Lab Members

Jennifer Van Eyk, PhD
Director, Advanced Clinical Biosystems Research Institute, Erika J. Glazer Chair in Women's Heart Health

Jennifer Van Eyk, PhD, is a prominent proteomic and cardiac scientist and has been named the inaugural director of Cedars-Sinai's Advanced Clinical Biosystems Research Institute. She leads basic research at Cedars-Sinai's Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center aimed at unlocking the mysteries of gender differences in heart disease.

Margo B. Minissian, PhD, RN
Cardiology Nurse Practitioner, Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center, Simms/Mann Family Foundation Chair in Nurse Education, Innovation and Research

Margo B. Minissian, PhD, RN, is nationally board certified as an acute care nurse practitioner by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and holds California licensures as an acute care nurse practitioner and a clinical nurse specialist. Her focus is on women and heart disease, specifically microvascular disease and endothelial wall dysfunction.

Martha Gulati, MD
Cardiologist, Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center
Janet Wei, MD
Cardiologist, Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center

Wei received her MD from Northwestern University and completed her internal medicine residency at Cedars-Sinai. She remained at Cedars-Sinai for her general cardiology fellowship and was a Chief Cardiology Fellow in 2012-13. Additionally, she was the 2013-14 Constance Austin Women's Heart Fellow at the Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center.

Leslie Aguilar-Hernandez
Clinical Research Coordinator I

Leslie graduated from UCLA with a bachelor’s in psychology and has worked in pediatrics, depression studies and early intervention programs to promote positive client outcomes in families. At the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center, she has worked on the Women’s Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation (WISE) studies, MRI atherosclerosis, the Women’s Ischemia Trial to Reduce Events in Non-Obstructive CAD (WARRIOR) trial and ancillary studies.

Zev Allison
Clinical and Research Fellow

Zev graduated from UCLA with a degree in biochemistry in 2015. He joined the Smidt Heart Institute studying transcatheter aortic valve replacement technologies; then went to UCSF School of Medicine, and in 2020 returned to Cedars-Sinai for internal medicine residency. He is now at the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center.

Ian Brower
Clinical Research Associate I
Odette Chida Ibarra
Clinical Research Coordinator II

I am currently working on the following studies: Cardiac MRI-Normal Reference Group, Autologous CD34 Cells for the Treatment of Coronary Microvascular Dysfunction (CMD), Women’s Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation (WISE) Mechanisms of CMD Leading to Pre-Heart Failure With Preserved Ejection Fraction (HFpEF), and its brain supplement and vascular inflammation sub-studies.

Erika Gonzalez
Clinical Research Associate I

Erika graduated from UCLA with a BS in molecular, cell and developmental biology, with a biomedical research minor. In the Bairey Merz Lab, she focuses on understanding the mechanisms of coronary microvascular dysfunction and pre-HFpEF. Erika is passionate about improving clinical outcomes for patients and aspires to become a clinician-scientist.

Lorena Guzman
Grant Specialist I
Ana Iribarren, MD
Cardiologist, Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center

Ana joined Cedars-Sinai in November 2021 from the Instituto Cardiovascular de Buenos Aires, where she is board-certified in cardiology and internal medicine. She collaborates with other investigators in the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center to boost knowledge of heart diseases in women, specifically microvascular disease and endothelial wall dysfunction.

Maria Marroquin
Clinical Research Associate I

Maria holds a BS in statistics from California State University, Northridge (CSUN), and has gained valuable experience at Tibor Rubin VA Medical Center and City of Hope. Her passion for medical data has brought her to the Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center, where she is eager to contribute her expertise.

Jenna Maughan
Clinical Research Data Specialist III

Jenna received her BA from UC Berkeley in molecular and cell biology with an emphasis on cell and developmental biology in 2018. She joined the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center in 2015 and manages data collection and study implementation. She is also the Biobank coordinator, managing many biorepository studies.

