Leadership

Kane John photo 5X7

John Kane, MD, Founder

John Kane is a founder and Board Member of the Vanguard Research Group. He serves as Senior VP of Behavioral Health Services for Northwell Health and is also Professor and Chairman of Psychiatry at The Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell. John has been the Principal Investigator on numerous grants from NIMH as well as the pharmaceutical industry. He has authored over 500 publications in peer reviewed journals and has served as President of the Schizophrenia International Research Society, The American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology and The Psychiatric Research Society.

He has also chaired the Food and Drug Administration’s Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Committee. He received his BA from Cornell University and his MD from the New York University School of Medicine.

He enjoys tennis, squash and skiing.

John is very pleased to be able to participate in a consortium of dedicated clinicians across the U.S. who are eager to develop new treatments and new clinical strategies for helping people with mental illnesses.

Patricia Marcy, Executive Director

Patricia is the Executive Director of the Vanguard Research Group. She has spent the last 8 years of her career working with community mental health clinics across the country. Patricia, “finds it energizing to be able to partner with clinicians in the community on implementing new treatments and improving the care of their patients.”

Patricia started her career at The University of Michigan Hospital and then spent 7 years at Pfizer, Inc. in clinical operations before moving to Northwell Health. Prior to her position in Vanguard, she was the Director, Clinical Research Programs in Psychiatry Research, at Northwell Health. As Director she led the RAISE Early Treatment Program (RAISE ETP) and the Improving Care and Reducing Cost Program (ICRC) which were both successful in recruiting a large number of patients from community clinics across the country. She received her B.S.N. from The University of Michigan. In her spare time she enjoys cooking for friends and family.

Vivianne Dillon, Director Program Operations

Vivianne joined the Vanguard Research Group in 2014. Prior to that, she worked for 2 years at a small CRO, which specialized in managing Infectious Disease studies. However, her main clinical research experience was obtained during 11 years at Pfizer. Vivianne’s role covers a wide range of responsibilities to ensure that trials are conducted under good clinical practice. While she liked working in the lab during the early part of her career, she “wanted to witness a more direct impact of medicinal research on patients, so she moved into the clinical trial space”. In addition, working for VRG, has exposed her to a new therapeutic area, that permits a better understanding of those suffering from serious mental illness.

Vivianne particularly appreciates that the size of the company allows her to wear several different hats. Vivianne received her degree in Molecular Biology from the University of Edinburgh, but has lived in the U.S. in the many years since. When not busying herself with work related matters, she likes to get outside in an effort to improve her limited golf skills. She also exercises considerable restraint in not collecting a whole clowder of cats!

Marta Hauser, Director, Outreach

Marta is the Director of Outreach for the Vanguard Research Group. She has 13 years of research experience in diverse roles. Marta “finds it exciting to create opportunities for sites and sponsors by expending the Vanguard Research Group site network and connecting sites and sponsors in their effort to improve patient care”.
Marta is a licensed psychologist and received her PhD from the Charité Medical University, Berlin, Germany. Prior to her current role, Marta held positions in the research and clinical departments of two large health systems and practiced psychotherapy in faculty practice. Marta loves to spend her spare time with outdoor activities.

Angelo Pellicone, Sr. Administrative Director

Angelo Pellicone has been the Senior Administrative Director at the Vanguard Research Group (VRG) since September 2017. He has been employed at Northwell Health since 1995. Angelo enjoys the challenging work at VRG because “we can help an identified patient population participate in clinical trials, which may not have otherwise had the opportunity”.

Prior to his current position at VRG, he was the Human Resources Business Partner for the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. He has held various positions within Corporate Human Resources and Northwell Health’s Corporate University, the Center for Learning and Innovation as well. Angelo is a Certified Master Black Belt and has led numerous Six Sigma and Lean projects. He has received a Master’s degree in Public Administration and a BA in Psychology. Angelo enjoys all outdoor and athletic activities.

