Our Team


Led by David Bar-Or, MD, Trauma Research is a leading multidisciplinary laboratory focusing on epidemiology, basic science and systematic solutions in trauma and stroke care.  Trauma Research is comprised of partnering medical doctors, nurses, toxicologists, molecular biologists, computational biologists, and epidemiologists working collaboratively to produce evidence-based solutions to improve care for trauma and stroke patients across the globe.


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

FullSizeRenderRaphael 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 Trauma Research LLC 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 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 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


Liz 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

IMG_1981 copy-1Melissa 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 returned to Colorado to pursue a career in the Biotech Industry. She also enjoys spending time with her husband and son in the mountains and is an avid gardener.

 Kimberly Bjugstad, Scientific Affairs Manager 

kimb copy-1Kim 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 Trauma Research since 2007. Her responsibilities include clinical trial design, statistical analysis, and manuscript preparation for stroke and trauma research studies and early phase drug candidates. She has authored or co-authored over 25 scientific publications. Kristin received a Bachelor of Science in biology from the College of Charleston, was a research fellow at the National Institutes of Health, then earned a Master of Public Health with a concentration in epidemiology from the University of Colorado. She currently resides in Charleston, SC. Her hobbies include traveling, road biking, and hanging out with her family on the water every chance she gets.  

Alessandro Orlando, Clinical Epidemiologist

AlexAlex has been a Clinical Epidemiologist for the past five years, and designs, analyzes, writes and publishes the results of numerous clinical studies at Swedish Medical Center, St. Anthony Hospital and the Medical Center of Plano. 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. 

 Jan Leonard, Clinical Epidemiologist

Jan PicJan has been with Trauma Research since 2014. She has over 7 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. 


Constance McGraw, Clinical Epidemiologist

Constance has been with Trauma Research since 2016 and recently completed her Master of Public Health with Claremont Graduate University. During her MPH program, she worked as a data analyst on an HIV risk study to create surveys to evaluate short and long-term health behavior studies.  Before graduate school, Constance worked with VCU Medical College, where she performed experiments for Parkinson’s disease research. Her responsibilities at Trauma Research include analyzing data and providing future direction for three different centers. Outside of work, she enjoys snowboarding, hiking and playing with her Siberian husky. 

 Catherine Koola, Clinical Epidemiologist 

BioPhoto_CatherineKoolaAs a fresh graduate from Emory University with a Master of Public Health degree in Epidemiology, Catherine is thrilled to join the clinical team at Trauma Research and grow professionally in this epidemiologist role. Previously, she worked with Emory Healthcare’s Veterans Program conducting data analysis to assess the effectiveness of medications and prolonged exposure therapy in alleviating symptoms of distress in patients with PTSD. At Trauma Research, Catherine will direct, analyze, and report on research projects for Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs. After a productive day at her standing desk, Catherine likes to come home to the sweet strums of her ukulele and explore her colorful new neighborhood. 

 Ingrid Ingham, Study Coordinator

Ingrid bio picIngrid is a new study coordinator for Swedish Medical Center.  She maintains patient information and obtains, deidentifies, records and freezes specimens for future use. She is the first of her family to be born in the U.S, and was born and raised in Houston, TX but has been in Colorado her entire adult life. She has been a nurse longer than she cares to say, and it has been a very enjoyable ride for the most part. Her specialty was pre-op and recovery room. Ingrid enjoys spending time with friends (almost all of whom are also “crazy” nurses), gardening, animals, domestic and wild (her favorite is her German Shepherd), hiking in the woods , relaxing at any beach, and travel.

Barbara Shaffer, 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.

Jennifer Pekarek, Study    Coordinator

Jennifer P head shot

Jennifer Pekarek 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. Jennifer was a Trauma & ICU nurse for 7 years before moving to High Risk Labor & Delivery. She has been in the research field since 2014. Outside of work, Jennifer enjoys trail running, yoga, kick-boxing, and stays busy with her three children and her farmer/rancher husband.


Diane Redmond, Study    Coordinator

Diane RedmondDiane Redmond is a Study Coordinator based at Penrose Hospital, in Colorado Springs. Diane has over 30 years of nursing experience, including 12 years as Trauma/Surgical ICU nurse at Level I/II trauma centers. She has also served in teaching, quality, IRB and leadership roles. She received her Bachelors and Masters of Science in Nursing degrees from The Catholic University of America. Outside of work she enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, reading and photography.