Meet the Primary Investigators

Made up of six clinical centers, the Teen-Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery (Teen-LABS) consortium is investigating the short- and long-term safety and efficacy of bariatric surgery in teens. Meet the primary and co-investigators of the research team:

Thomas Inge's head shot photo.Thomas Inge, MD, PhD
Chairman, Department of Pediatric Surgery at Children’s Hospital Colorado
Professor and Division Head of Pediatric Surgery
Director, Section of Adolescent Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery
University of Colorado, Denver School of Medicine

Michael Helmrath.Michael Helmrath, MD, MS
Director of Surgical Research
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

Stavra Xanthakos.Stavra Xanthakos, MD, MS
Director, Steatohepatitis Center
Medical Director, Surgical Weight Loss Program for Teens
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

Heidi Kalkwarf.Heidi Kalkwarf, PhD
Scientific Director, Bionutrition & Body Composition Core Laboratory, CCTST
Associate Director, Digestive Health Center
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

Todd Jenkins' head shot photo.Todd Jenkins, PhD
Co-director, Data Coordinating Center
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

Changchun Xie.Changchun Xie, PhD
Co-director, Data Coordinating Center
University of Cincinnati

Mary Brandt's head shot photo.Mary Brandt, MD
Surgical director, Adolescent Bariatric Surgery
Chief, Colorectal Clinic
Texas Children’s Hospital

Mike Chen's head shot photo.Mike Chen, MD
Director, Division of Pediatric Surgery
Children's of Alabama

Marc Michalsky's head shot photo.Marc Michalsky, MD
Surgical director, Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition
Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Anita Courcoulas' head shot photo.Anita Courcoulas, MD
Chief, Section of Minimally Invasive Bariatric and General Surgery
University of Pittsburgh Physicians 

Marc Harmon's head shot photo.Mac Harmon, MD, PhD
Chief, Division of Pediatric Surgery
Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo
John Gunstad.John Gunstad, PhD
Director of the Applied Psychology Center
Kent State University
James Mitchell.Jim Mitchell, MD
Research Scientist
Neuropsychiatric Research Institute
John Dixon.John Dixon, MBBS, PhD
Head of Clinical Obesity Research
Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute

Meet the Teen-LABS Team

Made up of five clinical centers, the Teen-Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery (Teen-LABS) consortium is investigating the short- and long-term safety and efficacy of bariatric surgery in teens. Meet the members of the research team:

Barrett_Jennifer_100Jennifer Knox, BA is a research coordinator for Teen-LABS at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Centerr who works with Dr. Michael Helmrath and the bariatric surgery team. She also works in conjunction with ancillary study coordinators.

 

Naila Merchant.Naila Merchant is a research coordinator for Teen-LABS at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. She works with Dr. Michael Helmrath and Jennifer Knox and the bariatric surgery team. 

Eleanor Shirley's head shot photo.Eleanor Shirley, MA is one of the site coordinators for Teen-LABS at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. She works with Anita Courcoulas, MD on studies related to outcomes after bariatric surgery.

David Allen's head shot photo.David Allen, MHE is a research coordinator for the Teen-Labs site at Texas Children’s Hospital based in Houston, TX.  He assists Dr. Mary Brandt by collecting critical data from the adolescent bariatric patients during their pre-operative and post-operative evaluations.

Cody Brennan.Cody Brennan, CCRP is the site coordinator for the Teen-LABS study at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Cody works with Marc Michalsky, MD on the Teen-LABS study.

Beverly Haynes' head shot photo.Beverly Haynes, MSN, RN, CPN is the research coordinator and pediatric nurse at Children’s of Alabama (COA) in Birmingham, Alabama. She has been a member of the Teen-LABS team since its very beginning and still follows the Teen-LABS participants that are now into their post-operative lives. Beverly worked closely with Dr. Mac Harmon to set up the Teen-LABS study, recruit participants, and collect pertinent data for several years at COA and now assists Dr. Mike Chen with patient follow-up.

Kathy Lancaster.Kathy Lancaster, BA is the manager of research operations and research coordinator at Neuropsychiatric Research Institute in Fargo, North Dakota.

Rosie Miller's head shot photo.Rosie Miller, RN, CCRC is the Central Study Coordinator for Teen-LABS Study based at the University of Colorado, Denver. She works with Dr. Todd Jenkins and the DCC as well as Dr. Inge on all aspects of the Teen-LABS Study. Miller oversees the six sites conducting the Teen-LABS study, works on the Adjudication project as well as the Ancillary and Publication proposals.

Jenn Black's head shot photo.Jenn Black, MSSA, LSW is the Deputy Central Study Coordinator for the Teen-LABS Study. She also who works with Dr. Michael Helmrath and Ms. Rosie Miller on the Teen-LABS Adjudication project, assists the Teen-LABS Publications and Presentations Committee and the Ancillary Studies Subcommittee, and provides administrative support for Teen-LABS.