Team

Priya Matneja, Assistant Director

Priya’s current role is Assistant Director, Program Operations at the Vanguard Research Group. She started her Northwell Health career over 15 years ago, and successfully continues to make contributions to numerous clinical research programs. She felt fortunate after joining VRG, “to discover that the commitment and passion displayed by the leadership inspired her to redouble her efforts to bring new treatments to those suffering from mental health issues”. Her experience, first as a coordinator, and then as a program manager, has exposed her to all aspects of clinical trials and allows her to work closely with sponsors and community mental health clinics.

Priya received her BA in Psychology from Queens College, and is currently working toward a Master’s Degree in Psychology as well. In her spare time, Priya enjoys spending time with her family, cooking and travelling.

Cristina Gomes Gonzalez , Assistant Director

Cristina is currently an assistant directors of Program Operations for the Vanguard Research Group. She started her career at the Center of Neuropsychiatry Outcomes and Rehabilitation Research (CENORR) back in 1997 as a research assistant. Prior to her position in Vanguard, she was a senior Supervising Research coordinator at Northwell Health. This combined experience has provided her with invaluable knowledge leading to the successful management of cross-functional teams to drive timely and effective execution of complex clinical research trials.  Cristina “finds fulfillment in her work which involves many different types of mental health providers scattered across the country, by helping them conduct research. The common aim is to improve the lives of patients with mental health conditions”.
Cristina received her B.A from Long Island University CW Post and completed her Master’s coursework in clinical neuropsychological from Drexel University. In her spare time she enjoys working on puzzles and spending time with family and friends.

Joseph Interlandi, Administrative Manager

Joe has been the Administrative Manager at VRG since its creation in 2014. Prior to that Joe worked in Northwell’s Psych Research Dept in a similar role. In his career, he has held various Finance positions with Starbucks, Avis, Computer Associates, and Ballen Isles Country Club. Joe provides a lot of Finance and Administrative work for VRG. He “enjoys working within a small team environment in a supportive role for all VRG staff”.
He received his B.S. in Business Administration Finance from Dowling College in 1997. In his spare time, Joe is an avid hockey fan and enjoys playing in competitive leagues.

Harpreet Bhullar, Administrative Manager

Harpreet Bhullar has been with Northwell Health since 2010 and has been Administrative Manager since October 2017. She previously held the title of Coordinator when she joined the Vanguard Research Group in 2014. Harpreet appreciates the work that VRG does in research, “VRG is contributing to science and helping to improve the quality of life of people with serious mental illness”.
Harpreet received her Bachelors of Science in Business Administration from CUNY – York College. Harpreet enjoys traveling to new places and learning the local culture.

Melissa Naraine, Program Manager

Melissa has been a Program Manager at Vanguard Research Group since 2016. Before joining Vanguard, she worked in the psychiatry research department at Northwell Health as a senior research coordinator. Currently, Melissa oversees conduct of the PRELAPSE study, which involves close to 40 sites spread throughout the United States. Melissa “enjoys working with sponsors and agencies to implement clinical trials, because she is drawn to learning more about how both existing and novel treatments can be used to improve the lives of those with illnesses and disorders”.
Melissa received her B.A. in Psychology from Queens College and her M.A. in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College. In her free time, Melissa likes to garden and spend time with family and friends.

Jessica Greenberg, Program Manager

Jessica Greenberg joined Vanguard Research Group in 2016. She starting working in research as an undergraduate she has worked on human subjects research for over 15 years, most recently in the Psychiatry Research Department at Northwell Health as Senior Research Coordinator. After working as a School Psychologist for a couple years, Jessica started to miss working in research so switched career paths and has not looked back since.

At Vanguard, Jessica oversees multiple studies, while also conducting and consulting on clinical ratings. Jessica finds “the opportunity to be on the frontline of discovering new treatments for mental illness is an extremely fulfilling professional experience”.
Jessica received her M.S. in School Psychology from St. John’s University in 2006. In her free time, Jessica volunteers with an animal rescue and enjoys outdoor activities like camping and going to the beach.

