Our Team


Led by David Bar-Or, MD, Trauma Research is a leading multidisciplinary laboratory focusing on clinical, basic science and systematic solutions in trauma care.  Trauma Research is compromised of partnering medical doctors, nurses, toxicologists, molecular biologists, computational biologists, and epidemiologists working collaboratively to produce evidence-based solutions for trauma centers throughout the country.


David Bar-Or, Director


Dr. Bar-Or has over thirty-five years experience in biochemical and molecular biology research, is a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and was a distinguished physician for twenty three years, including five years as Director of Emergency Medicine at a nationally accredited Level I trauma center. He is presently Director of Trauma Research for two Level I trauma Centers: Swedish Medical Center and St. Anthony Hospital. Dr. Bar-Or received his M.D. from Hebrew University Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel, completed his residency in Emergency Medicine at Denver Health Medical Center and was the first to complete a fellowship in Emergency Medicine research at Denver Health Medical Center, a program recognized nationally as a leader in emergency medicine. Dr. Bar-Or has received numerous awards for outstanding clinical and scientific research, including the Gustav Levi Award from the Hadassah/Mount Sinai Hospital, the Kornfield Award for an outstanding MD Thesis, the Outstanding Resident Research Award from the Denver General Hospital, and the Outstanding Clinician Award for the Denver General Medical Emergency Resident Program. David is also the founder, director and Chief Scientific Officer of Ampio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.  David has published over 100 of peer-reviewed scientific articles, holds hundreds of issued US and international patents, and has filed over 200 additional US and international patent applications.

Raphael Bar-Or, Computational Biologist

Raphael Bar-Or is an accomplished scientist having studied applied mathematics and computational biology at the University of Colorado at Denver.  Raphael has functional expertise in computational biology, applied mathematics, medical device development, hardware and software integration, classifier algorithm design, absorption/transmission spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, chromatography, expert systems, and programming.  He holds multiple US and worldwide patents and has authored numerous peer-reviewed publications.  Raphael received his Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Colorado School of Mines.

Leonard Rael, Toxicologist and Biochemist

Leonard-RaelLeonard is the Assistant Director of Research at Ampio Pharmaceuticals, and has been with the organization since 1999. With over 20 years of experience in scientific research with an emphasis in biochemistry, cell biology, and molecular biology, he has published over 35 scientific manuscripts including 5 first author publications on oxidative stress in the critically ill and stored blood using oxidation reduction potential (ORP) technology, which he co-invented. Leonard also assisted in the research and development of other medical diagnostics including the albumin cobalt binding (ACB) assay for the diagnosis of myocardial ischemia, oxidative stress markers in the blood plasma of trauma patients, and the rapid identification of bacterial pathogens in ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP) patients by PCR. 

Gregory Thomas, Molecular Biologist

Greg_ThomasGregory is a molecular biologist at Ampio Pharmaceuticals and has been contracting with Trauma Research since 2001. He has over 19 years experience in scientific research with an emphasis in cytology after studying biology and microbiology at Colorado State University. Gregory’s areas of expertise include microscopy, qPCR, cell culture, and cloning. Prior to working with Ampio Pharmacueticals, he worked with the clinical immunology department at the University of Colorado’s Health Sciences Center working on macrophage cell signaling pathways. Outside of work, Gregory enjoys fly fishing, routing for his alma mater Colorado State’s football team, running, and spending time with his family. 

Liz Gersch, Molecular     Biologist

lizLiz is a Molecular Biologist at Ampio Pharmaceuticals and has been collaborating with Trauma Research since 2014. She received Bachelor’s degrees in Chemistry and Biology at Colby College and a Doctorate in Biochemistry at Duke University. She also completed a post-doctoral fellowship the University of Colorado in Boulder and worked as a Senior Editor for American Journal Experts. In graduate school, Liz studied RNA-binding tandem zinc finger proteins that play a role in RNA turnover, and during her post-doc, she produced human papillomavirus proteins to be used in second-generation vaccines. In her free time, Liz enjoys reading, running, hiking, and playing with her dog, Buddy. 

Melissa Hausburg, Molecular     Biologist

Melissa is a Molecular Biologist at Ampio Pharmaceuticals and has been collaborating with Trauma Research since 2015. She received her PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology from The University of Colorado, Boulder in 2010. Her thesis work elucidated a post-transcriptional mechanism that suppresses muscle stem cell activation until injury signals rapidly switch quiescent muscle stem cells to proliferating myoblasts. After completing a Postdoctoral Fellowship studying RNA-binding proteins in North Carolina at the National Institutes of Health, she moved back to Colorado to pursue a career in the Biotech Industry. Her passion is to help people live healthier and more productive lives. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and son in the mountains of Colorado and is an avid gardener, growing dozens of different flowers and vegetables in the summer. 

