Clinical Research Offices

We believe clinical research is inextricably linked with high-quality cancer care. To deliver integrated research, we have adopted an approach that includes consistency in standards of care, centralized research operations and access to personalized and novel therapies.

In keeping with our mission to improve the health and healing of the people and communities we serve, the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute (HHCCI) Research Program is dedicated to touching the lives of cancer patients by providing access to screening, prevention, supportive care and therapeutic clinical research options. This is done with a keen focus on our local communities, rural areas and minority populations.

Our goal is to remove barriers to participation in clinical research and accelerate the discovery of new therapies.

All HHCCI research is conducted through the CCRO, which provides comprehensive support for clinical research at all locations. The CCRO is led by a faculty medical director and corresponding administrative director who report to the physician-in-chief and vice president of the Cancer Institute, respectively.

The CCRO is comprised of highly-qualified, trained research professionals organized by work units: coordination and data management; regulatory affairs and study start-up; nursing; finance and research billing; research laboratory and biospecimen management; data analytics and informatics; and quality assurance and education. A clinical operations manager and business manager are responsible for daily operations.

Leadership Team

Peter Yu, MD
Physician-in-Chief

Andrew Salner, MD
Cancer Delivery & Disparities

Jessica Clement, MD
Therapeutic Research
Phase 1 Program

Kristi Gafford, MBA, SVP
Operations

Therica Miller, MBA
Director,
Cancer Research

Ellen Anderson, PhD
Director,
Health Services Research


Governance Structure

HHCCI fosters the development of cutting-edge, innovative, collaborative studies focused on the prevention, detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer in a responsible way. Our aim is to minimize the time and resources needed to move trials from concept development to patient enrollment


Research Leadership Council

The Research Leadership Council steers research program growth and direction to maximize research’s impact on the delivery of quality care to the communities we serve. As such, the Council:

  • Establishes research program goals and strategic priorities
  • Aligns program strategy with institutional goals and drives system-wide progress
  • Provides oversight of the self-directed Disease Management Teams
  • Monitors program performance and financial health
  • Oversees safety and quality
  • Identifies resolution pathways to complex challenges

Protocol Evaluation and Management Committee (PEMC)

The PEMC is charged with steering the HHCCI clinical research portfolio through careful protocol selection and ongoing monitoring. PEMC membership is multi-disciplinary and includes representation from all HHC regions engaged in research.

Interventional, ancillary and correlative protocols are initially evaluated for resource feasibility within respective Disease Management Teams and submitted to the PEMC for review. The PEMC prioritizes studies aligned with the HHCCI mission that have the highest likelihood of success and represent the best use of network resources. All vetted protocols are tracked through the CCRO Study Startup Unit.

Email us to submit a study for PEMC review or request more information.


Disease Management Teams (DMTs)

Multidisciplinary DMTs are composed of physicians and healthcare professionals such as medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists and nurses who are experts in their field. DMTs discuss standards of care and emerging literature while evaluating clinical research opportunities, studies and participants. Each DMT physician research lead works closely with the research ambassadors (clinical research coordinator or research nurse) to identify, develop and maintain a portfolio of high-quality cancer studies within a disease group that promotes and supports the HHCCI mission.

Each DMT is responsible for reviewing proposed studies for scientific interest, community impact, feasibility, the ability to enroll, and priority within the disease-specific portfolio. Protocols approved by the DMT are submitted to the Protocol Evaluation Management Committee for review and approval before a study can start.

  • Breast
    Patricia DeFusco, MD
  • Cardio-Oncology
    Eric Oligino, MD
  • Gastrointestinal
    Gerartd Funo, MD
  • Genitourinary
    Anoop Meraney, MD
  • Gynecologic Oncology
    Jonathan Cosin, MD
  • Hematology
    Mark Daiely, MD
  • Head & Neck
    Casey Kuwada, MD
    Akshay Patel, MD
  • Lung
    Wylie Hosmer, MD
  • Neuro-Oncology
    Ahmad Daher, MD
  • Hepatobiliary & Pancreatic
    Bret Schipper, MD
  • Sarcoma
    Adam Lindsay, MD
  • Cutaneous Malignancies
    Omar Eton, MD\

Organizational structure

Physician leaders and research professionals are organized in a way that maximizes our resources, ensures efficiency and delivers an excellent patient experience. 


Quality Management

In keeping with our core values of quality and safety, the clinical research quality assurance program ensures protocol adherence, regulatory compliance and data integrity. Quality reviews are performed on all therapeutic and select non-therapeutic oncology clinical trials conducted across HHC.

Quality program pillars



Key Contacts

Primary Sites

Study start up Priyanka Abraham
P: 860.972.5018 | F: 860.545.3155 E: Priyanka.Abraham@hhchealth.org
Regulatory affairs E: OncologyRegulatoryAffairs@hhchealth.org
Research finance E: OncologyResearchFinance@hhchealth.org
Laboratory and biospecimen E: OncologyBiospecimen@hhchealth.org
Investigational Drug Services (IDS) Hartford HealthCare Investigational Drug Services (IDS)
80 Seymour St., Hartford, CT 06102
Mail stop: Bliss Basement Pharmacy
E: IDSPharmacy@hhchealth.org
Phone: 860.972.3283
Fax: 860.545.2807

Management Team

Manager, system cancer clinical operations Melanie Manning
P: 860.972.5029 | F: 860.545.3155
E: melanie.manning@hhchealth.org
Unit lead, Central Region clinical operations Siobhan Reilly, CCRP
P: 860.696.4958 | F: 860.696.4886
E:Siobhan.reilly@hhchealth.org
Unit lead, laboratory and biospecimen Susanne Morrill
P: 860.972.1588 | F: 860.545.3155
E: Susanne.Morrill@hhchealth.org
Unit lead, regulatory affairs and study start-up Hager Elgedawe
P: 860.972.5019 | F: 860.545.3155
E: Hager.Elgedawe@hhchealth.org
Director Therica Miller
P: 860.972.4597 | F: 860.545.3155
E: therica.miller@hhchealth.org
Medical director Dr. Jessica Clement
E: Jessica.Clement@hhchealth.org


Cancer Research & Clinical Trials

Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute


Clinical Trial Referrals