Sarkis Clinical Trials utilizes medical professionals from a wide variety of backgrounds to provide comprehensive care to all participants.

Our in-house staff consists of two board-certified psychiatrists, one licensed mental health counselor, and five research coordinators. We also collaborate with local neurologists, pediatricians, and general practitioners for specialized medical research projects.


Dr. Elias H Sarkis MD


Dr. Elias H Sarkis is the founder and president of the EHS Medical Practice PA. He is the Medical Director of Sarkis Clinical Trials.

Board certified in child and adolescent psychiatry as well as in general psychiatry, Dr. Sarkis has also earned certification from the American Society of Addiction Medicine. He received his BS degree from City College of New York before attending medical school in France at the Universities of Montpelier and Lille. For his internship and psychiatric residency he chose the University of Florida where he went on to complete a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry. He continues his association with the University of Florida as a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry.

Dr. Sarkis is a distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and past president of the Florida Psychiatric Society. He has also served as president of the North Central Florida Psychiatric Society, of the residents’ section of the Alachua County Medical Society, of the Alachua County Mental Health Association, and of the Florida Council of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Acknowledged as an expert in the clinical applications of psychopharmacology, Dr. Sarkis is much in demand as a speaker. He has numerous television and radio appearances to his credit, and he has authored articles for many scientific and scholarly publications.

As medical director of Sarkis Clinical Trials, Dr. Sarkis has been principal investigator for a variety of clinical research studies including tests of medications for ADHD, depression, bipolar disorder, autism, migraine, and insomnia.

Dr. Michael R Johnson MD


Michael R. Johnson is the Medical Director of Sarkis Family Psychiatry and is the principal investigator for Sarkis Clinical Trials. He is known affectionately to his colleagues as Dr. J.

Dr. Johnson is a graduate of Carleton College and of the Yale Medical School. He completed his internship and residency in psychiatry at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. He obtained a fellowship in anxiety disorders at the Medical University of South Carolina. He is board certified in psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Dr. Johnson has wide-ranging expertise concerning the effects on brain chemistry of medications used to treat psychiatric disorders. He is the recipient of various academic and teaching awards and is the author of many articles in scientific and scholarly publications.

Dr. Johnson has served as principal investigator and sub-investigator for numerous and varied clinical research studies.

Dr. Umesh Mhatre

Dr. Thomas Benton

Dr. Luis Scaccabarrozzi


Board Certified Pediatrician in Gainesville. I graduated from San Martin de Porres University in Lima, Peru. In Peru I served as the Director of a Medical Center in Callao, Peru (main port and one of lowest income cities of Peru). I was able to coordinate many immunization and health care programs for children in the community. I decided to move back home to Chicago where I completed a Masters of Public Health at the University of Illinois and worked as a 2nd grade teacher. I completed the master's degree and was able to be involved as a research associate at many city and federal organizations. In 2004, I completed the Pediatric Residency at St. Louis Children’s Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. After graduating I settled in Gainesville in private practice until establishing Kids Doc Pediatrics in 2007. I participate as a member of the University of Florida – Pediatrics After Hours. I have privileges at Shands - University of Florida and North Florida Regional Medical Center.

Though I was born in Chicago and raised in Lima, Peru I have learned to love Gainesville that has given me the opportunity to raise my children in a great city. Outside of work I enjoy traveling and spending time with my wife and 3 children (Gianella, Andrea, and Piero). I enjoy watching and playing soccer with my children.

Dr. Innocent Odocha


Dr. Innocent Odocha is a board certified Family Physician, and the founder of our practice. Dr. Odocha earned his medical degree from Wright State University in Dayton, OH, and completed his family medicine residency at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL. Dr. Odocha’s medical interests include community health, preventative health, international health, overseas medical missions, anti-aging and longevity medicine, and aerospace medicine. His hobbies include nature photography and philosophy and he is an avid ping-pong player.

Dr. Jonathan Taffe


Dr. Jonathan Taffe is a board certified Sports Medicine and Family Physician. He attended the University of West Indies in Jamaica and pursued his family medicine residency at the University of Florida. He completed his sports medicine fellowship at Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Fl. Dr. Taffe's hobbies include traveling, chess, cooking and trying new foods. His medical interests include sports medicine, preventative care and minor surgical procedures.

