Clinical Trials Administration in Latin America: An Advanced Studies Diploma Program
Clinical Trials Administration in Latin America: An Advanced Studies Diploma Program
Clinical Trials Administration in Latin America: An Advanced Studies Diploma Program
Clinical Trials Administration in Latin America: An Advanced Studies Diploma Program
Clinical Trials Administration in Latin America: An Advanced Studies Diploma Program
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Our Team

Designed originally by leading researchers and administrators in the San Diego region, this diploma program draws upon the expertise of experienced professionals in the field in Latin America, to ensure that information is sensitive to regional law, culturally appropriate, and reflective of best local practice.

Click on any individual below to read their bio.

Program Director

Villa CaballeroLeonel Villa-Caballero, M.D., Ph.D., FACP

Dr. Villa-Caballero is a physician and researcher in clinical research. He has background in Internal Medicine, Endocrinology-Metabolism and Public Health. He has worked as investigator and co-investigator in clinical research studies in United States and Mexico. In addition, he is currently a researcher at the Family and Preventive Medicine at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. His interests are in diabetes, obesity and cancer prevention, particularly on using culturally appropriate interventions for English and Spanish-speaking Latinos living in the United States. Currently he is working in a clinical trial sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to deliver an electronically based intervention to prevent obesity among minorities. Dr. Villa-Caballero has served as advisor and for private pharmaceutical companies in the areas of diabetes, obesity and cultural competency.

Advisory Board (Mexico)

Alberto Frati-MunariAlberto Frati-Munari, M.D.

Dr. Frati-Munari is a senior physician and clinical researcher practicing in Mexico City. He is Professor of Internal Medicine at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) and former President of the Colegio de Medicina Interna de México in Mexico City. Dr. Frati-Munari has more than 30 years of expertise in Internal Medicine, Diabetes and Drug Regulatory Processes in Latin America. He also conducted several national and multinational clinical trials in public and private hospitals in Mexico. In addition to his clinical career, Dr. Frati-Munari was appointed as the Medical Director of the National Medical Center “La Raza” at the Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS) in 1996-2000. He served as Director of Drug Regulatory Affairs at the Comisión Federal y Protección de Riesgos Sanitarios (COFEPRIS) of the Mexican Health Secretariat. Dr. Frati-Munari is an expert in the drug development process and regulatory aspects of clinical research in Mexico and a frequent lecturer at international meetings.

Roberto Medina–SantillanRoberto Medina-Santillan, M.D. Ph.D.

Dr. Medina-Santillan is professor of Medicine and researcher at the Instituto Politécnico Nacional in Mexico City. He is Senior Medical Advisor at Merck Company KGaA in Mexico and is a member of the Academia Nacional de Ciencias. He is also Director of Postgraduate studies at Medica Sur. His areas of expertise include Translational Pharmacology, Clinical Research Monitoring Clinical Trials, Endocrinology and Metabolism. Dr. Medina-Santillan has more than 17 years as a consultant for the pharmaceutical industry and consulting board member of Merck Company KGaA for Central and South America. He is an expert in pharmacology, clinical trials, drug development and regulatory issues in Latin America. Dr. Medina-Santillan has more than 100 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals.

Sergio GuerreroSergio Guerrero, M.D.

Sergio Guerrero is currently the President/CEO of Accelerium Clinical Research in the city of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, where clinical trials are conducted for the international pharmaceutical industry and biotechnology in phase I-IV studies. Previously, he has been the Director of the Hospital OCA/Monterrey International Clinical Research Center in Monterrey, Mexico where he was responsible for managing a multi-specialty hospital investigator network to conduct clinical trials for the international pharmaceutical and clinical research organization (CRO) industry. Also, he has been the Director of Latin American for INC Research, a CRO based in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Director of the Instituto Mexicano de Investigación Clínica (IMIC) in Mexico City. He holds more than 18 years of experience in the clinical research arena working as a director, investigator, project manager and quality assurance auditor for the pharmaceutical/CRO/SMO industry developing and implementing processes and procedures to train and manage clinical teams, and monitoring the conduct of clinical trials in accordance with the ICH/GCP guidelines and local regulations. He is a member of the Advisory Board for the Drug Information Association (DIA) in the U.S. and President of the Latin America Regional Board for the Drug Information Association (DIA) that supports and promotes development and training of industry professionals among Latin American countries.