Benley J George, Program Manager

Benley is the Program Manager at Vanguard Research Group. As a Program Manager, Benley plays an important cross functional role on the study implementation team to ensure continued program success in Schizophrenia multi-site trials at VRG. He directs, and provides leadership to effectuate the timely launch and execution of new and current clinical trials. He has spent the last 12 years of his career working in various healthcare and clinical research roles across the country. Benley “finds it rewarding being involved in clinical research since it plays an important role in discovering new treatments, enhancing medical knowledge and advancing patient care”.

Benley has worked and contributed in Healthcare systems in the Detroit area and across the country, before moving to Northwell Health in 2014. Prior to joining VRG, Benley was part of the clinical research team in the Department of Internal Medicine where he played a key role in PI initiated and Industry sponsored clinical trials for the Division of Gastroenterology. As a clinical researcher, Benley conducted many Endoscopy and IBD trials which saw the innovation, advancement and improvement in health within the community. Benley received his Doctor of Medicine degree and completed his medical training in England. He has also received his Master’s in Health Services Administration from St. Joseph’s Catholic College of Maine. In his spare time, he loves to travel and enjoys playing soccer.

Susan Ray, Program Manager

Susan has been a Program Manager at the Vanguard Research Group since December 2017. She started working in research as an undergraduate and continued to do so while completing her MS in clinical psychology at Florida State University.
She continued her clinical research career and has spent the last 28 years working within various research roles at Northwell Health. Susan finds it extremely satisfying to collaborate with clinicians and other colleagues to provide high quality research opportunities for patients. In her spare time, she enjoys outdoor activities.

Ian Douglas, Site Clinical Research Manager

Ian has been a Site Clinical Research Manager at Vanguard Research Group since 2016. Prior to that, he worked with us as a Coordinator. Ian helps manage the clinical research sites participating in our studies, and maintains the quality of our data on the PRELAPSE study. Ian finds working for Vanguard meaningful “because of the far-reaching impact multi-site research can have on the treatment outcomes and well-being of severely mentally ill patients”.
He received his B.S. in Psychology from Trinity College with a concentration in social psychology. In his free time, he enjoys playing guitar and searching for the best slice of pizza in New York!

May Heltsley, Site Clinical Research Manager

May joined Vanguard Research Group in 2014 after working at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in the Northwell Health organization as a research coordinator. At Vanguard, May splits her time conducting clinical rating assessments on research subjects and supporting clinical sites with study startup procedures. May “finds it intriguing to see the development of an investigative drug or treatment modality during the early processes of a research study”.
May received a B.S. in Psychology from Syracuse University in 2008 and a M.S. in Biomedical Sciences from New York Medical College in 2010. Altogether, she has been within the Northwell family for over 5 years. In her free time, May loves connecting with family and relatives across the globe.

Sylwia Sobolewska, Site Clinical Research Manager

Sylwia started working with the Vanguard Research Group in October 2017; after working at the Center for Liver Diseases within Northwell Health as a Research Coordinator. Within Vanguard, Sylwia supports clinical sites with study startup procedures. Sylwia “understands the importance of the work at VRG because it is here where we get the opportunity to partner with clinicians and provide new and better treatment options and personal care to patients”.
Sylwia received a B.S. in Biology from The University of Scranton in 2014. When she’s not working, she can be found exploring the outdoors, playing with her dog Filip, or shredding the mountains.

Christian Arena, Site Clinical Research Manager

Christian is a Site Clinical Research Manager at Vanguard Research Group. Christian states “his favorite part of working for Vanguard is working with new studies that can make a positive impact on patient’s lives”. Prior to that, he worked as a Regulatory Manager at Clinical Research Alliance, Inc.
Christian received his B.A. in Fine Arts at Adelphi University. In his spare time he enjoys sports and music.

Laura Morizio, Psychometrician

Laura joined Vanguard Research Group when it formed in 2014, after working as a Research Coordinator at Northwell Health since 2013. Laura’s curiosity and compassion make her a natural fit for research. As a psychometrician for Vanguard, Laura “enjoys speaking with patients from all over the country in order to better understand their experiences. Laura’s favorite part of working for Vanguard is hearing individual success stories from patients whom she’s interviewed before”.
Laura received her B.S. in Psychology from Fordham University and is currently a third-year doctoral student at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. In her free time, Laura loves dancing, camping, and live music.