Management Team

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Karen Barker

Senior Vice President, Europe

Karen Barker has more than 30 years of experience in the pharma, biotech, and CRO industries at companies including PRA, INC, and Omnicare. Karen has an extensive strategic, operational, and financial track record managing Clinical Operations, Project Management, and Study Start-Up within complex matrix environments throughout Europe and Asia-Pacific.

An exceptional people manager with a very loyal following, Karen can quickly and effectively build and maintain stable, high-performing teams, generating solid operational and financial performance. She has successfully managed numerous company integrations and mergers, ensuring project, departmental, company, and employee continuity and growth.

Karen is responsible for Premier Research’s business in Europe focusing on customer, community and employee engagement. She has a specific interest in oncology and is an active member of the PharmaTimes International Steering Committee and an oncology patient advocacy group.

Information Technology

LaRae Bennett

Senior Director, Data & Analytics

LaRae Bennett joined Premier Research in 2017 as Senior Director, Data Analytics. She brings more than 25 years of experience, building and leading teams that enable and facilitate corporations to recognize the full potential of their enterprise data as an asset. Ms. Bennett’s career in information technology has focused on the areas of data warehousing, data modeling, data integrations, and data analytics. Her expertise spans across industries as she has worked at companies such as Research Triangle Institute, ABB, Duke University Health Technologies, PPD, and Oracle. Ms. Bennett has an extensive background in data and data strategies including social and economic, international development, hospital and health, manufacturing, consulting services, and clinical research.

A visionary leader, she is able to bring together people with different backgrounds and skill levels and develop them into a highly functioning team with a focus on delivering an enterprise data strategy.

Today, Ms. Bennett leads a team that focuses on the areas of data integrations, data discovery, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, as well as exploring new capabilities and concepts to enable Premier Research to differentiate itself as a data and technology leader in support of clinical trial research. She thrives on the challenges that come with technology and the use of data that enables business transformation.


Nach Davé

Vice President, Development Strategy

Nach Davé provides strategic and commercial input for Premier Research’s business activities. He brings more than 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and contract research industries to the position. He previously served as the Vice President of Regulatory at Premier and has been in leadership positions at both CROs and sponsor companies.

Mr. Davé previously led clinical and regulatory affairs at Maxx Orthopedics, a developer of orthopedic medical devices, and has held roles in clinical operations, business development, strategic consulting and medical affairs at companies such as Merck, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Aventis Pharmaceuticals and Mitsubishi Pharma America.

In his current role, Mr. Davé brings innovative solutions and grow Premier’s footprint in the areas of medical device development, real-world evidence, and government relations. He is keen to explore how innovative technology like AI, ML, and other developments can best support the growth of Premier’s business.

Mr. Davé holds a master’s degree in drug regulatory affairs from Long Island University and a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from the University of Sciences-Philadelphia. He is a registered pharmacist.

Statistical Consulting

Abie Ekangaki

Vice President, Statistical Consulting

Abie Ekangaki is responsible for providing strategic planning, coordination, knowledge, and expertise in biostatistics for projects and/or standalone consultative services for both internal and external clients. He supports the Business Development and Operations efforts for key customers to design and manage effective and efficient clinical trials/programs bringing specific statistical, drug development, and operational knowledge in the respective area of focus.

With more than 20 years of experience as a biostatistician, Dr. Ekangaki has worked as a research scientist with the World Health Organization in Switzerland, as a statistics lecturer at Macquarie University in Australia, and has held several technical and senior leadership positions in the pharmaceutical industry. Given his more than 17 years in the pharmaceutical industry. He is experienced at applying and advising on the statistical design and analysis of clinical trials in various therapeutic areas, from proof of concept and beyond.

Dr. Ekangaki received his PhD in statistics from the University of Southampton, UK.

Medical Device

Vicki Gashwiler

Executive Director, Medical Device

Vicki Gashwiler joined Premier Research in 2019 as the executive director of strategic development in the Medical Device group. She brings over 20 years of health care experience and 15 years of experience in the medical device industry, both on the sponsor and CRO sides. Prior to her industry experience, Vicki began her career as a registered nurse in 2000, working on cardiac, critical care and out-patient orthopedic surgical units. She started her industry career as a clinical research associate at Abbott Vascular and had the opportunity to advance in the operations group as a clinical trial manager and then as a project manager. During her time at Abbott Vascular, Vicki supported global clinical trials spanning across Europe, Canada, Latin America, Australia, the US and the Asia-Pacific. Her time at Abbott provided her an extensive understanding of complex trial execution on a global scale, diverse team management and global regulatory processes and timelines.

