Research Staff

Michael Ablan

Research Specialist

Michael Ablan started as a research specialist at Whitman-Walker in June 2016. As an undergraduate, he engaged in clinical emergency medicine research at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, MN. After graduating from Macalester College with a B.A. in 2013, he worked as a medical scribe in several ambulatory settings. Ablan then moved to Washington, DC in 2014 and started at a local non-profit conducting quality improvement research in transition from pediatric-to-adult health care. Ablan comes to Whitman-Walker from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). He eventually plans on applying to medical school and providing care to underserved populations.

Christopher Cannon

Director of Research and Evaluation

Christopher Cannon started at Whitman-Walker in February 2016, but is no stranger to the organization. He is a proud client of WWH since 2011. Cannon is excited about his role as Director of Research and Evaluation. Cannon previously served as the Director of Research at the Yale School of Medicine and also performed HIV and LGBT policy work in DC. He earned his master’s of public health at the Southern Connecticut State University and a bachelor’s degree in English education at Luther College.

Megan Coleman, FNP-BC

Director of Community Research

Megan Coleman is a Family Nurse Practitioner who serves as Director of Community Research, Co-Investigator at WWH. She oversees research initiatives in prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, and STIs.  Before joining Whitman-Walker in 2013, Coleman worked in Clinical Research for over 10 years and has worked as a Nurse Practitioner/Sub-Investigator  in Neurology and Urgent Care in the Washington, DC area.  She is a life-long resident of the metro DC area and a DC resident for the last 9 years.

Colin Davis

Research Specialist

Colin Davis joined the Whitman-Walker research team as the REPRIEVE study coordinator in July 2016, though he has volunteered with the Gay Men’s Health & Wellness Clinic since December 2014. After studying biology and English at William & Mary, Colin fostered an interest in community health and LGBTQ-care through GWU’s graduate certificate program in LGBT Health, an interest he is thrilled to serve through his work at Whitman-Walker. Colin lives in Petworth and works out of the 4th floor of 1525.

Jose DelaO-Hernandez

Research Specialist

Jose DelaO-Hernandez joined Whitman-Walker as a Research Specialist for the Sustainable Healthcare Implementation PrEP Pilot (SHIPP) Study. He also assists with the Study to Help the AIDS Research Effort (SHARE). Prior working at Whitman-Walker, he obtained an undergraduate fellowship that led to his previous position at the National Institutes of Health. During his time at NIH, he performed vaccine development research on cancer, HIV, and Ebola. DelaO-Hernandez is currently pursuing a Master of Public Health at the George Washington University. He is originally from El Salvador and speaks Spanish fluently.

Andrea Duncan

Research Specialist

Andrea Duncan joined the Whitman-Walker family in May 2015 as a Medical Assistant and transitioned to a Research Specialist in September 2015. Currently, Duncan works on the Sustainable Healthcenter Implementation PrEP Pilot (SHIPP) study. She graduated with an associates in science this past May and has worked in the medical field for eight years. Before coming to Whitman-Walker, Duncan worked at Inova Fairfax Hospital in the telemetry unit where her passion to help others grew stronger. Touching lives and making a difference makes Duncan’s work fulfilling. Duncan’s work and personal experiences have equipped her to encourage others around her. She is enrolling in a nursing program to further her career in research. Duncan is a Washingtonian and the mother of two girls.

Alice Eggleston, MPH, PA-C, AAHIVS

Clinical Research Manager

Alice Eggleston is a certified physician assistant who serves as clinical research manager. She oversees clinical trials for HIV and hepatitis C treatments and functions as a clinician for study participants. Eggleston completed a dual-master’s degree program at George Washington University, studying health sciences and public health with an emphasis in community-oriented primary care. Prior to coming to Washington, DC in 2011 she worked as a clinical research assistant at the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center in Chicago, her hometown. She enjoys exploring DC and new restaurants with her husband, traveling, and arts and craft projects.

Deborah Goldstein, MD

Director of Clinical Research

Deborah Goldstein joined Whitman-Walker in 2009 as an Infectious Disease physician. She is the Director of Clinical Research at Whitman-Walker, leading an excellent team that is focused on cutting-edge research initiatives in prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, and STDs. Dr. Goldstein received a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Amherst College and a medical degree from University of Chicago. She performed her internship and residency at Georgetown University. She worked at the National Institutes of Health doing HIV-related clinical research and then completed an Infectious Disease fellowship at Georgetown University.

David Hardy, MD

Senior Director of Evidence-Based Practices

Dr. David Hardy joined Whitman-Walker in October 2015. Prior to joining, he served as Professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He also served as chief medical officer of a biotech company called Calimmune overseeing two phase I trials of gene-modified CD4+ T cells and stem cells as a strategy to cure HIV infection.

Originally from Texas, Dr. Hardy attended the University of Texas at Austin where he studied zoology/pre-med and the classics. He received his medical degree from the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas and completed his residency in internal medicine at Harbor/LA County-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, California. Dr. Hardy completed his fellowship in infectious diseases/clinical immunology and HIV research at the UCLA School of Medicine. Later, he also completed a post-doctoral fellowship in molecular virology at UCLA studying viral vector applications for vaccines and gene therapy.