Advisory Board (U.S.)

Laurence BruntonLaurence Brunton, Ph.D.

As a graduate student, he studied cyclic nucleotides and transmembrane signaling under the mentorship of Al Gilman at University of Virginia. In 1976, he came to California as a postdoctoral fellow to work at University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego) with Steve Mayer in the area of cardiovascular pharmacology. Dr. Mayer encouraged his independence so that he was able to apply for jobs in 1980 with an RO1 in hand. Dr. Brunton began on the faculty at UC San Diego in 1981, where he has remained. His research has centered on cyclic nucleotide metabolism, cyclic AMP export, and crosstalk amongst G-protein signaling systems, usually in cultured cell models or cells isolated from the cardiovascular system. Recent research has involved studies of the properties of cardiac fibroblasts and the regulation of collagen production by agonists acting through G-protein coupled receptors. Much of his effort over the past 5 years has been directed toward editing the major textbook of pharmacology, Goodman & Gilman’s The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, and directing several National Institutes of Health (NIH) supported training programs.

Kevin PatrickKevin Patrick, M.D., M.S.

Dr. Patrick is Professor of Family and Preventive Medicine at the University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego), Adjunct Professor of Public Health at San Diego State University (SDSU) and, since 1996, has been Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. He is a Senior Advisor to the Robert Wood Johnson Active Living Research Program and is a member of the National Advisory Committee of the Foundation's program in Health Games Research. Dr. Patrick served as a member of the Armed Forces Epidemiological Board from 2000-2005, is a past President of the Association of Teachers of Preventive Medicine, served on the Secretary's Council for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and, from 1993 to 1995, was a Senior Advisor in the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health of HHS. He has been PI or Co-PI on more than $28 million in research and training grants funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and others. His current research explores how to use wireless technologies to enable patients and consumers to optimize health promotion and prevention-related behaviors, particularly in the areas of physical activity, diet and lifestyle. Dr. Patrick has authored over 130 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and commentaries.

Hugo O. VillarHugo O. Villar, Ph.D., MBA

Dr. Hugo O. Villar is the Director for Science and Technology at the University of California, San Diego, Extension. Hugo oversees a portfolio of educational opportunities in Engineering, Information Technology and Life Sciences, that include some areas of interest for the biomedical industry, including medical devices, biopharmaceuticals and healthcare Information Technologies. Before joining UC San Diego Extension, Dr. Villar was active in the biotechnology industry in California for over 20 years. He was the founder of Altoris, Inc. that provided drug discovery services to the local biopharmaceutical industry, Vice-president for Chemoproteomics at Triad Therapeutics in San Diego and Vice-president for Discovery Technologies at Telik, Inc., a company devoted to the discovery of oncology drugs in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has numerous patents and technical publications. Earlier in his career Dr. Villar worked for IBM and SRI International and other non-profit organizations. He holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the Universidad Nacional de La Plata (Argentina) and an MBA with concentration in Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals Management from the University of Colorado.

Steven V. EdelmanSteven V. Edelman, M.D.

Dr. Edelman is a professor of medicine in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) and the Veterans Affairs (VA) Healthcare System of San Diego and the director of the Diabetes Care Clinic, VA Medical Center. Dr. Edelman received his internal medicine training at the University of California Los Angeles, and completed his clinical endocrinology fellowship training at the Joslin and Lahey Clinics in Boston, Mass. as well as a research fellowship at UCSD. Dr. Edelman has strong interests in education and patient advocacy. He is the founder and director of Taking Control of Your Diabetes (TCOYD), a not-for-profit organization with the goal of teaching and motivating patients in diabetes self-care. Since 1995, TCOYD has reached hundreds of thousands of people living with diabetes through a variety of education portals including national conferences, publications, television, and community programs. Dr. Edelman’s has written more than 200 articles and five books. He has won numerous awards for teaching and humanitarianism and was recognized by San Diego Magazine as a Top Doctor eight of the last nine years, an honor only achieved by a handful of physicians. He was chosen as the teacher of the year amongst the over 400 faculty members at UCSD numerous times. He was awarded the Diabetes Educator of the year by the American Diabetes Association in 2009, the Distinction in Endocrinology award by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists in 2011 and recently named in US News and World Report amongst the top 1% of endocrinologists in the US.

