Georgia CTSA Clinical Research Centers (GCRCs) Board

Colleen Kraft, MD

Director, Georgia CTSA Clinical Research Centers (GCRCs)

Emory University

Associate Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Emory University School of Medicine
Assistant Professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine
Assistant Professor, Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine


Read Colleen's Bio

Priscilla E. Pemu, MD, MS, FACP

Liaison, Community Clinicians Network

Community Engagement / Morehouse School of Medicine

Professor, Department of Medicine
Medical Director, Clinical Research Center
Medical Director, Community Physicians' Network


Priscilla E. Pemu is the medical director of the Community Physicians' Network, an academic-community partnership that is recognized by the AHRQ as a Practice Based Research Network. She is engaged in direct patient care, research, undergraduate, graduate, and resident preceptorship and didactic teaching. Her research enquiry is broadly aimed at improving health outcomes of African-American women and other underserved populations.

She serves as Principal Investigator (PI) of the Morehouse School of Medicine's R-Center Community Based Research Core; Co-PI of the Health Information Technology Implementation arm of the Transdisciplinary Collaborative Center on health disparities; and Chair of the Research and Education Committee of the Morehouse Choice Accountable Care Organization-Educational System (MCACO-ES), a participant in the Medicare Shared Savings Program.

Her efforts are designed to improve care and outcomes for patients with chronic disease by addressing the gaps between primary care and population health. The development and testing of patient facing technologies that enhance health literacy and the interaction between patient and primary care provider is aligned with this overall goal. Developing and testing approaches that enhance care coordination to improve chronic disease outcomes also aligns with her goals. She has demonstrated sustained collaboration with institutional, local, and national leaders seeking to facilitate effective translation of research between academic institutions and real world clinical practice.

Read Priscilla's Bio

Bradley G. Phillips, PharmD, BCPS, FCCP

Principal Investigator

University of Georgia

Director and Professor, Biomedical and Translational Sciences Institute
Director, Clinical and Translational Research Unit (CTRU), Office of Research


Read Bradley's Bio

Thomas R. Ziegler, MD

Co-Director, TL1 Program

Emory University School of Medicine / Georgia CTSA Clinical Research Centers (GCRCs)

Professor of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Lipids
Co-Program Director, Georgia CTSA Clinical Research Center


Read Thomas' Bio

Guillermo Umpierrez, MD

Site Director, Emory University Hospital Midtown

Georgia CTSA Clinical Research Centers (GCRCs) / Emory University School of Medicine

Professor of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism
Chief of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Grady Memorial Hospital


Read Guillermo's Bio

Miriam Vos, MD, MSPH

Director, Pediatrics

Emory University


Assistant Professor, Emory University School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Gastroenterology; and Associate Faculty Member, Nutrition Health Sciences, Graduate Division of Biologic and Biomedical Sciences, Emory University

Read Miriam’s Bio

Rebecca Shelton-Thomas, DNP, RN

Nursing Director

Georgia CTSA Clinical Research Centers (GCRCs) / Emory University

Emory University


Rebecca Thomas graduated  from Indiana Wesleyan University with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Nursing. In 2016, she completed a Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP)  specializing in Population and Organizational Systems Leadership from the University of Kentucky. Rebecca has worked across multiple disease sites, both clinically and in research.  Her expertise in clinical research spans over a decade and she has over 15 years of experience in critical care nursing. 

Prior to joining Emory, Rebecca served as the Regional Research Manager for Catholic Health Initiatives. In this role she oversaw operations of numerous research sites across Kentucky.  Since becoming a part of the Emory family, Rebecca has served as the Assistant Director of Clinical Research Staff in the Winship Clinical Trials Office where she oversaw research site operations at Emory University Midtown, Grady Memorial, Atlanta VA and the Proton Therapy Center. In January 2018, Rebecca joined the Georgia Clinical & Translational Science as the GCRC Nursing Director. She also works on the Georgia CTSA Translational Workforce Development Project (TWD).

Kim Schmitz, MS

Unit Coordinator, Clinical and Translational Research Unit

Georgia CTSA Clinical Research Centers (GCRCs) / University of Georgia

University of Georgia


Kim Schmitz is the Unit Coordinator of the Clinical and Translational Research Unit, also known as the UGA GCRC. In this role, she oversees the activities of the CTRU, including coordinating several studies and providing oversight for recruitment, compliance, and quality improvement activities. She is also part of the GaCTSA Recruitment Center. Kim earned a Bachelor of Science degree in molecular and cellular biology from Humboldt State University and Masters of Science degrees in genetics and epidemiology from the University of Wisconsin. After starting as a clinical research coordinator at the University of Wisconsin Reproductive Endocrinology clinic in 2005, she continued her career in public health research and clinical research at the Naval Medical Center San Diego in 2008, and managed the start-up of the UGA Clinical and Translational Research Unit in 2015. 

Debora A. Clem

Administrative Director

Georgia CTSA Clinical Research Centers (GCRCs) / Emory University

Emory University Hospital


Debora Clem earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from North Georgia College in 1985. She began her career as a Science Librarian with the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Public Library in Chattanooga, TN before transitioning in 1996 to a Special Librarian position first with the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga and then with Zoo Atlanta in 1998. She began her academic career in 2001, as a Clinical Research Coordinator in the Department of Medicine, Renal Division at Emory. She joined the General Clinical Research Center, now Participant & Clinical Interactions (PCI) of the Georgia CTSA, in 2005. She assumed the role of Administrative Director of the PCI in 2011 and completed the requirements to become a Certified Research Administrator in 2013.

Priscilla Johnson, PhD, MSN

Director, Clinical Studies and Operations

Morehouse School of Medicine, Clinical Research Center

Associate Director, Clinical Research Center
Director, Clinical Operations/CRRF Director