In 2014, Vicki joined Novella Clinical in a project manager role, gaining experience on the vendor side of clinical trial delivery. She filled roles of increasing responsibility while at Novella, including senior project manager, program director, associate director, and director of Strategic Development & Market Access. During her time at Novella, Vicki gained experience in oncology and dermatologic devices, endocrinology, weight management, orthopedics, as well as additional cardiac and vascular device trials. Vicki brings a high level understanding of market development and trends as well as a deep therapeutic knowledge of many disease processes and the clinical trials to intervene upon them.


Ashish Jain

Vice President, Asia-Pacific

Ashish Jain has more than two decades of clinical research experience in India, Singapore, and the U.S. Ashish is responsible for Premier Research’s business in Asia-Pacific region and ensuring company’s continuous expansion, smooth project delivery and customer satisfaction. Mr. Jain is also responsible for commercial opportunities in the Asian market and established a Premier Research corporate support services center in Asia.

Mr. Jain has vast experience in creating and implementing business strategies, effectively managing human resources, developing effective customer relationships, and managing financial plans. He has set up new clinical research units and built businesses across Asia Pacific, acquired companies, and integrated businesses across continents.

Strategic Development

Michael King Jolly

Senior Vice President, Strategic Development

Michael King Jolly joined Premier Research in 2016 to oversee strategic drug development partnerships and to implement innovative technologies and alliances. He has more than 35 years of clinical research and drug development experience, having held senior positions in strategic partnering, medical and regulatory affairs, clinical operations, and R&D at some of the industry’s leading companies.

Dr. Jolly holds a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Texas-Austin and a bachelor’s degree in zoology from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and is a graduate of the Burroughs Wellcome Management Institute. He teaches at the School of Pharmacy at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Medical Device

Janet Kube

Senior Director, Program Delivery, Medical Device & Diagnostics

Janet Kube is responsible for ensuring operational excellence in collaboration with leadership and in support of the overall Medical Device & Diagnostics group, including collaborating with global resourcing on assignments as well as activity and metrics reporting, overseeing assigned project managers and directors, and empowering them to lead and direct global cross-functional teams and manage client expectations to achieve client satisfaction. In her role, Mrs. Kube also operates at a strategic support level for complex, critical, therapeutically aligned programs through key stakeholder engagement and cross-functional management.

With more than 20 years of experience in clinical drug development as well as medical device licensing exclusively in the CRO environment, she has taken on the responsibility of operational delivery on various trials and clients, with a focus on the cardiovascular as well as the orthopedic and pediatric fields. Before joining the drug development industry, Mrs. Kube worked as a Registered Pediatric Nurse in several departments of the pediatric hospital, including the neuro-pediatric and oncology ward.


Peter Larson

Executive Medical Director, Oncology & Hematology

Peter Larson is the executive medical director for Hematology-Oncology at Premier Research. Dr. Larson supports the drug development work of the innovative biotech companies that compose most of Premier Research’s customer base, bringing to the role over 20 years of clinical development and medical affairs experience. He has a background spanning large pharma, startup biotech, and contract research.

Larson’s therapeutic expertise includes hematology, oncology, transfusion and cellular therapies, hereditary coagulation disorders, acute myelogenous leukemia, acute lymphocytic leukemia, multiple myeloma, solid tumors, and virology. His product platform experience includes small molecules, biological products including monoclonal antibodies, cellular therapies, and gene transfer technologies. Prior to joining the industry, he was an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in biology and an M.D. from the University of North Carolina, Larson trained in internal medicine, transfusion medicine, and blood banking.

Cell & Gene Therapy

April Marquick

Senior Regulatory Start-Up Manager, Cell & Gene Therapy

Dr. April Marquick is a passionate cell and gene therapy expert with demonstrated ability to deliver regulatory impact throughout all stages of a clinical trial and translate these skills to post-marketing. She is proactive in nature with a proven record of developing and executing international and regional strategies and contingencies for cell and gene therapy clinical trials. With over eight years’ experience in both research and the regulatory industry, Dr. Marquick has worked with the global regulatory department at several companies.