Dr. Mai Dean


Dr. Mai Dean is a board certified Family Physician. She earned her medical degree from the University of Florida and completed her Family Medicine residency at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL. Dr. Dean's clinical interests include Women's Health, Preventative Care, Acute Care and Dermatological Procedures. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, sons and their two dogs. Her hobbies include traveling, hiking, playing piano and learning languages.

Alexandra Odocha, ARNP


Alexandra Odocha, ARNP, completed her Masters of Science in Nursing at the University of Florida in 2007. She is a board certified Adult Nurse Practitioner and is Board Certified in Advanced Diabetes Management by the AADE. Her clinical interests include diabetes care and nutrition. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, cooking, reading and spending time with her friends and family.

Dr. Rizwana Thanawala


Dr. Thanawala is a board certified Gastroenterologist who started her practice "Gastroenterology Associates," in Lake City, Florida in 1997. She completed her Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology training at Nassau County Medical Center, Stony Brook University, Long Island, New York in 1997. Dr. Thanawala completed medical school in Bombay, India at Grant Medical College in 1989.

Prior to her medical training in New York, Dr. Thanawala did research in the field of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Southern California. Dr. Thanawala enjoys gastroenterology and performs endoscopic procedures at the Lake City Surgery Center, and the Lake City Medical Center.

Dr. Thanawala is board certified in Gastroenterology and is an affiliated member of the American College of Gastroenterology, and the American Gastroenterology Association. She is also the Medical Director at the Lake City Surgery Center, and is on the Board of Trustees at the Indian Cultural and Education Center in Gainesville, Florida.

Dr. Mitchell Duterte


Dr. Duterte obtained his medical degree from the University of the Philippines. He finished his residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Gastroenterology at the State University of New York Health Science Center in Brooklyn. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology and has recertified ten years after his initial certification.

Dr. Duterte is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and American College of Gastroenterology. He is also a member of the American Gastroenterological Association and American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.

Dr. Duterte has presented several abstracts in National meetings. Dr. Duterte's areas of interest are general Gastroenterology and Liver Diseases.


Jorge R. Franceschi, MSH, RD, CCRC

Jorge Franceschi is the Chief Financial Officer and has been with the organization since February 2002. He has overall responsibility for negotiations and execution of clinical trial agreements as well as a principal role in business development. This includes the procurement of upcoming trials as well as expanding the business as a large multi-therapeutic research site and site management organization. He is a well-known personality in the clinical research industry and a regular participant in conferences of the New Clinical Drug Evaluation Unit (NCDEU), Drug Information Association (DIA), Partnerships for Clinical Trials, and Site Solutions Summit. In his spare time, Mr. Franceschi is an avid tennis player and world traveler.

Mr. Franceschi earned his Bachelor of Science degree in food science and human nutrition (dietetics curriculum) from the University of Florida. He then attended the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida, where he obtained his Master of Science in Health degree and completed a dietetic internship.

Before coming to Sarkis Clinical Trials, Mr. Franceschi was a study coordinator for the Veterans’ Affairs Medical Center at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. Prior to that, he was a clinical dietitian at Munroe Regional Medical Center in Ocala, Florida, and a nutrition consultant at Health Care Consultants in Jacksonville, Florida.

Mr. Franceschi is a Certified Clinical Research Coordinator and a member of the Association of Clinical Research Professionals and DIA.

Daniel Sarkis

Jonathan Sherrod

Jonathan Sherrod joined The EHS Medical Practice PA in 2006. As Financial Assistant, Jon is responsible for a wide range of executive support functions.

After earning his A.S. degree in General Studies at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee, Jon served his country for six years as a non-commissioned officer in the U.S. Army.

Jon’s work experience prior to joining The EHS Medical Practice PA includes positions in management, accounting, sales, and data processing.

Crystal Rojas

CCRP Site Operations Manager

Misty Kern

Regulatory, Compliance & Finance Manager

Clinical Research Coordinators

Crystal Brown – Recruitment & Outreach Coordinator

Stewart Davidson – Research Assistant

Danielle Espino – Research Assistant

Tylar Heraman – Clinical Research Coordinator

Robbin Miller – LPN Clinical Research Coordinator

Thea Nash – Clinical Research Coordinator