Jewel Harden-Barrios, MEd - Clinical Research Coordinator

Jewel holds a Masters of Education in Exercise Physiology. Program Coordinator of the Ochsner Primary Care Research Network and several health services research projects, she has experience in successfully engaging with patients, clinic leadership and staff, community members and academicians in conducting quality improvement studies, clinical, and community health research. She Is responsible for leading patient recruitment, coordinating the CAHSR patient research advisory board and implementing the CAHSR’s patient engagement plan. She is currently working on the PCORI-funded Louisiana Trial to Reduce Obesity in Primary Care and a number of projects supporting Ochsner Health System’s mission critical programs. Data related skills include survey design, database management and electronic medical record data abstraction.

Mariella Gastañaduy, MPH - Epidemiologist

Mariella Gastañaduy received her MPH in epidemiology from Tulane University School of Public Health in 2005 and is currently a doctoral candidate in the department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences at the Louisiana State University School of Public Health. Mariella gained substantial experience in injury epidemiology and surveillance while working at the LA Office of Public Health, as the injury epidemiologist. There she managed, analyzed and reported on large injury datasets, and served as an epidemiologist in injury prevention coalitions. She has also been involved in program evaluation studies, were she helped with logic models, data analysis, and reporting. Her background is on the design, analysis and interpretation of observational studies, as well as on theories behind determinants of health that operate at individual, familial, organizational, and community levels. Her research interests include childhood obesity and falls in older adults.

Jeffrey H. Burton, Ph.D. - Senior Biostatistician

Dr. Burton received his Ph.D. in biostatistics from the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, LA in 2013. He joined Ochsner Health System in May 2017 after serving as Assistant Professor of Biostatistics at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, LA as part of the LA CaTS (Louisiana Clinical and Translational Sciences) Center grant. There he provided statistical services to faculty and post-doctoral researchers conducting clinical studies related to treatment and prevention of metabolic syndrome and other associated health issues. Support offered covered study design, data analysis, and grant and manuscript preparation.

Dr. Burton’s main research focus is in linear and nonlinear mixed effects models. Specifically, his past research has focused on investigating properties of hypothesis tests in the field of mixed models and the application of nonlinear models in pharmacokinetic studies. Apart from academic research, Dr. Burton is responsible for lead statistical support on research studies within the Center for Applied Health Services Research at OHS.

Daniel Fort - Biomedical Research Informatics Specialist

Dan Fort operates as the Biomedical Research Informatics Specialist for the Center for Applied Health Services Research and the Ochsner Health System. His PhD was in Biomedical Informatics, specializing in clinical research informatics, particularly data modeling, clinical phenotying algorithms, and biases within electronic clinical data. He also has degrees in Health Systems Management and Biochemistry. Dan joined Ochsner after three years at Northwestern University working within their clinical and translational science unit.

Cruz Velasco-Gonzalez, PhD - Senior Biostatistician

Cruz Velasco-Gonzalez, PhD, joined Ochsner in May 2018 as Senior Biostatistician in the Center of Applied Health Sciences Research. His past appointments include Associate Professor in the Biostatistics Program, Pediatrics, College of Medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Services and Associate Professor of Research in the School of Public Health at LSU Health Sciences Center-New Orleans. Dr. Velasco-Gonzalez has extensive experience in planning and carrying out statistical analyses for metabolism/obesity/diabetes in children, cancer research (basic science, statistical genetics, cancer registry database), and other biomedical investigations. He earned a PhD in Biostatistics from Tulane University in 2000.

Alaa Mohammed, MPH - Junior Biostatistician

Alaa E. Mohammed joined the CAHSR in May 2017 after completing an internship with Ochsner’s Infection Control and Prevention Department. She earned her master in public health and certificate in monitoring and evaluation from Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in 2017. Her teaching background (epidemiology, science and math) informs her educational approach to biostatistics consults and training for Ochsner affiliated investigators. Her research interest includes infection control, access to healthcare, and health policies to enhance access to health care.