Ingrid Adelsberger, CMP
Senior Meeting Planner

Ingrid studied Hospitality and Tourism Management in Vienna prior to working in the United States. She has experience in managing both domestic and international scientific meetings from all aspects including Continuing Medical Education (CME) compliance as well as organizing social and corporate events. She is a co-applicant on a NIH grant for the annual CKD conference for which she is responsible. Furthermore she has been involved in the MONDO Initiatives since 2013 as the administrative contact and manages the inter-group communication as well as the MONDO meetings.

John Callegari, MBA, MPH
Research Director of Planning & Analysis
PubMed Entries

John has been with RRI since February of 2003 where he began as Controller of New York Dialysis Services before coming into this role in 2007. His duties include budget preparation, analysis and grant submissions. He is also a founder of the Sustainable Kidney Care Foundation (SKCF) which provides dialysis in developing nations currently with programs operating in sub-Saharan Africa.

Cassandra Cartagena
Administrative Assistant

Cassandra Cartagena joined RRI back in 2011 as Mary Carter's Administrative Assistant. She excels at running the office's day to day activities by managing communication and meetings between staff within and outside the office. A "Jill of all trades", she serves as the payroll administrator and contracts point person, working with legal counsel to effectively and efficiently execute all agreements relating to RRI's affairs. She is also the editor the "Dialysis Times" and "The Research Insider", a monthly newsletter that provides updates on the work and events RRI partakes in, to clinics nationwide. Cassandra is incredibly diligent in helping with an array of tasks, including Co-Investigating clinical studies, assisting with budget schematics, and acting as a liaison with Human Resources.

Mary Carter, PhD, MBA, MPH
Senior Research Program Director
PubMed Entries

Mary is responsible for the overall strategic management of the research program with a focus on team building and collaborative research in an international setting. She has been with RRI for 15 years leading the program from inception to its current level of international recognition for innovation, swift decision making and excellence in clinical trial execution. Her oversight includes the annual CKD conference and Dialysis Times. Her leadership in the global arena is exemplified by her work with the Sustainable Kidney Care Foundation, bringing kidney treatment where none exists, where she is the founder and director. With a background in molecular biology, physiology, business and public health, she has the skills to lead this team into future success.

Doris H. Fuertinger, MSc, PhD
Senior Research Fellow
PubMed Entries

Doris has finished her doctoral studies in mathematics at the Karl-Franzens University, Graz, Austria. She specializes in mathematical modeling in physiology and numerical mathematics. Prior working at RRI, Doris was involved in projects about erythropoiesis, cardiovascular response to ergometric workload, orthostatic stress and low body negative pressure (a model of hypotension). Her research interests include: anemia management, change of blood volume intra- and interdialytically, the connection between EPO and prolonged red cell survival and cardiovascular modeling.

Peter Kotanko, MD
Research Director
PubMed Entries

Peter Kotanko, MD as the Research Director is responsible for the overall direction of RRI’s research whose work spans bench science to clinical research to epidemiology to mathematical modeling, protocol design, manuscript preparation and teaching. After spending three years at RRI, Dr. Kotanko was recruited to take over the strategic leadership role of RRI’s research in 2010. His background and expertise in physiology, internal medicine and nephrology and 20 years of clinical experience enable him to be the intellectual leader for our scientists and fellows who come to train in clinical research. He is a member of the Editorial Board of Blood Purification, and Kidney and Blood Pressure Research and co-author of over 190 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters and holds several patents in the dialysis field.

Prior to joining RRI, he was the Vice Chair of a Department of Internal Medicine in Graz, Austria, from 1997 to 2007. From 1982 to 1989, he worked as an Assistant Professor, first in the Department of Physiology, and subsequently at the University Clinic of Internal Medicine, Innsbruck, Austria. From 1995-1996 Dr. Kotanko worked at the Hammersmith Hospital in London, UK. Dr. Kotanko’s current teaching appointments are with the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, and the Medical University in Innsbruck. He has lectured internationally on topics in nephrology, physiology, and mathematical modeling.

Nathan W. Levin, MD
Founder & Former Medical and Research Director
PubMed Entries

Nathan is a Professor of Clinical Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Chair of RRI’s Research Board. He is the founder and former Medical and Research Director of RRI under whose scientific leadership the Institute gained global recognition. He was a Professor of Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and at the University of Michigan. He is the founder and was the co-Chair of KDOQI and a member of the Executive Committee of KDIGO. Dr. Levin was responsible for nephrology programs at Northwestern University, VA Research Hospital, Henry Ford Hospital, and Beth Israel Medical Center in New York. He serves on the Steering Committee of DOPPS, is currently co-Chair of ISN’s GO Committee and is a past ISN Council Member. He is the Chair of the Selection Committee for the Lillian Jean Kaplan International Prize for Advancement in the Understanding of Polycystic Kidney Disease. He was President of the Renal Physicians Association (RPA), President of New York Dialysis Services (NYDS) and Chairman of Roche Foundation for Anemia Research (RoFAR).

