National Reach,

Local Footprint

Cornerstones of our Mission

Patient Care

We provide excellence in patient care by providing care that goes beyond simply administering treatment. Patients that come to us are individuals that have hopes, dreams, families, and loved ones –and we strive to minimize the impact that disease has on their lives. At Optimum Clinical Research, every patient has a story, every patient is family, and we are honored to be a part of their journey.


Our providers educate the next generation of caregivers through a partnership with UNM’s fellowship, residency, PA, and CNM’s allied health programs whose students rotate with and learn from our providers. As we grow, our clinical researchers will train new clinical researchers with the creation of a clinical research internship program for college and high-school students.


Teamwork is at the heart of what we do. We believe that the best research happens with exceptional teamwork, which is why we have assembled a deeply experienced, collaborative, and committed team with a single purpose: Making tomorrow’s treatments available today because patients can’t wait.


Through strategic partnerships, Optimum Clinical Research Group is proud to bring the latest advancements in science, surgery, diagnostics, treatment, patient care, and phase I-IV therapeutic clinical trials to the community. We are paving the way in New Mexico for new innovative drugs and treatments by providing access to clinical trials, including access to trials in precision medicine so providers can tailor treatments to the individual person. We are constantly pushing the envelope, engaging in new clinical trials, and advancing research in patient care as we address the whole person through innovations in patient outcomes, integrative therapeutics, exercise, and environmental medicine.

We have made heavy investments in a state-of-the-art facility including a fully equipped clinical research dedicated lab with a -80 & -20 freezer, lab-grade refrigerator, refrigerated & ambient centrifuge, microcentrifuge, incubator, dry ice, liquid nitrogen, and tissue banking ability. Our class B1 pharmacy includes two Compounding Aseptic Containment Isolator Hoods and the ability to store IMP at ambient, refrigerated, -20, and -80 temperatures. Our site is future-focused with the adoption of a 21 CFR Part 11 compliant fully integrated eSource, eReg, CTMS, eRecruitment platform – CRIO (Clinical Research IO)  ensuring efficiency, compliance, and real-time data collection. We work with both Advarra and WCG-WIRB IRB’s and are biotherapy approved by the NIH and Gene Therapy Ready through Advarra’s Institutional Biosafety Committee.

Meet Our Team

Executive Director, Clinical Research

Senior Research Finance Analyst

Principal Investigator

Lead Principal Investigator




Contact Us

Get in touch to learn more about our ongoing clinical trials, patient and sponsor opportunities.


Katy Chalamidas, MS ACRP-CP

Executive Director, Clinical Research

My name is Katy Chalamidas, I am a certified clinical research professional with the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP).  I have over 19 years of experience in clinical research working in the sponsor, hospital, and health care industry.

I’m passionate about clinical research because it lets me be a small part of something so much bigger. It allows me to play an important role in drug development, and I’m proud of that. When I talk about my profession now, I describe it as the blood, sweat and tears of every life-saving therapy ever created, and I am incredibly honored to play a small part. I am so proud to be a member of a premier research site in Albuquerque, NM- Optimum Research Group, and most importantly, I’m honored to be part of the effort to help people live longer, healthier, happier lives.

I enjoy spending time outdoors, playing sports, and spending time with my Golden Retriever (Gypsy).

Chasiti Travis, MPA

Senior Research Finance Analyst

Chasiti has a diverse and deeply experienced background in business finance and administration and has robust experience with clinical research contracts and finance. Since 2018, she has worked on financing grants, industry, and academic trials. She plays a central role in the operations of our program. She says, “It brings me joy when a patient sees results through participating in a clinical trial that they had not seen through standard treatment — I am glad to contribute a small part.“


Preya Wisner, DO

Principal Investigator

Dr. Wisner completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry at the University of Portland in Portland, OR. Before medical school, she completed five years of pre-clinical melanoma and breast cancer research at the Earl A. Chiles Research Institute in Portland, OR. She completed medical school at Touro University- College of Osteopathic Medicine in Vallejo, CA, where she received the Florence Seymor Willis Scholarship and completed electives at UC Davis, Kaiser LA, and Memorial Sloan Kettering in Gynecologic Oncology.

