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Rudina Odeh-Ramadan, PharmD: Executive Director
Franco A. Barsanti, PharmD: Director, Trials Facilitation
Magaly Garcia, MD: Director, Spanish Translation Center
Linda O'Neill: Manager of Finance, Operations Group
Mitchell Appleson, CPA: Manager of Finance, Post-Award Group
Lourdes Vasquez: Manager of Finance, Budgeting Group
Jean Robert Gabeau, Esq: Manager, Contracts Group
Linda Busacca, BA: Manager, Clinical Trials Network
Robert B. MacArthur, PharmD: Director, Research Pharmacy

Table of organization

Rudina Odeh-Ramadan, PharmD
Executive Director, The Clinical Trials Office

Contact Dr. Odeh-Ramadan at

Franco A. Barsanti, PharmD
Director, Trials Facilitation

Dr. Franco Barsanti is the Trials Facilitation Director of the Clinical Trials Office at Columbia University.  This position provides leadership and expertise to drive the successful implementation of the early clinical development initiative by expediting study placement and providing regulatory and financial oversight.

After receiving his PharmD from Northeastern University Graduate School of Pharmacy & Allied Health Professions in 1991, Dr. Barsanti completed a two-year Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Rutgers College of Pharmacy in 1996.  Later that year, he joined Hoffmann-La Roche as Clinical Science Specialist.  There, he was selected for the International Development Program as Research Scientist within the Clinical Pharmacology Divisions in Welwyn, UK.  Dr. Barsanti served as a communication link between HLR Pharma Development and Clinical Affairs for new drug discovery.  In 1998, he became Director for Clinical Research at Ortho Dermatological.

In 2002, Dr. Barsanti was recruited as the Director of the Clinical Research Unit of the Department of Dermatology at Columbia University.  Dr. Barsanti joined the CTO in 2007.

Contact Dr. Barsanti at

Magaly Garcia, MD
Director, Spanish Translation Center

Magaly Garcia, MD, is the Director of the Spanish Translation Center (STC) resource of the Clinical Trials Office.  Dr. Garcia coordinates all aspects of the review and translation of documents at Columbia University, as well as outside institutions to be used by Hispanic participants in research.  She manages several off-site translation specialists and is the in-house contact for all research personnel requiring Spanish translations.

After receiving her medical degree from University of Havana (Cuba) School of Medicine, Dr. Garcia was Professor of Clinical Psychiatry there for 17 years.  As Psychiatry Department Chair, she taught students, evaluated patients, and collaborated in research and publications about child and adolescent mental health.  Dr. Garcia then traveled to Venezuela, where she pursued a practice in child and adolescent psychiatry.

Dr. Garcia settled in the United States, came to Columbia University, and began to work at the HTC in 1999.

In 2006, Dr. Garcia co-authored a paper describing the factors that influence how members of the upper Manhattan Latin community self–prescribe antibiotics.

Contact Dr. Garcia at

Linda O'Neill
Manager of Finance, Operations Group

Linda O'Neill is the Manager of Finance in the Operations Group of the Clinical Trials Office (CTO).  Her principal roles are (1) to develop and manage the budgets for the CTO and the Clinical Trials Network and (2) to prepare monthly and yearly financial statements.  Ms. O'Neill works closely with the Controllers Office and clinical research investigators and coordinators: troubleshooting problems with their studies, account close-outs, and DAF requirements.  Ms. O'Neill also interacts regularly with industry sponsors on issues related to their trials.  In her role as Finance Manager, Ms. O'Neill maintains a professional and smoothly-run office and solves administrative problems with staff, clients, and vendors.

Ms. O'Neill graduated from East Carolina University with a BSBA in Accounting. Ms. O'Neill comes to Columbia with a prestigious accounting background having worked for several Fortune 500 Companies.  Before joining the Clinical Trials Office, Ms. O’Neill worked for 11 years at the entertainment conglomerate Ogden Corporation as a Senior Financial Analyst, primarily with international mergers and acquisitions and various other financial and accounting roles; for seven years at Viacom’s Showtime Networks as the Business Manager for Marketing and Advertising; and with Madison Square Garden, a subsidiary of Cablevision.  Ms. O’Neill also worked two years with Ingersoll Rand Company, a worldwide manufacturing company, where traveled internationally as Audit Supervisor.

Contact Ms. O'Neill at

Mitchell Appleson, CPA
Manager of Finance, Post-Award Group

Mitch Appleson is the Finance Manager of the Post-Award Group of the Clinical Trials Office.  Post award activities include cash receipts, disbursements, billing, accounts receivable and project account reconciliations.  Mr. Appleson is responsible for the day-to-day management and activities of the post-award staff and developing and enhancing processes to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the post-award group.

Mr. Appleson graduated from Yeshiva University in 2003 with a BS in Accounting and earned his CPA license in 2005.