She has acquired significant experience with managing complex clinical trials (phase 1-3), and post-marketing safety studies (phase 4, compassionate use programs) in the EU and UK, APAC, North and South America, and the Middle East. Dr. Marquick also has varied experience within the rare disease and pediatric field. She has led global early phase projects focused on an array of innovative therapies from adeno-associated viral vectors, lentiviral vectors, oncolytic viruses and adaptive T-cell approaches, in combination with medical device components for complex administration systems.

Dr. Marquick holds a Ph.D. in biomolecular engineering (drug discovery) from the University of Montpellier, France. She obtained her master’s degree in chemistry from Cardiff University, UK, and is fluent in English and French.


Scott Millard

Vice President, Analgesia

Scott Millard has spent his 25-plus year career focused in analgesia study delivery overseeing the strategy through to execution for analgesia programs. Mr. Millard’s leadership of the analgesia business and study execution expertise is the perfect pairing to provide sponsors with clean data that can be used confidently to support the marketing applications for their drugs in development.

Since joining Premier Research, Mr. Millard has served in a variety of roles with increasing scope and responsibility, including Senior Clinical Research Associate, Team Lead, Senior Manager, Project Manager, Senior Project Manager, Project Director, Senior Director, Executive Director, and Vice President. Mr. Millard served at a director level managing project managers and sponsor programs, specializing in analgesia and rheumatology.

Mr. Millard has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas and was certified as a Certified Clinical Research Associate in 1995 by the ACRP.

Regulatory Affairs

Kristi Miller

Vice President, Regulatory Affairs Strategy, RPI, a Division of Premier Research

Kristi Miller leads a diverse, cross-functional team of regulatory affairs professionals at RPI, A Division of Premier Research, to develop and implement global regulatory strategy in conjunction with clients across all stages of development and therapeutic areas, including neurology, immunology, and oncology. Prior to joining RPI, Dr. Miller was the Director of Global Regulatory Affairs at Phamacyclics and previously spent 10 years at Genentech in regulatory affairs, providing regulatory leadership and executed strategy for products across development (pre-IND through post-marketing), including indications in asthma and ophthalmology.

Dr. Miller holds a bachelor’s degree in genetic engineering from Cedar Crest College and a Ph.D. in tumor cell biology from Northwestern University.

Study Start-Up

Andrea Ochoa

Vice President, Global Study Start-Up

Andrea Ochoa is Vice President, Global Study Start-Up, at Premier Research. Ms. Ochoa has more than 19 years of clinical operations experience in a variety of roles, specializing in study start-up for the past 10 years. In her current role, she oversees Premier Research’s start-up function while providing expert advice and strategies to operationalize and navigate the complex global regulatory and start-up environment.

Prior to joining Premier Research, Ms. Ochoa held several positions of increasing responsibility at MDS Pharma Services and INC Research. She has a master’s degree in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy from the Luria Institute in Madrid, Spain, and bachelor’s degrees in psychology (National Distance Education University, Madrid) and law (Complutense University of Madrid). Ms. Ochoa is certified as Lean Sigma Green Belt since 2009.

Specialty Areas

Angi Robinson

Vice President, Rare Disease & Pediatrics

Angi Robinson has been conducting pediatric and rare disease studies at Premier Research for more than 15 years. She has provided oversight and full management support for over 30 rare disease studies, including multiple U.S. and global programs. She has also supported FDA pre-IND meetings, IND submissions, and NDA/BLA project directorship.

Ms. Robinson helped launch the first Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act Coordinating Center, collaborating with leadership staff at NICHD. She served as the Project Manager for highly complex trials including pediatric sedation in the PICU and pediatric bipolar disorder. Ms. Robinson’s experience includes multiple study designs including PK/PD, adaptive design, and FDA fast track and breakthrough therapy designations. She has also directed several studies requiring the oversight of data safety monitoring boards and data monitoring committees.

Ms. Robinson earned a bachelor’s degree in cell and molecular biology from Tulane University in New Orleans, LA.

Product Development

Sameena Sharif

President, RPI, A Division of Premier Research

Sameena Sharif is President at RPI, A Division of Premier Research. With more than 20 years of industry experience, Dr. Sharif has extensive experience in managing complex drug development projects and programs ranging from early target identification to NDA/MAA and launch. Her experience covers biologics, small-molecule drug development, and portfolio management. She was the Project Lead for multiple development programs, seeing them from Phase 1 through to Phase 3, in oncology, hematology, and inflammatory disease.