Francisco J. VillarrealFrancisco J. Villarreal, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Villarreal obtained his M.D. degree in 1984 from the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, Tijuana, Mexico campus. In 1989 he graduated from UCSD’s Ph.D. program in Physiology and Pharmacology with a focus on research related to cardiac mechanics. Major focus of my research is to understand the pathophysiology of cardiac remodeling. Specific areas of research include: a) the renin-angiotensin system and cytokine network in the heart focusing on the ability of cardiac fibroblasts and animal models of cardiac remodeling to respond to stimulation by these humoral factors, b) the role of mechanical stimulation in regulating cardiac fibroblast function focusing on the activation of signal transduction pathways and changes in extracellular matrix proteins, c) the capacity of matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor compounds to protect the heart from ischemic injury and, d) the examination of the capacity of adenosine to alter the course of pathological cardiac remodeling.

UC San Diego Extension Staff

Grace L. MillerGrace L. Miller, MA

Grace is Director of Healthcare and Behavioral Sciences for UC San Diego Extension focused on continuing education for physicians, nurses, and allied health professionals, and individuals and organizations tangent to healthcare. She oversees a portfolio which emphasizes clinical and administrative/management/leadership education for healthcare professionals including clinical trials design and management programs, nursing courses, medical procedural coding and hospital coding, and most recently has been part of a team to design, implement and evaluate a major healthcare information technology (HIT) training initiative. In addition, she is Managing Director of the Public Service Cluster of continuing education professionals in the following areas of expertise: Healthcare, Behavioral Sciences, Teacher Education, OSHA Training Institute, and Service and Civic Leadership. Over the past 36 years with UC San Diego, Grace has held progressively responsible positions in academic healthcare directing the design, development and delivery of professional education. She holds two Masters' Degrees.

Donna SternDonna Stern

Donna is the Coordinator of Clinical Trials Education for UC San Diego Extension, a position she has held for the past 13 years. She is an expert on the design, development, and implementation of clinical trials courses for a wide range of healthcare professionals including physicians, researchers, pharmacists, nurses, allied health professionals. In addition, Donna has focused on continually updating programs, hiring new faculty, and developing an Advisory Board from the pharmaceutical and biotech communities, to ensure those courses are of the highest quality possible.

Saytel LopezSaytel López

Saytel López is the Clinical Trials in Latin America Program Representative for the Healthcare and Behavioral Sciences Education Department at UC San Diego Extension. Saytel studied Business Administration at the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) Campus Guadalajara, and graduated from San Diego State University (SDSU) with a B.A. in International Business with an emphasis in Latin America. Since then, Saytel has worked in international projects such as a Project Coordinator for the International Community Foundation and later on as an Administrative Assistant in binational projects (San Diego-Tijuana region) for the Office of Binational Border Health, a public program through UC San Diego Extension. Saytel López is from Mexico City and speaks Spanish, English and Portuguese.

Brandon ChavezBrandon Chavez

Brandon is the Marketing Manager for UC San Diego Extension's Public Service Cluster, which includes Healthcare, Behavioral Sciences, Teacher Education and the OSHA Training Institute Education Center. After graduating from UC Santa Barbara, he has held different positions in advertising agencies and companies across Southern California in addition to consulting on marketing and operations projects with a variety of organizations. Brandon is also actively involved in industry professional associations such as the San Diego American Marketing Association and is a member of the San Diego County Football Officials Association.

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our team

Contact Us

To inquire about academic collaborations, becoming a partnering institution or for tailored courses please contact:
Leonel Villa-Caballero, M.D., Ph.D., FACP
Director, Clinical Trials Program in Latin America
UC San Diego Extension
9500 Gilman Drive, Mail Code 0170E
(858) 534-9267 phone
(858) 534-9257 fax

For registration, enrollment fees and to find out about current offerings through our existing courses please contact:
Saytel López
Program Representative
Clinical Trials in Latin America
UC San Diego Extension
9500 Gilman Drive, Mail Code 0170E
(858) 534-9278 phone
(858) 534-9257 fax