Jochen G. Raimann, MD, PhD
Senior Principal Scientist
PubMed Entries

In April 2007 Jochen received his Medical degree, after approval of his doctoral thesis, from the Medical University Graz, Austria, and in October 2014 his PhD, after approval and defense of this doctoral thesis, from the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences at the University of Maastricht, Netherlands. Jochen is also certified by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) since January 2009. His research activities and interests include glucose and insulin kinetics and metabolism, dry weight estimation, the determination of body composition and body volumes, bioelectrical impedance, cardiovascular pathology in dialysis patients (blood pressure, heart rate variability), the importance of dialysate and serum sodium in dialysis therapy and the clinical application of saliva urea nitrogen as measured by a dipstick method. Dr. Raimann has first- and co-authored several peer-reviewed papers, abstracts and book chapters, is a member of the Editorial Board of Dialysis Times and NDT Educational, and has also been peer-reviewer for various international journals.

Laura Rosales, MD
Associate Director of the Dialysis Research Laboratory
PubMed Entries

Laura started her clinical research as a research fellow for Beth Israel Medical Center in partnership with RRI. Laura obtained her MD degree from the Central University in Quito, Ecuador and did her residency training in nephrology at the Armed Forces Hospital N1 in Quito. She has been working in clinical research for more than 13 years and has presented her work worldwide. She has authored and co-authored numerous publications in peer reviewed journals. She has collaborated actively with prestigious institutions such as the University of California at Davis, the Medical University of Graz, Austria and the Maastricht University Hospital, Netherlands. She is a member of the American Society of Nephrology and the New York Academy of Sciences.

Penny F. Sheppard
Special Projects Coordinator

Penny has worked at the Renal Research Institute for over 14 years. She currently holds a BA degree and plans on furthering her education. As a Special Projects Coordinator she is in a unique position to assist both Operations and Research colleagues. She is a member of the Research Quality Team (RQT) working collaboratively to maintain the highest standards in clinical and research related documents. Among Penny's many valuable assets to the company would be her excellent skill at editing large databases as well as her gift at auditing. She is an author on 10+ abstracts and holds memberships in various professional societies.

Viviane Calice da Silva, MD
Research Fellow

Viviane Calice da Silva was born in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, received her M.D. from Catholic University of Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil in December of 2005. In January 2011 she obtained her nephrology certification from Pró-rim Foundation in Joinville, Brazil and in september 2011 received her Nephrologist degree by Brazilian Society of Nephrology. In 2013 she started her PhD in Pontifical University of Paraná, Curitiba, Brazil. Worked at Renal Research Institute, New York as a research fellow from International Society of Nephrology between May and July, 2013. Since this year she has been working on a diagnostic tool for acute kidney injury (Saliva Urea Nitrogen dipstick) and in predictors for non-ischemic cardiac diseases in hemodialysis patients.

Stephan Thijssen, MD
Research Laboratory Director
PubMed Entries

Prior to coming to New York, Dr. Thijssen worked in the Nephrology Department at the University Hospital Homburg, Germany. He joined Renal Research Institute in 2005 and has served in his current position as Research Laboratory Director since 2010. Dr. Thijssen brings ten years of research experience to the RRI team. He has written and published an extensive number of scholarly articles in leading national and international journals in the field, and published several book chapters. Dr. Thijssen holds one patent and has ten pending U.S. and international patents in the field of nephrology. Dr. Thijssen provides leadership and direction for RRI research activities and directs the planning, development, coordination and management of RRI research projects, and oversees their execution.

Len Usvyat, PhD
Vice President, Integrated Care Analytics
PubMed Entries

Len Usvyat, PhD started working with Renal Research Institute in 2001 analyzing patient quality data to assure the best and most efficient use of data in improving patient outcomes. He also works closely with the RRI’s Research division on a variety of projects resulting in over one hundred abstracts and 30 manuscripts published in high ranking professional journals. Len holds a Master’s Degree from the University of Pennsylvania and PhD from University of Maastricht. Prior to working at RRI, Len had over 10 years of experience in information technology and data analysis. In August 2012, Len started working as a Director of Integrated Care Analytics with Fresenius Medical Care North America although he still maintains very close ongoing collaboration with RRI.

Caroline Williams, RD
Research Dietitian

While currently working on the Sodium Intervention Study, Caroline had worked on the “Hemo Study” from 1999 to 2002. She has worked as a renal dietitian for St. Johns Queens Hospital from 1990-1998 and has been an active member of the Council on Renal Nutrition since 1991 and acted as its Chair from 2001-2003.

