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Lisa A. Carey, MD
Founder and Medical Director of the OCTR

Recognizing the importance of translational research, Dr. Carey founded the UNC Office of Clinical & Translational Research in the late 1990’s to provide an infrastructure for conducting translational and correlative research in breast cancer at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Carey’s research interests focus upon breast cancer, including examination of different subtypes of breast cancer, evaluation of new chemotherapy agents in early breast cancer, and examination of tumor characteristics that predict response to therapy.

Amy L. Garrett, MA, CCRC
OCTR Director
, 919-966-0695

As OCTR Director, Amy applies her training in organizational management, public health and research administration to provide operational leadership for the OCTR. Amy oversees all areas of research operations including regulatory, recruitment, data, and grants management. Since joining the OCTR in 2011, Amy has made significant contributions to the growth and success of translational oncology research at UNC, including expanding OCTR services to all cancer types. Amy enjoys collaborating with investigators, sponsors and staff to develop and implement innovative and effective methods for conducting correlative and translational oncology research.

Chris Hilliard, CCRC
Operations Manager
, 919-962-8699Chris Hilliard has more than 15 years of combined research experience in Immuno/Microbiology, Genetics, Psychiatry, and Oncology. Before joining OCTR, he worked as lead coordinator for the Thoracic group in UNC’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Outside of work, he enjoys reading, writing, learning about technology, and exploring the craft beer scene.


Kathryn Pietrosimone, PhD
Scientific Research Manager
, 919-445-6375

Kathryn Pietrosimone works closely with UNC Lineberger leadership to develop, implement and manage the UNCeq2 clinical research trial. She also works with investigators in the Department of Hematology/Onoclogy and NeuroOncology to develop protocols, grants, and manuscripts for publications.

Patty Spears, BS
Research Manager and Patient Advocacy

Patty Spears provides scientific leadership and guidance to advance OCTR translational trials and data management of the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology breast cancer research trials. Patty also provides advocacy leadership for UNC Lineberger, including leadership of the Patient Advocates for Research Council and the UNC Breast SPORE Advocates. Patty hopes to combine her scientific research and patient research advocacy experience to have an impact on the local and national fight against breast cancer.


OCTR Staff

Tucker Brenizer, BA
OCTR Data Manager
, 919-966-7057

Tucker Brenizer works with Geriatric Oncology investigators, as well as other UNC Lineberger collaborators and statisticians to provide oversight of data collection, data quality, and database creation and management for multiple clinical, correlative and translational studies in the Geriatric Oncology Program.


Brianna Castrogivanni, MS, ACSM- RCEP
Clinical Study Coordinator
, 919-843-7843

Bri is the study coordinator for LCCC 1948 The HealthScore Health Coaching Program. It is a comprehensive exercise program open to all cancer types. Bri is responsible for recruitment, data collection, and serves as the lead health coach to participants..


Luz A. Cuaboy, MS
Multidisciplinary Coordinator
, 919-966-7051

Luz A. Cuaboy mainly coordinates the UNC Immuno-Oncology Patient Centered Translational Research (IMPACT) Biorepository, whose goal is to serially bank bio-specimens for the purposes of informing other immunotherapy research studies at UNC. She is also responsible for coordinating several other Investigator Initiated Trials from various Lineberger Cancer Center Physicians across all cancer types. Luz is responsible for identifying, screening and consenting research participants, as well as managing all the specimens collected as part of her studies.

Tony Drier, BS
Genitourinary Oncology Coordinator
, 919-966-6904

Tony Drier coordinates all Genitourinary (GU) Oncology studies that are not coordinated by the Clinical Protocol Office (CPO). Tony also collaborates with the CPO to help facilitate correlative tissue collection within GU CPO studies to ensure that tissues are collected effectively and are stored in the correct manner.

Terri Eubanks, BSBA, CCRC
HARMONY Coordinator
, 919-966-4530

Terri Eubanks is the study coordinator for HARMONY: Harnessing the Analysis of RNA expression and Molecular subtype to Optimize Novel TherapY for Metastatic Breast Cancer. This trial is part of the SEQuel trials, which are designed to advance precision medicine within Lineberger. HARMONY analyzes molecular subtypes of metastatic breast cancer tumors to determine if this information can guide treatment in this patient population.

