GHUCCTS Programs & Resources

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Hub Liaison Team

Learn more about our Hub Liaison Team.

  • What's It All About

    Multiple barriers delay both the activation and the completion of multi-center clinical trials. In partnership with the Trial Innovation Network, a network created to leverage the expertise and resources of the CTSA program, our goal is to enhance the speed and efficiency of multi-site clinical trials across all GHUCCTS institutions.

      • Are you developing a multicentered proposal and need help identifying potential sites across the nation?
      • Are you planning an NIH submission or resubmission?
      • Do you need a coordinating center for your multi-site trial?
      • Do you need a central IRB for your multi-site trial?
      • Would you like to consider ways to leverage EHR data from up to 64 CTSA to inform study design?

    The Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Science (GHUCCTS) is excited to be part of the NIH Trial Innovation Network and we would like our institutional investigators to take advantage of this opportunity. There are two ways you can participate: (1) you may propose a multicentered clinical trial as a GHUCCTS investigator to leverage the nation-wide Trial Innovation Network; or, (2) you can be considered as a site participant for a multicentered clinical trial.

    We would really like to hear from you if you are interested in being part of this clinical trial network opportunity. You can let us know your interest by contacting

    Our TIN team is available to assist you. Review some of our select resources below, or visit the TIN Initial Consultation and Resources page for more information.

    Summary of HLT's top accomplishments from the past 10 years

  • Who is Responsible

    Dawn Fishbein, MD  headshotMedical Director, Innovation Network : Dawn Fishbein, MD

    Dr. Fishbein is an Infectious Diseases Specialist with a particular interest in viral hepatitis and chronic hepatitis C in minority, underserved populations. Dr. Fishbein joined the MedStar Washington Hospital Center Infectious Diseases faculty in July 2012, creating a new program in hepatitis C clinical care and health services research.

    Prior to this position, she served as the Medical Director of a newly created partnership between NIH and the District of Columbia, and was responsible for developing on-site integrated viral hepatitis clinics in DC. The primary goal was to provide hepatitis C clinical care and establish research protocols. Prior to moving to Washington, DC she was faculty at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, where she implemented an HIV-hepatitis clinic and had a NIH K23 award for assessing engagement in care for hepatitis C patients. Her current funding is for Health Services research from CDC and industry grants for hepatitis C testing, linkage and navigation into care. She has served as a stakeholder for PCORI and for the HHS Viral Hepatitis Action Plan.

    Emily Paku headshotOperations Director : Emily Paku

    Emily Paku manages overall programmatic and operational responsibilities of the Hub Liaison Team. She oversee site staff setting deadlines, assigning responsibilities and coordinating with departments within the MedStar Health system to ensure synergy. She ensures that advice and directions provided by the GHUCCTS Participant Advisory Board are integrated based on feasibility and alignment with the GHUCCTS and MHRI’s overall business strategy.

    Project Leads

    Alice Ukaegbu DNP, MSN, FNP-BC: Alice Ukaegbu has over 25 years of nursing experience and eight years of this in managing and conducting clinical research. She assists both experienced and new investigators at HU navigate clinical trials start-up from contracts, budgets and sponsor communications. She has successfully assisted in recruiting for multi-center sickle cell and Alzheimer’s studies and works with the GHUCCTS investigators to assist them in their recruitment efforts.

    Alice completed her baccalaureate degree in nursing and master’s education with a Family Nurse Practitioner at Howard University. She received her Doctorate in Nursing Practice from Chatham University. Alice's interest is in clinical practice and clinical research.

    Kathryn Turner, RN: Kathryn Turner serves as the Nurse Manager for the GU Clinical Research Unit and oversees approximately 120 active clinical trials. Kathryn has a BS in Community Health from the University of Maryland, College Park, a BSN in Nursing from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and is currently pursuing an MS in the Family Nurse Practitioner program at Georgetown's School of Nursing and Health Studies. Kathryn began her nursing career specializing in pediatrics at Children’s National Medical Center and became a Certified Pediatric Nurse in January 2017. Kathryn started working as a part-time Clinical Research Nurse on the CRU in March of 2017 and began her role as Nurse Manager in November of 2018. Kathryn is passionate about serving and advocating for underserved populations and became the GU Director of Including Diverse Populations in 2019.

