Get to know our staff


Mitchell Rothstein, MD

Dr. Mitchell Rothstein is a Clinical Research Investigator at our Fleming Island research site and he has been with us for 5 years now. In February 2017, we are happy to say that Dr. Rothstein also became our new Phase 1 Medical Director at our Jacksonville University research site. We consider him an all-star at ENCORE Research Group, not only did he perform the first endobronchial stent in Jacksonville, but he also lettered in gymnastics in college. Which is probably why he handles working at two locations with ease.

In his free time, he collects animation art, especially the work of Chuck Jones, the famous Looney Tunes animator. Dr. Rothstein is a major sports fan. He loves watching mixed martial arts and is an Olympics sports addict. He is also a fan of the Jacksonville Jaguars, the New York Mets and the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, our minor-league baseball team in Jacksonville.

While Dr. Rothstein has some downtime, he enjoys eating, he calls himself a ‘happy carnivore’! Some of his favorite TV shows to watch are: Fargo, Billions, Jeopardy, and Snapped. All in all, we’re glad we have Dr. Rothstein as part of our ENCORE Research team and we’re excited to see what he accomplishes with us in the years to come. 

Alpa Patel, MD

Since 2008, Dr. Alpa Patel has been a team member at the Jacksonville Center for Clinical Research. Aside from her duties as a Clinical Investigator, she also works full time at Family Care Partners of Arlington.

Dr. Patel was born in London, but has called Florida her home for more than 20 years. She earned her Medical Degree from University of Florida and then she trained in Internal Medicine at Shands Hospital.  She is Board certified in Internal Medicine.

Although Dr. Patel is kept extremely busy by her medical practice and duties as a Clinical Investigator, she always makes time to raise awareness about clinical trials. Dr. Patel often hosts educational sessions at the clinic to shed light on what goes on in clinical trials and discuss new medications. However, her philanthropy knows no bounds as she has also been active in many community volunteer efforts including Habitat for Humanity, free health clinics and AIDS awareness education. In her downtime, she enjoys traveling, watching movies and sports, and spending time with her family.

Michael J. Koren, MD, FACC, FAPCR, CPI

Michael J. Koren, MD, is a practicing cardiologist and Chief Executive Officer at Jacksonville Center for Clinical Research, which conducts clinical trials at 8 locations in Florida. He received his medical degree cum laude at Harvard Medical School, and and completed his residency in internal medicine and fellowship in cardiology at NewYork Hospital/Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center/Cornell Medical Center.

Dr Koren is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology. He is also a fellow and president of the Academy of Physicians in Clinical Research and the current president of the regional chapter of the American Heart Association. As a principal investigator, Dr Koren has conducted more than 500 clinical trials on hypercholesterolemia, cardiovascular disease, and heart failure.

Dr Koren’s research has been published in peer-reviewed journals including Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Circulation, New England Journal of Medicine, and The Lancet. He is an editorial board member of Clinical Cardiology. He has lectured nationally and internationally on topics such as lipid-lowering therapy and preventive cardiology.

 

Andrea West

Andrea is a Clinical Research Coordinator at our University office and has been a VIP of the JCCR family for 14 years now. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in Zoology from the University of Florida and is an avid Florida Gators fan! She then went on to get her Master’s in Public Health at FIU.

Andrea loves to travel with Gerald, her husband of 17 years. “Traveling, pizza, cheese, and coffee, that’s all I need to survive” she says. Together they have traveled to Galapagos Islands, Barcelona, Paris, Costa Rica, Hawaii, Ecuador, many national parks, and British Columbia where she got unreasonably close to a mother grizzly bear and her cub. 

She has two adopted dogs from the humane society. Her favorite show is Outlander, and she hopes to read all 8 books in the series. She says “I love reading and hiking on vacation, maybe it’s time to take another trip!”

Amanda Elwood

At Encore Research Group we have many employees who work behind the scenes and never get to meet patients. Amanda Elwood is a prime example, as she is a Regulatory Specialist at our Jacksonville office handling regulatory compliance and lots of the paperwork it takes to get new studies started. She has been with us for two years now.

To say Amanda loves animals is an understatement, since she has three dogs and four cats. We have to agree with her when she says “It’s a lot of work, but the snuggling makes it worth it!”

Amanda was born in Puerto Rico and she loves Hispanic foods! Some of her favorites are tostones, empanadillas and picadillo.

She is obsessed with The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. She also collects postcards from all of the places she visits. She spent a summer studying abroad and collected postcards from Switzerland, Amsterdam, France, and Italy.