Erin O’Hare, MPH, RD
Geriatric Oncology Coordinator

Erin O’Hare oversees recruitment, data collection, biospecimen collection, and patient follow-up for the coordination of geriatric oncology breast intervention studies. The trials Erin coordinates investigate the impact of physical activity on quality of life and biomarkers of aging among women during chemotherapy for breast cancer.
Vanessa Ayer Miller, DrPH
Pediatric Oncology Coordinator
, 919-843-9957
Vanessa oversees recruitment, data collection, and biospecimen collected for all pediatric studies coordinated by the OCTR. This include LCCC 1805 a pediatric biorepository for current and future correlative research studies of pediatric cancers, the Pediatric p16 INK4a study, and GUMBALL: Genetic Understanding of Minimal residual disease in T and B-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Lymphoma study which is part of the SEQuel trials.
Nick Mangieri, MS
Multiple Myeloma Registry Coordinator

Nick oversees recruitment, data collection, biospecimen collection, and patient follow-up for the coordination of cancer registry studies. He works closely with the plasma cell disorder population to further advance a cancer registry which investigates an individual’s chronological age versus functional age. This study also focuses on identifying potential molecular biomarkers that may help predict the effects of anti-cancer treatment.

Shannon Myers, BA, CCRC
Genitourinary Oncology Study Coordinator
, 919-962-8838

Shannon Myers is the coordinator for GRADE-SRM: Genomic Risk Assessment and Decisional Evaluation for Small Renal Masses. GRADE is one of the SEQuel trials at Lineberger with the aim of furthering precision medicine for clear cell renal cell carcinoma patients and evaluating patient experience based on course of treatment. Shannon also contributes to other Genitourinary (GU) Oncology trials not coordinated by the Clinical Protocol Office (CPO).

Oscar Penton, BA
Clinical Research Coordinator for Breast Oncology, 919-962-8895

Oscar oversees recruitment, data collection, and biospecimen collection for multiple breast cancer studies coordinated by the OCTR. He is the primary coordinator for LCCC9819, a biorepository for current and future correlative research studies of patients with breast cancer. Oscar works closely with the breast oncology team and UNC Mammography to coordinate the collection of biopsy and surgical samples for research.

Will Pulley, BA, CCRC
Leukemia Study Coordinator
, 919-966-6779

Will Pulley coordinates all Leukemia studies that are not coordinated by the Clinical Protocol Office (CPO). Will oversees recruitment, data collection, and biospecimen collection for the execution of leukemia studies led by faculty and principal investigators at N.C. Cancer Hospital.

Janhvi Rabadey, BS
Gastrointestinal Oncology and Lymphoma Study Coordinator, 919-445-6376

Janhvi Rabadey coordinates a group of gastrointestinal and lymphoma studies for the OCTR. The group of studies that she coordinates includes a GI Microbiota Composition Study (LCCC 1746), a Hepatocellular Carcinoma Biomarker Study (IRB 18-0061), and a Lymphoma Registry (LCCC 1850) and Retrospective Review of Advanced Age Lymphoma Patients (IRB 18-2745). Before joining the OCTR, Janhvi worked for six years in research for the UNC Department of OB/GYN and the School of Dentistry. A long-time North Carolinian, Janhvi’s interests include Cancer Research, Internal Medicine, Women’s Health, and Holistic Medicine.


Amy Wheless, MA, CRRC
Breast Oncology Data Manager/Senior Study Coordinator
, 919-843-5942

Amy Wheless joined the OCTR in 2004 where she filled the role of Social Research Specialist in Breast Cancer. In this position, Amy acts as a study coordinator and data manager for multiple clinical and translational breast cancer studies for Drs. Lisa Carey and Chuck Perou.

Jordan Wise, MS
Clinical Research Assistant, Neuro-Oncology, 919-966-7057

Jordan Wise works for the departments of neuro-oncology and neurosurgery, coordinating two observational studies and managing the UNC neuro-oncology registry. Jordan is responsible for identifying, screening and consenting research participants, and conducting in-person interviews using patient reported outcomes (PROs).