA and PPD prior to joining Lexitas. She has been with Lexitas since 2014. Ellie received her BA from UNC-Chapel Hill. On her days off, she spends her time lakeside with family and friends.

Shannon Franks

Shannon Franks

Shannon Franks
Senior Clinical Research Coordinator

Shannon has worked in the pharma and clinical research industry for 17 years and has been with Lexitas since January, 2013.  Seven years have been in the research and development of eye health products as well as project management.  Shannon started her career at Trimeris, Inc, then Inspire Pharmaceuticals and Bioventus, prior to joining Lexitas.  Shannon has an Associate of Arts degree in Business Administration/Secretarial Science from Louisburg College. On her days off, you can find Shannon spending time with family and friends, reading a book, binge watching Netflix, or decorating extensively at multiple homes during Christmas time.

Emilee Fulcher

Emilee Fulcher

Emilee Fulcher
Associate Manager, Clinical Studies and Quality Control

She has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for over 12 years and has been with Lexitas since March 2013.  Seven of these years have been spent in clinical research.  Emilee started her career at Inspire Pharmaceuticals and then worked at UCB Biosciences prior to joining Lexitas.  She received her BS in Biology with a minor in Chemistry and Spanish from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  On her days off, you can find Emilee biking and spending time at the park with her children.

Siobhan Garbutt

Siobhan Garbutt

Siobhan Garbutt
Associate Director, Clinical Studies

Siobhan has been involved in clinical research for over 20 years and much of that time has been spent in Ophthalmology research. Siobhan has a Ph.D. in Ophthalmology from University College London and completed a post-doc in Neuro-ophthalmology at the University of California, San Francisco. After moving on from academia, Siobhan started her career in industry at Quintiles and then worked at Alcon prior to joining Lexitas in July 2016. On her days off, you can find Siobhan enjoying time with her husband and daughter, training for her next running event or volunteering with the Chapel Hill Service League.

Teresa Jones

Teresa Jones

Teresa Jones
Senior Clinical Research Coordinator

She has worked in the pharma and clinical research industry for 12 years and has been with Lexitas since April 2014.   Teresa started her career at EMD Pharmaceuticals and then worked at Shire, Inspire and LipoScience prior to joining Lexitas.  She received her BS in General Studies with a minor in Psychology at University of Indiana and an Associates in Occupational Therapy at Western Iowa Tech.  On her days off, you can find Teresa at the driving range or rollerblading.

Chris Matheus

Chris Matheus

Chris Matheus
Executive Director, Business Development 

Chris is an experienced Business Development professional with 20 years of experience in the clinical research industry. His primary focus has been on the adoption of technologies used to manage clinical trials; randomization, drug management, trial management and data collection systems.  His experience includes handling Business Development for the technology divisions within CROs and with stand-alone technology companies. Chris has worked at Quintiles, CB Technologies, ICON Clinical Research, Endpoint Clinical, YPrime and now Lexitas. In addition to Business Development responsibilities, he has also built pricing models and conducted technology trainings to his colleagues. Chris has a passion for networking and has presented at DIA for several years on this topic. He founded FOCM Networking, a national organization supportive of networking across a broad variety of people and industries. He was a co-founder of the Wilmington (NC) Pharma/Bio/CRO Networking Group for the purpose of fostering a local network for staying informed on local industry activities.   Chris has a BS degree in Business Administration and an MBA with a Marketing emphasis.

Stephanie McKinney

Stephanie McKinney

Stephanie McKinney
Finance

She has worked in Accounts Receivable/Payable for 10+ years and has been with Lexitas since August of 2014. She previously worked in clinical research for a year and a half at Neeman Medical International and interned for a year and a half at GlaxoSmithKline. Stephanie McKinney has a degree in Business Management from North Carolina State University. On her days off you can find her going on adventures with her husband and two children.

Beatrice Mengich

Beatrice Mengich

Beatrice Mengich is a Senior Clinical Research Associate. She has been in the clinical research industry for 12 years. Beatrice started her career in clinical research as an intern at GlaxoSmithKline in RTP and went on to work in CROs and academia supporting local and global trials prior to joining Lexitas in February 2017. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Clinical Research from Campbell University in Buies Creek, NC and a Master of Science in Clinical Research Administration from University of Liverpool in England, UK. When off the road, Beatrice spends her time with family and friends.

