Our Team of Consultants
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 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
Gregory 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.
Kristin Salottolo, Clinical Epidemiologist
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
Alex 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 has consulted with Trauma Research since 2011. 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.
Grace Njau, Clinical Epidemiologist
Grace joined Trauma Research as a consultant in 2014. Prior to this, she worked in Ob/Gyn research and was a communicable disease intern at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. She studied Pre-Medicine at the University of Colorado Denver, and then went on to get her Masters in Epidemiology at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. She has a special interest in Bioinformatics as well as the overlap of injury and disability. When not at the lab, Grace is an avid reader, loves to travel, and recently started flower gardening.
Rachel Aumann, Study Coordinator
Rachel 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 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.
Ermira Gashi, Study Coordinator
Ermira has been a Study Coordinator since 2010. Based at Swedish Medical Center in Englewood, CO, Ermira is responsible for screening and consenting our study participants and obtaining and identifying specimens on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. She recently earned a degree in art communications from Metropolitan State University of Denver. Ermira enjoys hiking, playing volleyball, drawing and visiting her native Kosovo in her free time.