Fansan Zhu, PhD
Senior Research Scientist
PubMed Entries

Fansan studied biomedical signal processing as well as design of biomedical instrumentation at the Department of Bioengineering, Huazhong University of Science & Technology, Wuhan, China from 1992-1996. He was Vice President in Wuhan Miyou Medical Instrument Co., Ltd. Wuhan, China from 1981 to 1989. His research interests are body fluid dynamics and body composition, modeling of electrical properties in tissue and the application of bioimpedance technique for estimating normal hydration in dialysis patients. He is the author of over forty peer-reviewed papers in highly ranked professional journals and is an inventor on six U.S. patents.

Rina Rogov
Executive Assistant

Rina Rogov joined RRI in August as an Executive Assistant to Dr. Peter Kotanko. She has a degree in Computer Science / Information Technology. The first 10 years of her career she spent at a Financial Firm on Wall Street where she started as a Systems Analyst and became a Project Leader on one of the largest and more important systems in the company. After the company was bought out in 2002, she changed her profile when an opportunity arose to join a start-up company as a co-shareholder. She spent the next 10 years as an Executive Assistant to the President and General Office Administrator. She helped run the company while supporting its Executive Founder. Rina is very excited about this new opportunity presented to her at RRI. She hopes to be an asset to this organization and is looking forward to learning about this new and exciting field of research.

Melissa Mendoza
Student Intern

Upon joining RRI in June 2014, Melissa has begun working on the design and implementation of a study demonstrating the importance of physical activity in hemodialysis patients. Melissa is currently working on her Bachelors of Science in Biomedical Engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology. She is excited to be working in clinical research and is looking forward to learning through her experiences at RRI.

Anna Meyring-Wösten, PhD
Research Fellow

In May of 2013, Anna received a Doctoral Degree in Biology at the Westphalian Wilhelms-University Münster, Germany. During her doctoral studies funded by the International Graduate School “Molecular Interactions of Pathogens with Biotic and Abiotic Surfaces” (GRK1409) she investigated the mechanisms underlying viral genome transfer through the nuclear barrier. Furthermore, she worked on a controlled increase of the nuclear pore permeability at the Institute of Physiology II in Münster. Anna joined RRI as a Research fellow in May of 2014, and brings five years of basic research experience to the RRI team. Her research activities and interests include intradialytic vascular refill, interdialytic activity, calcium and phosphate regulation as well as sodium balance.

Maggie Han
Student Intern

Maggie graduated with a bachelor’s degree from New York University where she studied economics and pre-medical sciences. During her time at New York University, Maggie studied the inheritance of epigenetics in fission yeasts. She is currently examining how to improve physical activity in hemodialysis patients. She is very excited to learn from her first experience in clinical research.

Hanjie Zhang

Hanjie Zhang, a Statistician joined RRI in June 2014. She works in the RRI’s Research division on a variety of projects, and also work on the predictive modeling, including generalized linear models, generalized additive models, tree models, SVM, KNN, and K means. She graduated from Columbia University with a Master Degree in Statistics in Oct. 2013. Prior to working at RRI, Hanjie worked in Columbia University Medical Center for 4 years with experiences in environmental health related research and data analysis.

Vaibhav Mheshwari, PhD
Research Fellow

Vaibhav Maheshwari joined RRI as an research fellow in August 2014. He is a chemical engineer by training and received his PhD from the National University of Singapore. After his PhD, he was a research fellow in Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School where he worked in the area of Design of experiments for computer simulations. His PhD research focused on toxin kinetic modeling and model based design of experiments. Vaibhav designed and executed pilot clinical trials related to studying the effect of intra-dialytic exercise on physiological changes and studying the effect of dialysate temperature on toxin removal. He brings 6 years of inter-disciplinary research experience in mathematical modeling, model-based design of experiments, optimization, and multi-variate statistical data analysis. His current research in RRI focuses on kinetics of protein-bound toxins and acetate-bicarbonate balance.

Schantel Williams, RN
Clinical Research Coordinator

Schantel joined RRI as a Clinical Research Coordinator in September 2014. She received her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from New York University. She has many years of experience working in clinical research, primarily as a research nurse and coordinator. Currently she will be working with the RRI researchers on study coordination as well as on the Research Quality Team.

Xiaoling Ye
Clinical Systems Database Analyst

Xiaoling joined RRI as a Clinical Systems Database Analyst in October 2014 to support the day to day data analytical activities of the research group. She received her Masters degree of Public Health from Tulane University in May 2014. Before she joined RRI, Xiaoling was working two years in clinical research, epidemiology research and data analysis.