Sue Rains

Sue Rains

Sue Ellen Rains is the office manager for Lexitas.  Sue worked in the dental and health care industry for over 20 years. Eight years were spent working in as a dental hygienist reviewer for dental group practice accreditations and credentialing. Then she served as the operations lead for an orthopedic medical device sales group for more than 10 years.  She started with Lexitas in March 2017.  Sue has an Associate of Applied Science degree in Dental Hygiene from FTCC and studied business administration at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC. On her days off, you can find Sue spending time with family and friends, walking for miles and miles in area parks, and trying her hand at floral design for parties and celebrations.

Gloria Rickman

Gloria Rickman

Gloria Rickman
Senior Clinical Research Associate

She has worked in the clinical research industry for 16 years. Gloria started her career at PPD and then worked at Inspire Pharmaceuticals as a Contract Clinical Research Associate prior to joining Lexitas in September 2015. Gloria has an AAS in Medical Laboratory Technology from Wake Technical Community College. When she is not at work, Gloria loves spin classes, traveling and cruising with her husband.

Mike Schiewe

Mike Schiewe

Mike Schiewe
Director, Strategic Programs

He has worked in the biopharmaceutical and clinical research industry for 20 years. Fifteen of those years have been in the research and development of eye health products. Mike has been with Lexitas from the beginning as a consultant; however, recently joined the company as a permanent employee in August 2016. Mike started his career at PPD Development, and then moved onto Inspire Pharmaceuticals, followed by 5 years as an Independent Clinical Research Consultant before joining Lexitas. Mike has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from North Carolina State University and Master of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University. On his days off, you can find Mike spending time with his family, cycling, kayaking or out on the golf course.

Neeli Sharrett

Neeli Sharrett

Neeli Sharrett is an Associate Director, Clinical Technology.  She has worked in the clinical research industry for over 13 years and has been with Lexitas since February 2017.  Neeli has extensive experience in clinical trial technologies – including randomization and drug management, clinical supplies logistics, imaging, eCOA, EDC, and CTMS systems.  She worked at ICON Clinical Research prior to joining Lexitas. Neeli will be involved in the selection and implementation of several technologies.  She received her BA in Biology from The University of Texas at Austin.  On her days off, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends as well as cooking and handcrafting jewelry.

Kristie Veasey

Kristie Veasey

Kristie Veasey
Director, Clinical Operations

Kristie has worked in the clinical research industry for 16 years and has been with Lexitas since September, 2013. Eleven of these years have been spent in project management. Her previous experience was at Inspire Pharmaceuticals and Clearside Biomedical. Kristie received a BS in Social Work from UNC Wilmington. Outside of work, Kristie enjoys reading and spending time hiking and boating with her family.

Raelin Verhoff

Raelin Verhoff

Raelin Verhoff
Associate Director, Data Management

Raelin has over 15 years of clinical research experience, focusing primarily on Data Management and Electronic Data Capture.  Raelin has held management roles in small and large global CRO organizations.  She started her career at Ovation Research Group, working closely with sites and study teams to coordinate startup and data collection activities, and overseeing safety reporting strategies, before moving formally into Data Management.  Raelin then spent 10 years in management for the global Data Management department at ICON Clinical Research.  She focused on developing and implementing data collection strategies for late-phase and registry study designs.  Raelin was also intimately involved in vendor selection for, and implementation of, database solutions as well as day to day management and oversight for all activities necessary to ensure successful data management delivery.

Kristin Williams

Kristin Williams

Kristin Williams
Associate Director, Quality and Compliance

Kristin has extensive experience in ophthalmology research, as she started her career at Inspire Pharmaceuticals working with several ophthalmic products.  She then worked at Compliance Implementation Services as a compliance consultant building strategic regulatory compliance strategies for mid-size and large pharmaceutical clients.  Kristin has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Lenoir-Rhyne College and a Master of Jurisprudence in Health Law from Loyola University Chicago.