    Informatics Lead

    Stephen Fernandez, MPH: As the Informatics Lead for the Trial Innovation Network, Stephen Fernandez, MPH provides services for PI’s and MHRI investigators by providing data through various EMR Systems within MedStar.

    As the manager of MedStar Health Research Institute’s Biomedical Informatics team, he develops and oversees the implementation of site management and monitoring functions, including developing data management plans, creating databases, assigning project tasks, ensuring the sites are monitored and contacted as outlined in the site monitoring plan, reviewing and approving visit reports, and providing feedback to the Clinical Research Associates at each site regarding site performance and/or additional training needs.

    Additional Team Members

    • Brittany Wilkerson, MPH (MHRI)
    • Finie Richardson, PhD, MPH (HU)
    • Chad League, JD (MHRI)
    • Yejide Obisesan (HU)
    • Justin Hughes (MHRI)
    • Tolu Ijayekunle (DCVAMC)
    • Angie Wilkwins (GU)
    • Elan Donnellan (GU)
    • Tonya Bishop (MHRI)
    • Hillary Dolinsky, MSW (GU)
    • Tom Mellman, MD (HU)
    • Neil Weissman, MD (MHRI)
    • Marc Blackman, MD (DCVAMC)
    • Joe Verbalis, MD (GU)
  • Tell Me More

    Hub Liaison Team Study Start Up

    Our number one goal is to help investigators implement their TIN multi-site study as quickly and simply as possible. How? After years of planning and strategizing with contract offices at Georgetown University, Howard University, MedStar Health Research Institute, and the Washington VA Medical Center, we’ve established a collaborative infrastructure to help implement multi-site contracts and quickly as possible. We have contract facilitators, one at each institution, who know their contracting environment, are aware of potential barriers and can help facilitate study start up, including contract execution and IRB. Essentially, they know the right people and the resources we have in place to get the job done. Contact us today to learn more!

    Standard Agreement: To improve the efficiency of the process for review and negotiation process for research agreements, the CTSA Program hubs and the Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP) have developed a toolkit of standardized agreements and FAQs for use by the TIN. | Learn More

    Single IRB: The goal of the Trial Innovation Network (TIN) single IRB (SIRB) is to create a comprehensive, cohesive central IRB process and operating system that will support multi-center studies on a national level. | Learn More

    Hub Liaison Team chart showing that the TIN has supported trials at Johns Hopkins, Vanderbilt, and the University of Utah

    Participant Recruitment & Engagement

    The HLT Participant Recruitment & Engagement team is here to help investigators engage with the community. As the liaison to the national Recruitment Innovation Center, funded by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, we provide a variety of services to research teams in need of support to recruit participants.

    Recruitment services include:

    Complete our service request form to schedule a consultation, today! If you don't know where to start, schedule a 30min pre-consultation with the center or email us to determine your next steps.

  • Resources

    Do you value including the patient perspective in your study design and recruitment materials? Find out what we can offer through the Participant Advisory Board.

    Did you know we have a clinical trial listing site for studies conducted at our GHUCCTS institutions? Visit to search for your study today. You can put your study’s weblink on recruitment materials or even better: contact us to see how we create a custom design landing page for you, today!

    Are you in the process of proposing a multi-site clinical trial? Contact us today to learn more about the single IRB services offered through the Trial Innovation Network!

    Hear from CTSA Program experts on various trial-related topics to improve your project.

Trial Innovation Network

The network will leverage the expertise, skills and knowledge of NCATS and the CTSA participants to provide consultation and resources for multi-site clinical trials.

Learn More