Diego T. Torres, M.D., Principal Investigator/Sub-investigator – Dr. Torres is a native Floridian, born at Hollywood Memorial Hospital and raised in Miami. He is the son of Cuban immigrants who fled communism in the late 1950’s. His research interests began as a high school student, studying the response of cancer cells to chemotherapeutic agents at the University of Miami School of Medicine/ Jackson Memorial Hospital. He was awarded a Presidential Scholarship to attend Barry University in Miami Shores where he graduated with a Bachelors degree in Biology in 1993. While at Barry he was accepted into the Minority Biomedical Research Support Grant program and studied the amino acid composition of tumor proteins and Alzheimer brains. He spent the summer of his Junior year at the Stanford University School of Medicine studying how radiation affects the genetics of tumor cells. Dr. Torres earned his medical degree from the Howard University College of Medicine in 1998. He completed a Family Medicine residency at the Tallahassee Memorial Family Practice Residency Program in 2001 and is currently in solo practice. His interests include spending as much time as he can with his beautiful wife and daughters, reading action novels and playing golf.
James E. McDonnell, M.D., P.L.C., Principal Investigator/Sub-investigator – A Native of South Florida, Dr. McDonnell graduated from the University of Miami School of Medicine in 1989. After completing his family practice residency at Halifax Medical Center, he has been in private practice in Ormond Beach since 1992. He has a strong interest in controlling diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia, all with the intent of preventing cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease. His interests in research will all reflect his strong interest in maintaining the overall health of the patient. A Father of 3 young men, he enjoys fishing, bicycling, and reading in his spare time.
Mark B. Barettella, M.D., F.A.C.C., Principal Investigator/Sub-investigator – Dr. Barettella is a board certified Cardiologist who completed his Cardiology fellowship at The Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland, OH. While there he had exposure to and participated in many clinical trials. Under the direction of Dr. Eric J. Topol there was a strong focus on scientific data collection, interpretation and critical analysis of clinical trial publications. With this background Dr. Barettella has developed the analytic skills necessary to make research outcomes meaningful in practice. His journey in medicine began at Wilkes College in Wilkes-Barre, PA where he earned a BS in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. He graduated from the Rutger’s Medical School/ University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ. Internship and residency in Internal Medicine took him to St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, NJ, followed by three years of Cardiology Fellowship training at The Cleveland Clinic. He then completed a special fellowship in Interventional Cardiology at The Miami Heart Institute, Miami Beach, FL. Dr. Barettella has been in solo private practice in Daytona Beach, FL for 15 years. He currently serves as the Subsection Chief of Cardiology as well as the Medical Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation Services at Halifax Health Medical Center. He is a member of the faculty at Florida State School of Medicine at Daytona State College. In their free time, he and his lovely wife enjoy their hobbies of fishing, amateur radio and performance driving.
Arnold Vera, M.D., M.Sc., C.D.E., F.A.C.E., Principal Investigator/Sub-Investigator. Dr. Vera received his M.D. degree at the Facultad de Medicina Universidad De Carabobo in Valencia, Venezuela in 1970. He completed post-graduate training in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology at the University of California [UCLA], Los Angeles in 1975. Dr. Vera served as a provider and instructor at a number of venerable institutions from 1976 to 1999, including Hospital Central Universitario in Barquisimeto, Venezuela and the University of Maryland at Baltimore. Dr. Vera moved to the greater Daytona Beach, Florida area in 1999, where he has a successful endocrinology and wellness practice – the Vera Endo Wellness Institute. Dr. Vera’s honors and awards include: Reflections Winner Award, Franklin Square Hospital, 1992; Lara College of Physicians Endemic Goiter Award, 1980; Venezuela Young Scientist, Junior Chamber, 1980; Scholarship for Undergraduate Medical Studies and Fellowship, 1964. He has published articles in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, among others and presented papers on diagnostics and treatment of diabetes, thyroid disease, reproductive issues, new approaches to wellness in patients. He recently delivered a paper on Vitamin D levels across the Spectrum of Body Mass Index at the 90th Annual Meeting of the Endocrine Society in San Francisco. Dr. Vera is Board Certified in Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism. He is a Board Certified Diabetes Educator and a Fellow of the American College of Endocrinology. He has affiliation with the University of North Florida, College of Medicine. In addition, he lectures at the Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine at Harbor UCLA Medical Center.
Jonathan Falcone, PA-C, Sub-Investigator. Mr. Falcone has been a Physician Assistant since 1999 and he currently works as a hospitalist at our two local hospitals. Mr. Falcone has a cumulative experience over 9 years in over 40 studies in multi-therapeutic Phase II-IV clinical trials. Jonathan is married and has a little girl that is the light of his life. His interests include serving in Medical Missions as he recently returned from a trip to Africa.
Alyn L. Benezette, D.O., Principal Investigator/Sub-investigator– Dr. Benezette, Clinical Director and founding Partner at Coastal Neurology and Pain Management Centers received his Doctorate of Osteopathy from Michigan State University in 1981 and this was followed by his internship at Botsford General Hospital, Michigan. He then undertook his residency and fellowship at Wayne State University, Detroit. Dr Benezette served the US Navy Medical Corps in the USA and Japan and continues to serve the United States Naval Ready Reserve.
Dr. Benezette’s qualifications include:
Board certified, licensed neurologist, Pain Management and Balance Disorder Physician.
Evaluate and manage broad scope of acute, chronic and complex problems related to injured workers, Florida Department of Labor/Workmen’s Compensation, State of Florida and New York State.
Experience evaluating and treating personal injury cases from both plaintiff and defendant perspectives.
Experience utilizing and applying American Medical Association and Florida impairment rating guides.
Experience examining and treating neurologic occupational/environmental illnesses including central/peripheral nerve injuries, organic brain syndrome, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic disorders, peripheral neuropathy/radiculopathy, spinal cord injuries, intervertebral disc disorders, degenerative spine disorders, musculoskeletal illnesses.
Dr. Sanjay Sastry, M.D., Principal Investigator/Sub-investigator– Dr. Sastry holds a Florida license and is board certified in anesthesiology and pain management. He completed his fellowship in addiction medicine, through the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Florida. Dr. Sastry’s extensive training has furnished him with expertise in both medical and interventional pain management. He trained under world renowned pain management physicians Dr. Gabor Racz and Dr. Alon Winnie, and addictionologist and published author Dr. Mark Gold.
Dr Sastry is a member of the American Academy of Pain Management, American Society of Anesthesiologists, American Society of Addiction Medicine and the Florida Society of Addiction Medicine. He is multi-lingual, speaking English, German, Spanish, French and Kannada.
Q. Jocelyn Ge M.D., Ph.D., Principal Investigator/Sub-investigator– Prior to medical school, Dr. Ge did graduate research and received her Ph.D. in Neurophysiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and published multiple peer-reviewed research papers in prestigious national and international journals. Committed to making a difference for other people, Dr. Ge then received her medical degree from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
During her Ophthalmology career, Dr. Ge received multiple awards, including the Award of Excellence for an Outstanding paper at the annual Tulane Eye Alumni Day. In 2005, she was one of only ten Ophthalmologists in the USA who received the prestigious American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) Foundation research grant. She is active in research and has presented her results at major national conferences such as the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), ASCRS, and the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Recently, she also received the American Medical Association’s Physician Recognition Award with Commendation and Lifelong Education for Ophthalmologist (LEO) award by the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Angel I. Ribó, PA-C, MPAS, AAHIVS, Principal Investigator/Sub-investigator– See information under Management Team.