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John G. Sonnenberg, PhD
President & Investigator
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John G. Sonnenberg, PhD, earned both Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Clinical Psychology from Northwestern University and is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. He founded Uptown Research Institute in 2001 and has served as Principal Investigator on over 100 clinical trials, researching with and consulting to pharmaceutical companies. He publishes in peer-reviewed journals and maintains particular expertise in cognition and schizophrenia. Additionally, he serves as Volunteer Faculty at Northwestern University’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

Andrew Kulik, MD
Medical Director
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Andrew Kulik, MD, a Board Certified Psychiatrist, joined Uptown Research as Medical Director in May 2017. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Birmingham Southern College, his medical degree from Grace University School of Medicine, was Chief Resident at the University of Illinois Medical Center and completed a Forensic Fellowship at the University of Maryland Medical Center. He currently serves as Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry for the Cook County Health and Hospitals System, where he oversees psychiatric services for two county hospitals, fifteen outpatient clinics, and several other county-affiliated programs. Prior to joining Uptown Research, he conducted research on recidivism of incarcerated females, and PTSD in the female population, as well as participated in immunology research at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. As Medical Director at Uptown Research, he oversees administrative and safety processes, consults with patients, and provides clinical supervision to staff.

Sarah Farwick, DNP, MSN, PMHNP-BC, CCRC
Doctor of Nursing Practice & Investigator
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Sarah Farwick, DNP, MSN, PMHNP-BC, CCRC, holds a Master of Science in Psychiatric Nursing from Indiana University and a Doctorate of Nursing Practice from Indiana University. She is certified as an ANCC Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner and currently, serves as a Member-at-Large for the Illinois APNA. She was the 2016 recipient of the Lee Dennison Fuller Award for Psychiatric Nursing Research. She has served as a psychiatric staff nurse, program director, and chief nursing officer in psychiatric hospitals in Indiana and Illinois. She currently serves as investigator at Uptown Research.

Diane Cohen, JD
Chief Operating Officer
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Diane Cohen, JD, is returning to Uptown Research as its Chief Operating Officer after serving in an operations and marketing capacity 12 years ago. Coming most recently from the not-for-profit sector, she has more than 25 years experience in all aspect of operations including project management, team leadership, marketing,fundraising, human resources, finance, and facilities oversight. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her law degree from Loyola University.

Gwen Jacobs, RN, MS, CCRC
Senior Clinical Research Nurse
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Gwen Jacobs, RN, MS, CCRC, earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Michigan. She has over two decades of research experience having served as a Research Nurse at Uptown Research Institute since 2001. She also serves on advisory boards for pharmaceutical companies.

Veronica Marin, CCRC
Clinical Research Coordinator
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Veronica Marin, CCRC received her bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Following graduation, she worked in a lab at Northwestern University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. She also worked as a research coordinator conducting memory and cognition research. In pursuit of growth in the clinical field she joined Uptown Research Institute in January of 2016.

Alecia E. Halstead, MD, MBA
Clinical Research Coordinator
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Alecia E. Halstead, MD, MBA, earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Loyola University at Chicago along with a Gender Studies minor. She earned her medical degree from Atlantic University School of Medicine and her Master of Business Administration in Health Care Management from Davenport University. Dr. Halstead currently serves as a Clinical Research Coordinator in neuroscience clinical trials.

Elizabeth King
Intake and Recruitment Coordinator
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Elizabeth King earned her bachelor’s degree from Augustana College in Psychology and Spanish. She comes to Uptown Research Institute with 10 years of bilingual case management experience in psychiatric hospitals, acute residential settings, and Medicare/Medicaid insurance. She has extensive experience working with diverse populations including children and adults with developmental disabilities, as well as undocumented minors. Additionally, she has spearheaded program development and staff training efforts at a major insurance corporation. As Intake and Recruitment Coordinator at Uptown Research, she liaisons with our community partners and directs patient intake recruitment efforts.

Stephen J. Schneider, LCPC
Regulatory Coordinator
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Stephen J. Schneider, LCPC, earned his Bachelor of Science degree at Illinois State University, and his Master of Arts in Counseling at Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio. He has worked in the mental health field since 2002, having served as a family therapist, mental health counselor, and a team leader on an intensive care psychiatric unit. Currently, he serves as a Clinical Research Associate at Uptown Research, where he coordinates client intake and community outreach.

Florida Williams
Recruitment Specialist
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Florida Wiliams received her Bachelor of Science degree from National Louis University in Applied Behavioral Science. She has over twenty-four years of experience providing and managing mental health services. In addition to her work in hospitals, nursing homes, and outpatient centers, she was a Housing Supervisor for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development from 2000 to 2004. She is currently earning her master’s degree in psychological research at National Louis University. She serves as a Recruitment Specialist for Uptown Research.

Nidhi Trivedi, PsyD
Psychotherapist & Rater
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Nadhi Trivedi, PsyD, received her Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She also holds Bachelor of Science in Biology and Psychology, and Masters of Science in Experimental Psychology, all from McMaster University, Canada. She is a Post-Doctoral Fellow and Rater at Uptown Research, providing psychotherapy services, assessments, and ratings for clinical trials.

Paul M. Myers, APN, PMHNP-BC
Advanced Practice Nurse & Rater
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Paul M. Myers, APN, PMHNP-BC, holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Cincinnati, a Master of Science in Nursing from Xavier University in Cincinnati, and an ANP or adult nurse practitioner's degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is certified as an ANCC Nurse Practitioner in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing and has practiced as a psychiatric nurse clinician as well as a manager in psychiatric hospitals and correctional facilities in the United States. He has been an educator in undergraduate psychiatric nursing programs and provides psychiatric assessments, medication management, and psychotherapy through Uptown Mental Health. He also administers rating scales for Uptown Research.

Melissa Schiffman, MBA
(773) 989-8313 Ext. 128

Melissa Schiffman, MBA, earned her Bachelor of Science in Economics from The University of Iowa and then completed a Master of Business Administration from the DePaul University Kellstadt Graduate School of Business. She has worked over fifteen years in both public and private accounting, ranging from not-for-profit, regulatory, manufacturing, and business consulting. She currently serves as the Controller at Uptown Research.

Cassandra King
Office Manager
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Cassandra King earned her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has served as a Caseworker for first generation college students and has worked with adults to help them achieve their educational aspirations. She currently holds the position of Office Manager at Uptown Research.

Heidi Bastawros
Clinical Research Coordinator Intern
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Heidi Bastawros joined Uptown Research Institute in September of 2017 as an intern. While her primary role is assisting the Clinical Research Coordinators, she also supports recruitment and marketing efforts. Heidi graduated from Indiana University last May with a Bachelor's of Science in Biology and a minor in Spanish. She is taking a gap year prior to starting medical school in the fall of 2018.