After nearly five years in public accounting, which included auditing healthcare institutions, Mr. Appleson joined Columbia University Medical Center.

Contact Mr. Appleson at

Lourdes Vasquez
Manager of Finance, Budgeting Group

Lourdes Vasquez is the Finance Manager of the Budgeting Group of the Clinical Trials Office.  Ms. Vasquez and the budget team review all industry sponsored projects to ensure accuracy and completeness of budget plans, in order to gauge a project’s financial feasibility.  If studies are deemed not financially viable, the budget team will negotiate with sponsors to achieve this goal.

Ms. Vasquez and her budget team act as a liaison between investigators/coordinators and sponsors to promote effective financial management in accordance with all established Columbia University Medical Center policies and procedures.

Ms. Vasquez is a graduate of CUNY, Baruch College, where she earned a BBA in Business Administration.

Prior to joining the Clinical Trials Office in 2005, Ms. Vasquez worked in both private industry and the New York Health and Hospital Corporation-Elmhurst Hospital's Human Resources Office.  Since joining the CTO, Ms. Vasquez received her Paralegal Certificate from Hunter College in 2007.

Contact Ms. Vasquez at

Jean Robert Gabeau, Esq.
Manager, Contracts Group

Jean R. Gabeau received his BA cum laude with honors in Economics and Political Science from Boston College in 1997 and received his JD from Boston College Law School in 2003.  He is admitted to practice law in New York State.  Before joining the Clinical Trials Office, Mr. Gabeau worked as a project attorney for Hughes, Hubbard & Reed LLP and Bank of America.

Mr. Gabeau joined the Contracts Department of the Clinical Trials Office in August, 2005 as a project officer.  He has extensive experience reviewing, drafting, and negotiating clinical trial agreements, non-disclosure agreements, subcontracts, and material transfer agreements.  Mr. Gabeau also manages several special projects at the CTO, including serving as the primary project officer for all clinical trial agreements with Columbia University’s Cancer Research Management Office as well as working closely with Columbia University’s Office of General Counsel in developing new clinical trial agreement provisions.

In 2007, Mr. Gabeau assumed the position of Manager of Contracts.  In this position, Mr. Gabeau is responsible for managing and training a staff of several attorneys and paralegals, designing and implementing procedures and guidelines to facilitate the contracting process.  In addition, Mr. Gabeau serves as a liaison among the CTO, the Columbia University research community, and Columbia University’s Office of General Counsel for to all contractual matters.

Contact Mr. Gabeau at

Linda Busacca, BA
Manager, Clinical Trials Network

Linda Busacca is the Manager of the Clinical Trials Network (CTN) and acts as liaison between the Clinical Trials Office (CTO) and the CTN. She is the primary contact for all CTN study start-up, recruitment and regulatory documents, whether for industry or government. The CTN was created by Columbia University Medical Center, Weill-Cornell Medical Center, and New York-Presbyterian Hospital, under the aegis of the CTO. Ms. Busacca coordinates all activities between the Contract Research Organizations (CROs), Site Management Organizations (SMOs), sponsors and all participating network sites. Upon receiving her Bachelors degree from the City University of New York and prior to joining the CTO, she held positions in banking, pharmaceutical executive recruiting, scientific publishing, and Columbia University's legal department.

As encouraged by the NIH, Ms. Busacca will be participating in the partnership between the academic medical centers and private practices. The CTO will expand the CTN by incorporating the Affiliated Hospitals of the New York-Presbyterian Health Care System. Such partnerships reap the rewards of combining clinical excellence and state-of-the-art research and education.

Contact Ms. Busacca at

Contact Mr. Hlenski at

Robert B. MacArthur, PharmD
Director, Research Pharmacy

Dr. MacArthur received his degree of PharmD from St. John's University in New York, in 1988. He began his career working for LAB, Inc., in Ridgefield, New Jersey as director of a 60-bed Phase I unit and oversaw hundreds of Phase I and Bioequivalence clinical trials from the initial proposal development to FDA submission. In 1994, he worked for Sandoz Pharmaceuticals in Drug Safety and Product labeling, and within the same year, launched the opening of the Research Pharmacy at Columbia University. The pharmacy presently has two locations and is involved in hundreds of clinical trials.

As director of the CUMC Research Pharmacy, Dr. MacArthur and his staff strive to provide the highest quality of investigational drug pharmacy services to the University, NYPH, and its investigators. Presently, the research pharmacy provides services to all divisions and medical specialties. In the future, Dr. MacArthur looks forward to expanding the capabilities of the existing solid and sterile dosage forms for the convenience of the industry and academic investigators, and to further develop the Englewood, New Jersey site into a clinical trial packaging and investigational and specialty drug distribution center for both the pharmaceutical industry and academic sponsors.

Contact Dr. MacArthur at

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