Amber Devries

Amber has been at Jacksonville Center for Clinical Research for eight years and along the way she has acquired many hats. She is the assistant site manager, a clinical research coordinator, the office party planner, and a birthday card making committee of one.

Amber graduated with a degree in biology from Jacksonville University. While there, she played on the women's soccer team, and between games she met her husband Kyle, who pitched for the JU baseball team. She still gets such a kick out of soccer that she is currently coaching a girls team for a local high school.

If you think Amber isn’t occupied enough at work and play, she also stays busy with two active sons and a baby girl!

Lateshia Taylor

Lateshia Taylor is a research assistant at the JCCR university office and has been a member of our research family for ten years. She loves to travel and try new outdoor adventures with her son, Shumbae. And when she says adventures, she’s talking zip-lining, camping and river-rafting. Her favorite sport is football and she is a Jaguars fan, but as the mom of a busy six-year-old, she also appreciates quiet time reading and the occasional pampering pedicure or massage. 

While she tells us that she doesn’t really have a favorite food, she does warn us that she will NOT eat peas or beans. She hates peas and beans. 

Lateshia admits that her guilty pleasure is messy reality TV, but since she just moved into a new house, we doubt that she’ll have much time to indulge in that for a while. She will be occupied with decorating and arranging her new space – making a home sweet home.

Congratulations on your new adventure Lateshia!

Alex Hill

Since Spring of 2013, Alex has been a wonderful addition to our research family. He has been a Research Assistant at two Encore Research sites; starting at Fleming Island Center for Clinical Research and currently at Jacksonville Center for Clinical Research (University Blvd).

Alex is a man of many hobbies, some of which include: plant breeding "Nepeta cataria citriodora" (Citrus Cat Nip), lampworking, bead making, cycling, and gardening. In fact, Alex's garden is called Eir and is registered with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) and he has formed an LLC (Limited Liability Company) named Lyfberg which is Icelandic for "Healing Hill" which will take his gardening hobby to a professional level.

When Alex is not busy with all of those hobbies, he may be seen collecting heirloom seeds, millefiori glass (Italian for "thousand flowers"), or pokemon cards. His favorite food is a cheeseburger, even a veggie burger, and he is currently working on a recipe for a veggie burger with mostly beans, seeds, and rice.

If you noticed Alex's photo, you might have guessed that his favorite football team is the Jaguars. He also enjoys The Flash comic and TV show. His favorite video game is Halo and card game is pokemon (Gotta Catch 'Em All!) 

Joyce Williams

If you have ever stepped foot into the Jacksonville Center for Clinical Research building on University Blvd. then you have probably met Joyce M. Williams. Joyce has been the Director of First Impressions here since March 2, 1998, and she became the first African American shareholder at JCCR in 2003.

Joyce is an ordained minister! She attended Jacksonville Theological Seminary and graduated in May 2007 with an Associates Degree in Religious Arts of Biblical Studies. She is very involved in her church; she is the Lead Vocalist, #1 Choir Director, Church Secretary, President of the Missionary Board, and Deaconess.

If all of this doesn't keep Joyce busy enough, she also collects thimbles - she has over one hundred! She also loves to color large coloring pads and books. Some of Joyce’s favorite foods are spaghetti, fried chicken and seafood. If you have met Joyce, you can agree that she has a great love for her job and all the people that she meets. 

Julie Baker

Julie Baker - Registered Nurse and a Clinical Research Coordinator at Jacksonville Center for Clinical Research (JCCR).

My husband was transferred to Jacksonville in 1993, at the same time our CEO Dr. Koren happened to be looking for a research nurse.  We moved from Pensacola, where I had worked for physicians for 10 years.  My favorite part of that job was coordinating clinical research.  So I was excited to have the chance to do research fulltime in Jacksonville.  Little did I know that I had found the best job in Jacksonville!  I was the first person hired fulltime for Dr. Koren’s research team.  It has been a privilege to be a part of the growth of JCCR, doing such important work with such great people! 

I’ve been married to my die hard Cubs fan for 40 years, and we still are each other’s favorite person to be with!  We both love exploring new places, especially our wonderful National Parks.   We are known for planning our travels a year or more in advance! 

After living near the Gulf Coast for 13 years, and in Jacksonville for 24 years, we are spoiled by our fabulous seafood.  We considered moving to the mountains when we retire, but would miss the seafood too much.  So we found our forever house in Jacksonville.  We decided Jacksonville is a great home base, and we can travel anywhere from here.

As a nurse, patient education and safety have always been important to me.  Since JCCR shares the same values, this career has been a terrific fit for me for 24 years. 

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