 Kimberly Bjugstad, Scientific Affairs Manager 

Kim is the Scientific Affairs Manager at Luoxis, a collaborative partner with Trauma Research.  She has over 15 years of experience in neurodegenerative research, investigating such disorders as Alzheimer’s disease, Down syndrome, and traumatic brain injury- the trifecta of cognitive dysfunction.  She has published over 40 original research papers and has had over 60 presentations at national and international conferences.  Kim received her BS degree from Colorado State University and her MS and PhD from the University of South Florida.  She spent most of her research career as a faculty member at the University of Colorado before joining the Luoxis and Trauma Research teams in 2015. 

Kristin Salottolo, Clinical Epidemiologist

Kristin_Salottolo Kristin has been with Ampio Pharmaceuticals since 2004 and contracting with Trauma Research since 2007. Kristin was awarded a research fellowship at the National Institutes of Health in 2003, where she worked as a clinical trial assistant for functional MRI studies and ran in vivo experiments. Her responsibilities now include clinical trial design, statistical analysis plans, statistical analysis and manuscript preparation. She has authored or co-authored over 20 scientific publications, including 8 as first author. Kristin completed a Bachelor of Science in biology with a minor in chemistry from the College of Charleston, and a Master of Public Health with a concentration in epidemiology from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. In her free time, Kristin enjoys skiing, road biking and traveling. 

Alessandro Orlando, Clinical Epidemiologist

AlexAlex has been a Clinical Epidemiologist for the past three years, and designs, analyzes, writes and publishes the results of numerous clinical studies at Swedish Medical Center and St. Anthony Hospital. In addition to working on studies, he also creates our department’s newsletter, Trauma Research, which highlights our current projects as well as other noteworthy research from around our planet. Alex received his Bachelor of Biology and Master of Public Health degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University, in Richmond, Virginia. When he’s not in the lab swiftly coding like a character out of the Matrix, he enjoys rock climbing, backpacking, or unapologetically playing Xbox. 

Lisa Caputo, Clinical Epidemiologist

Lisa-CaputoLisa has consulted with Trauma Research since 2012.  She is interested in topics focusing on regional health systems and Emergency Medical Systems process improvement. Before her work with Trauma Research, Lisa worked as a field researcher a health project in Kibera, Kenya, and has assisted with disease prevention efforts in Native American communities. Lisa holds a Master of Arts in International Development and Certificate of Global Health Affairs from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. Outside of the lab, Lisa enjoys exploring Colorado’s mountains and traveling. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Denver-based nonprofit Youth on Record. 

Jan Leonard, Clinical Epidemiologist

Jan PicJan is a clinical epidemiologist and has been with Trauma Research since 2014. She has over 6 years of experience in clinical research and data analysis. Prior to working at Trauma Research, Jan was a Motor Vehicle Data Analyst at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Perinatal Database Manager in the University of Colorado’s Obstetrics and Gynecology Department. Jan received her Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology from James Madison University and her Masters of Science in Public Health from the University of Colorado. Outside of work, Jan enjoys skiing, running, reading and traveling. 

Rachel Aumann, Study Coordinator

Rachel_AumanRachel is a Study Coordinator based at Swedish Medical Center for the past eight years.  She maintains patient information and obtains, deidentifies, records and freezes specimens for future use. Prior to consulting with Trauma Research, she spent 32 years working with patients in the Emergency Departments of three nationally accredited trauma centers. Outside of work, Rachel volunteers as a first aid/nurse for the annual National Colorguard competition.


Anita Leyden, Study       Coordinator

Anita-LeydenAnita Leyden is a Study Coordinator based at St. Anthony Hospital. She screens and consents patients, manages IRB submissions, and coordinates project logistics between hospital departments and staff.  Anita was an Emergency Department nurse for ten years before working in research. Outside of work, Anita enjoys spending time with family and playing the cello. She also serves on the Board of Directors for a Not-For-Profit charitable foundation in based in Puerto Rico.

Barbara Schaffer, Study      Coordinator

Barbara Shaffer is a Study Coordinator based at The Medical Center of Plano, in Plano, Texas. Barbara has 20 years of nursing experience, including 12 years as an Emergency Department RN in the Dallas area.  She received her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from The College of New Jersey in 1994.  Outside of work, she is a busy mother of three young boys.  She enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, camping, reading, crocheting and crafting.