Research Staff

Garth Fuller, MS

Garth Fuller, MS

Research Biostatistician III Email: garth.fuller@cshs.org

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Garth Fuller received his bachelor of science in domestic animal biology from Cornell University. After earning a master of science in life sciences from the University of Maryland, he began work at CS-CORE. Having received a grant for doctoral training through the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the RAND Corp., Fuller is pursuing his PhD in the Health Policy and Management program at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Fuller serves as a "utility man" at CS-CORE, lending his knowledge of statistics, SAS programming and qualitative research analysis to a wide range of projects.

Mayra Lopez, MPH

Clinical Research Coordinator II Email: mayra.lopez@cshs.org

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Mayra Lopez received her bachelor of arts degree in psychology from UCLA. She completed a dual-degree master's program and received her master of public health and master of social work degrees from Washington University in St. Louis. While in St. Louis, Lopez worked as a biomedical research coordinator leading research studies with Washington University School of Medicine, Adult Epilepsy Center. In St. Louis she also served as a patient advocate in community health clinics, developed service evaluation tools that helped identify service needs, and looked at overall patient outcomes. She comes to CS-CORE with skills in health literacy, program development, implementation, and evaluation, community health education, and data management. Her research interests include community health disparities, patient education, and physician-patient communication among Limited English Proficiency patients and its effects on health outcomes. At CS-CORE, Lopez links her background with research monitoring to bridge the gap between patients and research and ensures proper execution of research studies.

Jennifer Soares, MSPH

Jennifer Soares, MSPH

Research Program Administrator Email: jennifer.soares@cshs.org

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Jennifer Soares completed her undergraduate degree at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She received her master of science degree in public health with honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She moved to the West Coast upon completing her degree to pursue a career in health services research. Soares joined CS-CORE as a research coordinator in 2003 and has been involved in the development of patient reported outcome measurement instruments in a variety of GI conditions for eventual use in clinical trials. Since she became the center's deputy director, much of Soares' work relates to the contracting, budgeting and management of the center's staff members, fellows and affiliates.

Michelle Chen, MPH

Clinical Research Coordinator II Email: michelle.chen2@cshs.org

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Michelle Chen is a research coordinator at CS-CORE and recent graduate of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, where she received her master's degree from the Department of Health Policy and Management. She completed the program's summer internship requirement at CS-CORE, collaborating on a three-phase project to develop a decision tool to help inflammatory bowel disease patients make informed, value-concordant medication choices. Chen's current work includes leading a project to develop a multi-site prostate cancer-specific disease registry for Southern California and conducting social media-driven qualitative analyses to understand the knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs of patients with ankylosing spondylitis regarding medications. Previously, she conducted research in diagnosing IBD using genotoxicity markers and in signaling pathways mediating oncogene-induced senescence. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from UCLA in 2015, with a major in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics and minor in Cognitive Science.

Alma Jusufagic, MPH

Clinical Research Coordinator II Email: alma.jusufagic@cshs.org

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Alma Jusufagic received her master of public health from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health in the Department of Health Policy and Management. She also received her bachelor of science degree in neuroscience with a minor in Spanish from UCLA. During her time at UCLA, Jusufagic served as an intern coordinator for the Ronald Reagan Medical Center's largest patient safety program, leading a group of over 100 volunteers working to prevent nosocomial infections and errors in the hospital. Her interests in patient-centered care led Jusufagic to join CS-CORE as a graduate student research intern working on a project exploring how patients and clinicians differ in their knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs regarding opioid use and how they weigh the risks and benefits of different chronic pain therapies. Jusufagic brings knowledge of health system organization and financing, qualitative research, and project management to her work at CS-CORE. Jusufagic's passion is leveraging technological innovations to improve access to and quality of care. Her broad research interests include patient-provider communication, mental health, chronic pain care, cost-effectiveness, and dissemination, implementation, and improvement science.