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 serves as a Co-Investigator for the Bioimpedance Analysis in the General Population study as well as editor for the Dialysis Times and The Research Insider Newsletter. Subsequently she also assists with the Sustainable Kidney Care Foundation, whether it be trying to find fundraising opportunities, charitable donations or updating the website with current programs or conferences dedicated to the mission statement.

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.

Christine Crabtree
Regulatory Coordinator

Christine studied premedical sciences at Columbia University, and has several years of clinical research experience and experience working with postdoctoral research fellows. Currently, she is responsible for the documentation for all research projects, and she works closely with investigators and IRBs to ensure ICH and GCP compliance. She also works with RRI clinics on GCP training, and helps to prepare the clinics for future research studies.

Doris Helene Fuertinger, PhD
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
Research Scientist
PubMed Entries

In April 2007 Jochen received his Medical degree, after approval of his doctoral thesis, from the Medical University Graz, Austria, and is 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, the determination of body composition and body volumes, bioelectrical impedance, cardiovascular pathology in dialysis patients (blood pressure, heart rate variability), citrate anticoagulation, calcium kinetics during dialysis, dietary and dialytic restriction, 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 has been Peer-Reviewer for various international journals.

Aurelio A. de los Reyes V, Ph.D.
Research Fellow

In April 2010, Aurelio obtained Dr. rer. nat in Mathematics at Karl-Franzens University, Graz, Austria where he worked on stabilizing control mechanism in the cardiovascular system. He did postdoctoral research in Switzerland for 2 years in 2010-2012 studying the effects of protein dimerization in GAL network dynamics. Prior to joining RRI in January 2014, he was a postdoc fellow at Konkuk University, Seoul, South Korea working on optimal control techniques to find treatment strategies for glioblastoma multiforme which is an aggressive type of brain tumor. He is currently working on modeling vascular refilling during ultrafiltration in hemodialysis.

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

Prior to RRI Penny was employed by Bear Stearns, Inc. as a Registered Sales Assistant where she was licensed and registered to trade. She holds her B.A. in Health Science. Penny maintains a unique position as she is both part of the Operations team as well as a published member of the Research team.

Viviane Calice da Silva, MD
Research Fellow

Viviane Calice da Silva joined RRI as a research fellow in March 2014. In December of 2005 she received her M.D. from Catholic University of Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. 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 which is a partner of RRI. Starting 2013 she has been working on a diagnostic tool for acute kidney injury (Saliva Urea Nitrogen dipstick) and in predictive factors for non-ischemic cardiac diseases in hemodialysis patients.

Stephan Thijssen, MD
Research Laboratory Director
PubMed Entries

Prior to coming to New York, Stephan worked in the Nephrology Department of the University Hospital Homburg, Germany. In 2005, Dr. Thijssen joined the Renal Research team as a Research Fellow and later became the Institute's Associate Research Laboratory Director in late 2007 and then Research Laboratory Director in 2010. Dr. Thijssen brings seven years of research experience to the RRI team. He is author and co-author of five book chapters and co-inventor on five pending patents related to his field of research. Dr. Thijssen's primary responsibility is comprehensive study project management, from study design to oversight of study execution to biostatistical guidance and supervision of manuscript preparation.

Len Usvyat, PhD
Director, 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.

Leslie Xiao, MS
Clinical Systems Database Analyst

Leslie received her MS in Statistics from Cornell University and joined RRI in 2012. She works closely with the database group to assure the best and most efficient use of the database as well as the analysis of data. She is also working with the research division to help build statistical models on a variety of projects.

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.