Sarah Henn, MD, MPH

Senior Director of Health Care Operations

Sarah Henn serves as the Senior Director of Health Care Operations/Medical Services. Dr. Henn was the site Principal Investigator for the Project AWARE study which was a multi-site collaboration with 14 STD clinics in the United States, Columbia University, and the University of Miami. The study’s findings have been critical in updating HIV and STD testing and counseling guidelines. An expert in Hepatitis C treatment, Dr. Henn also serves as the Principal Investigator for a trial on novel HCV treatment in co-infected adults. During her time at Whitman-Walker, she has overseen numerous clinical trial activities as a Co-Investigator and helps direct the department’s site of the AIDS Clinical Trials Group. Previously at Whitman-Walker, she served as Medical Director for the Elizabeth Taylor Medical Center.

Dr. Henn received a bachelor’s degree in political studies from Hamilton College and a medical degree from the University of Virginia. She was an intern at Emory University, a resident at the University of Virginia, and completed an infectious disease fellowship at the University of Maryland. Dr. Henn also holds a master of public health from Johns Hopkins University. She is fluent in German.


Terri Y. McGuire, PA-C

Research Clinician

Terri Y. McGuire is a native of North Carolina, but has been living near the District for almost two years. She obtained her MPH degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro prior to completing her physician assistant training at Duke University. Terri is very passionate about the ways in which medicine intersects with public health and looks forward to making valuable contributions in the Research Department at Whitman-Walker Health.

Violeta Milic

Research Specialist

Violeta Milic is a study coordinator for HIV clinical trials, and also assist with Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study to Help the AIDS Research Effort (SHARE). She graduated from medical school in Serbia and practiced medicine as a general practitioner before moving to the U.S. Violeta was always interested in clinical research and preventive medicine. Her goal is to obtain a U.S. medical license to be more actively involved in public health. Violeta is  fluent in Serbian, Bosnian, Croatian and English.

Eleanor Sarkodie

Research Data Coordinator

Eleanor Sarkodie joined the research team as a Research Data Coordinator in August 2015. Prior to working at Whitman-Walker, Sarkodie served as a research assistant for many HIV studies conducted through Emory University, where she received her Master’s in Public Health. Sarkodie primarily works on the DC Cohort project, while assisting with the data management needs of other studies. Her interest in HIV started when she was a sexual health educator for an interventional research project conducted at Emory focused on HIV and STI prevention in young African-American females. Sarkodie is originally from the D.C. metro area and graduated from James Madison University in 2012.

Shari Sawney

Research Data Entry Specialist

Shari Sawney earned her bachelor’s degree from Howard University and a master of science degree from Case Western Reserve University. Prior to joining Whitman-Walker, she worked as a research patient coordinator and patient advocate, for clinical trials concerning rare diseases. Shari is very interested in rare and infectious diseases, and ongoing clinical trials of HIV/AIDs. Shari is hoping to use her knowledge and background from clinical research to be an integral part of the Whitman-Walker research team.

Shauntise Weeks

Research Specialist

Shauntise Weeks started at Whitman-Walker in July 2016 as a Client Services Representative.  Weeks recently graduated from Fairmont State University with a BA in community health education and sociology. Weeks is currently attending Towson University working on her master’s in community health and health administration. She was born and raised in northeast, DC. Weeks became very passionate about minorities and HIV after working on a yearlong research project at Fairmont State. She then became intrigued with Whitman-Walker and the services they provide to the community and decided this was the place for her. An interesting fact about Weeks is that she has a cake business called The Ugly Cake Factory.

Ryan Weltzer

Research Specialist

Ryan Weltzer is a study coordinator for clinical trials and assists with visits for Study to Help the AIDS Research Efforts (SHARE). He earned a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and a Master of Science degree from Johns Hopkins University. His master’s thesis research focused on the molecular mechanisms of cancer. Prior to graduate school, he worked in a lab attempting to discover new drugs to inhibit malaria. Weltzer has volunteered in the past as a patient advocate and crisis counselor, and brings this passion for non-profit health work to Whitman-Walker.

Avery Wimpelberg

Senior Research Specialist

Avery Wimpelberg serves as a Senior Research Specialist at Whitman-Walker and moved to the DC area in the fall of 2011 and begin working as a Research Specialist for Whitman-Walker in February of 2012. In 2016, Avery began working as the Senior Research Specialist. Avery has had a life-long passion for HIV Awareness and LGBT activism. They founded an HIV Awareness organization at their high school, for which they received a PFLAG scholarship to college. Avery grew up in New Orleans and is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College. Their degree is in psychology and education, and they spent their college years as a research assistant to an educational psychology professor. Avery’s career has been diverse, including such positions as Residential Counselor for women with traumatic brain injury, Child and Youth Case Manager for a mental health non-profit, Veterinary Technician, and Special Needs Pre-School Teacher.

Maria Zumer, PA-C

Research Clinician

Maria Zumer is a physician assistant who helps with the SHARE clinic at Whitman-Walker Health. She also works full-time at George Washington University in infectious diseases, and in hospitalist medicine at Doctors Community Hospital. She is excited to be working with Whitman-Walker Health, and is interested in preventive medicine and infectious diseases, particularly HIV.