Dr. Sharif is a skilled project manager who functions effectively in matrixed environments in both established and virtual teams. She built a pharma start-up from the ground up and has formed and led cohesive, highly productive teams within organizations and jointly with customers. Prior to joining RPI, Sameena was a senior executive for several small pharma/biopharma sponsors, including QED Therapeutics, Astex Pharmaceuticals, Cellerant Therapeutics, Exelixis, PDL Biopharma, Abgenix, and Aradigm, specializing in oncology, hematology malignancies, inflammatory disease, pain, pediatric achondroplasia, cell therapy, and rare diseases.

She has a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from the University of Bradford and a Ph.D. in pharmaceutical drug development from the University of Nottingham, and completed vaccine development post-doctoral research at the School of Pharmacy, University of Nottingham.

Information Technology

Nate Thompson

Chief Information Officer

Nate Thompson has been serving as our Chief Information Officer since early 2017 and now also leads the Global Facilities and Corporate Administration functions. Technology by itself is seldom a solution, but it plays a central role in bringing business outcomes to life. Nate has significantly enhanced the capability, expertise and customer service in Premier Research’s IT organization, delivering on multiple initiatives to enhance and scale our capabilities to better serve our customers.

Nate compares his work supporting medical research with his passion for surfing – “110% commitment while paddling for a wave is the only way to ensure you’ll actually catch the wave,” he says. No commitment….no wave. That principle applies equally in developing people, processes, and technologies that drive efficiency and inspire innovation in clinical research.

With more than 18 years of corporate IT experience, Nate joined Premier Research in 2017 from INC Research, where he was Executive Director of Enterprise Architecture and Innovation. Prior to joining INC Research, he was Corporate Network Manager for Kendle International. He also worked in network administration for market research firm BASES and at Jackson General Hospital.

Nate sees the future of drug development as more promising than ever. “More and more professionals are dedicating their lives to developing therapies that improve world health, and advances in technology are helping drive innovation. I think anything is possible when our industry works together in support of a common cause.”

Data Protection

Victoria Watts

Global Data Protection Officer

Victoria Watts, CIPT, is the Global Data Protection Officer at Premier Research.  She has compliance and legal risk management experience in a variety of industries, most recently within clinical research. Ms. Watts has extensive experience formulating, operationalizing, and implementing data protection compliance programs and is an expert in interpreting the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as it relates to clinical research. Prior to joining Premier Research, she held positions of increasing responsibility in the fields of data protection and legal compliance.

Ms. Watts has a Master of Studies from the University of Oxford and both a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Law in the United Kingdom and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Royal Holloway, University of London. In the field of data protection, she is a Certified Information Privacy Technologist (CIPT) and holds other relevant certifications.  Ms. Watts is currently a member of the Training Advisory Board of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) as well as a key contributor to the European CRO Federation (EUCROF) initiative to draft a GDPR Code of Conduct for the CRO industry.

Clinical Informatics

Stacy Weil

Senior Vice President, Clinical Data Operations, Strategic Business Optimization

Stacy Weil translates Premier Research’s strategy into actionable data initiatives that enable internal and external customers to achieve the highest level of performance and success. Prior to joining Premier Research, Ms. Weil was Vice President of Clinical Data Operations at PatientiP and held prior roles in leadership in the process improvement, data analytics, learning services, and project management groups at a large, global CRO.

Ms. Weil’s operations experience includes project management and therapeutic leadership in endocrine/metabolic, immunology, urology, women’s health, neuroscience, respiratory, and urology. Her trial oversight includes global and domestic trials and teams in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, and the European Union. She holds a master’s degree in biomedical informatics from the University of Texas-Health and is currently working toward a doctoral degree in health informatics through the University of Texas-Health.

Gene & Cell Therapy

Hanna Wide

Executive Director, Cell & Gene Therapy

Hanna Wide provides oversight for clinical projects and programs within the rare disease and pediatric space specializing in gene therapy in rare indications. Her role is focused on operational strategy and oversight of trials including rare genetic, metabolic, and rare neuroscience indications. She has previously worked as a Project Director and Project Manager at Premier Research managing clinical trials within rare genetic diseases and pediatric research. Ms. Wide has over 10 years of experience of CRO project management in various CROs, most of which has been dedicated to rare disease trials.