William Miller
Clinical Research Associate I

William graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, with a bachelor’s in biological sciences and award-winning sustainability project management experience. He joined the Bairey Merz Lab because of its focus on preventive medicine. He currently works on the WARRIOR trial and enjoys engineering solutions to complicated and interdisciplinary problems.

Tillie Morrisette
Clinical Research Associate I

Tillie graduated from Syracuse University with a BS in biotechnology and a minor in exercise science—dance. Tillie started on the Takotsubo Brain-Heart trial, and now is focused primarily on the SCORE study. Tillie plans to attend medical school and aims to become a sports medicine doctor.

Okezi Obrutu
Clinical Research Data Specialist II

Okezi synthesizes and interprets research data to inform cardiovascular healthcare and improve patient outcomes. As a data specialist, she manages data for studies focusing on heart diseases that predominantly affect women, including Ischemia with Non-Obstructive Coronary Disease (INOCA), Takotsubo syndrome and cardiovascular effects of hypoestrogenemia.

Amelie Paquin
Clinical and Research Fellow

Amélie Paquin completed cardiology training at Laval University (Quebec, Canada) and fellowship training in echocardiography and women's cardiovascular health at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute (Ottawa, Canada). She is a clinical and research fellow at the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center, while completing a PhD degree with Laval University.

Sabrina Pierre
Clinical Research Coordinator I

Sabrina graduated from the University of Southern California with a BA in health and human sciences (emphasis on international health) and two minors, occupational sciences and international relations. Sabrina joined the Bairey Merz Lab to contribute to the intersectionalities in cardiology research and strives to become a pediatric occupational therapist.

Sachini Ranasinghe, MD, MPH
Clinical and Research Fellow

Sachini Ranasinghe, MD, received her medical degree from Chicago Medical School and completed her internal medicine residency at the University of California, Irvine. Her interest in pursuing a career in cardiology led to her current position as a Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center Fellow.

Jordan Regina
Clinical Research Associate I

Jordan graduated from Pepperdine University in 2021 with a BA in psychology. She plans to pursue a career in medicine as a surgeon. Jordan joined the Bairey Merz Lab in 2022 and is involved with many studies, but her work primarily focuses on the WISE CVD study.

Brenda Rios
Clinical Research Associate I

Brenda graduated from UCSD with a bachelor's in sociology. She aspires to be a clinical social worker. Her interest in addressing health disparities has led her to join the Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center. Since joining the Bairey Merz Lab, her work primarily focuses on the SCORE Mae-West Study.

Natalie Rojas
Clinical Research Associate I

Natalie received an AA degree in interdisciplinary studies from Los Angeles Trade Technical College. Natalie began working on the Takotsubo Registry and currently works for the Bairey Merz Lab on the WARRIOR trial. Natalie is working on her BSN and aspires to become an NP.

Nathan Sela
Research Support Assistant I
Nicole Tovar
Research Administrative Coordinator
Brandon Wanke
Clinical Research Coordinator I

Brandon graduated from Yale University with a BS in molecular, cellular and developmental biology. Previous stints include the Emergency Department at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston as well as for the Department of Anesthesiology at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.

Robert (Robby) Ward
Research Administrative Coordinator
Dominique White
Clinical Research Associate I

Dominique graduated from Howard University with a BS in biology and double minors of chemistry and psychology. Her work in the Bairey Merz Lab focuses primarily on the WARRIOR trial. Dominique aspires to be a family practice physician in the future and is prepping for medical school.

Eileen Yu
Research Operations Associate

Eileen graduated from Cal State Long Beach, with a BA in sociology. She joined Cedars-Sinai in 2015 and through dedication and hard work, she flourished in her administrative leadership role. Eileen is well-organized and able to multitask while maintaining a high level of professionalism and attention to detail.

Contact the Bairey Merz Lab

127 S. San Vicente Blvd.
Pavilion, A9300
Los Angeles, CA 90048