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Lindsay Basto RN MSN 


Clinical Research

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Nicole Wójcik MD

Research Fellow

Lindsay has been leading clinical research related to islet transplantation since 2012. This year she was promoted to the position of the Clinical Research Manager to supervise the execution of research projects related to solid organ and islet transplantation in our Transplant Institute.

Nicole, a native of Chicago, has obtained her medical degree from the Medical University of Poznan in Poland. Currently, she is dedicated to her research fellowship as part of her preparation for further medical training.


Joseph Tomecki BS

Research Associate


Minelly Escobedo 

Quality and Safety Compliance

Joe obtained his Bachelor's Degree in Cellular and Molecular Biomedical Science from Layola University in Chicago and decided to gain his first research experience in our lab before applying to a medical school. 

Minelly brings her wealth of experience in quality and safety compliance pertaining to patient care and clinical trials to our team. We warmly welcome her aboard and look forward to her valuable contributions.

Welcome, Minelly!


Sarah Gondek BS

Research Associate


Kamila Milejczyk BS

Research Associate

Kamila also aspirates to  become a physician. This year she obtained her Bachelor's Degree in Neurobiology from the University of Wisconsin in Madison WI.  In the meantime, she is in training to work as EMT and jointed our team to gain some clinical and basic science research experience. 

Sarah dreams about becoming a physician. This year she obtained her Bachelor's Degree in Cellular and Molecular Biomedical Science from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI. Prior to applying to medical school, she decided to join our team and gain some clinical and basic science research experience. 



Braden Juengel MD

Director, Laboratory for   

Pancreatic Islet Isolation and Transplantation

Ling-jia Wang  MD PhD Technical Director, 

BLA Senior Project Manager, 

Islet Transplantation


Martin manages the preparation for the islet processing for clinical applications. He is indispensable in ensuring the smooth execution of all procedures and final product quality testing.  He meticulously oversees supplies, equipment, and logistics pertinent to our experiments and islet isolations. His dedication and attention to detail contribute greatly to the success of our transplant program.

Braden is a highly skilled transplant surgeon with specialized training in pancreatic islet isolation and transplantation. His expertise enables him to lead the team in processing islets for clinical transplantation. With his comprehensive training and experience, Braden plays a pivotal role in advancing the field of transplantation.

Ling-jia is a world-class expert in clinical islet isolation. Over the last twenty years, she has served as a mentor and teacher to numerous young researchers. 

Her contributions include the development of an innovative islet imaging and counting system, along with co-inventing the North American Islet Donor Scoring System.

Ling-jia's pioneering work significantly advances the field of islet transplantation and donor assessment.

Martin Tibudan MS 
Transplant Research


Amanda Buerress


Physician Assistant


Lisa Potter Pharm D Research Pharmacist

Amanda leads a team of Advanced Practice Providers  taking care of our patients admitted to the hospital for their transplant procedures.  The team tirelessly provide medical care and comfort to our patients, order necessary tests, medications and procedures. 

  • Ewelina Orozco 

  • Roshni Shah

  • Nicole

  • Kellie Zavala

  • Kim Huynh

  • Elizabeth Mangen

Lisa is our pharmacy leader with great experience in clinical research  involving testing new medication against placebo in the setting of randomized studies. She is critical in the preparation of the study medication, even if this means to come to the hospital in the middle of the night or weekend when transplants usually happen. 


Richard Cummings  

Organ Procurement Coordinator 

Rich and other organ procurement coordinators review potential donor charts looking for optimal organs for our patients. They  also coordinate transportation of the organs in the shortest possible time to our center, so they can be successfully transplanted with the optimal outcome. 

  • Ali Peterson

  • Ray Myroup

  • Lindsay Koepke


Karolina Golab PhD

Lab Manager,

Pancreatic Islet and

T regulatory Cell

Project Manager


Laurencia Perea RN BSN

Clinical Research Nurse

As a scientist, Karolina spearheaded the development of our T regulatory cell ex vivo expansion project, propelling us closer to its inaugural clinical application. Additionally, she played a pivotal role in leading our islet processing team, contributing significantly to the success of our islet transplantation program, positioning it as the most efficient in the country. Karolina's dedication and expertise have been instrumental in advancing our research and clinical initiatives.

Subsequently, Karolina move from academic to industry to continue her research related to clinical applications of novel cellular therapies.  

Laurencia accomplished her education at the University of Oklahoma. In her role as a Clinical Research Nurse, she tirelessly directed patients through various study tests and procedures while delivering compassionate medical care. Laurencia's dedication and expertise significantly enhance our clinical research and patient satisfaction.

Recently, she has been promoted to the manager position in the Clinical Research Center at our institution, where she continues facilitating excellent patient service provided also to our patients. 

Christine Trotter  

Transplant Nurse Practitioner 


Jesus Rodrigez III,  

Organ Procurement Coordinator 

After 9 years of leading medical team proving exemplary service to our patients, Christine decided to purse new exciting career opportunities. Currently, she leads medical team managing kidney transplantation in the Veteran Affairs Hospital In Chicago. 

Jesse often worked 24/7 reviewing potential donor charts looking for optimal organs for our patients. He also coordinated transportation of the organs in the shortest possible time to our center, so they can be successfully transplanted with the optimal outcome. 

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