Dr. Wisner completed her OBGYN internship and residency at Midwestern University- Resurrection Healthcare Consortium in Chicago, IL, and a Gynecologic Oncology research residency at Advocate Christ Medical Center. During residency, her awards and honors included Intern of the Year, Administrative Chief Resident, and the Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery Award. She completed her Fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology at the Florida Hospital Cancer Institute in Orlando, FL. where she was inducted into the Florida Society of Clinical Oncology (FLASCO), received a travel award to attend the SGO Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer, and was the 1st place poster competition winner at the 84th Annual Medical Foundation of the American College of Osteopathic Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Dr. Wisner is designated a Surgeon of Excellence in Robotic Surgery. She has acted as Sub-Investigator on more than 30 studies and has 15 peer-reviewed research publications, scientific abstracts, and conference presentations.

Dr. Wisner enjoys photography, being outdoors, sporting the color purple, and spending time with friends and family in her spare time.

Karen Finkelstein MD, MS

Lead Principal Investigator

Dr. Finkelstein did her undergraduate in English Literature at Duke University and her Master of Science in Biochemical Nutrition at Columbia University. She completed medical school at SUNY in Brooklyn, New York, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. Dr. Finkelstein is double-board certified, having completed her OBGYN internship and residency at Mount Sinai and her fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology at UNC-Chapel Hill. Her academic appointments include an Assistant Professorship in the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at Emory University before moving into private practice.

She has acted as a Principal Investigator or Sub-Investigator on more than 50 studies and has extensively published and presented in the field of gynecologic oncology and gynecology.

Within the New Mexico community, she has served as the Chief of Surgery and Medical Executive Committee Member at Lovelace Medical Center. She served many years on the New Mexico Cancer Care Alliance Executive Board, helping New Mexican patients access clinical trials. She is the medical Co-Director of the Center of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecology (COEMIG) program at Lovelace Women’s Hospital, which is also designated as a Center of Excellence in Robotic Surgery (COERS). She serves as an expert adviser to United to Cure Cancer’s STAMP (Support, Training, & Assistance for Medical Providers) program.

Dr. Finkelstein enjoys spending time with her husband and three children and her dogs, skiing, and being outdoors in her spare time.

Jacklyn Chavez PA-C


Jackie is the lead PA with Southwest Women’s Oncology. She brings extensive experience and a drive for excellence to our team. Jackie has a Bachelor of Arts in Health, Medicine, and Human Values from the University of New Mexico and a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from the University of New Mexico. She is a surgical first assist with over 1,000 cases performed in open surgical, laparoscopic, and robotic procedures. She has vast experience in inpatient and outpatient care with extensive specialty experience in oncology, surgery, surgical oncology, women’s health, and gynecologic oncology.

She enjoys doing CrossFit and spending time with her kids, husband, and family in her spare time.

Aimee Casarez, FNP


Aimee brings more than 20 years of experience in nursing and medicine to our team. She completed her Bachelors of Science in Nursing in 1999 at the University of New Mexico and her Masters of Science in Nursing- FNP at Grand Canyon University, in Phoenix, Arizona. She has worked extensively in neonatal intensive care, PACU, oncology, urology, gynecology, primary and rural health care. She has achieved ONS Certification for Biologics and Chemotherapy and Neonatal Nursing Certification. She is a member of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society in Nursing.

In her spare time, she likes to exercise, read, and watch old episodes of Grey’s Anatomy. She also enjoys hiking and fishing in the mountains with her husband, Ben. She has a 14-year-old Westie named Boomer, a son Nate, and a daughter Marisa.

She says, “Research is exciting because it’s an opportunity to try new promising treatments and potentially help patients on a larger scale. I’ve had several close friends and family members affected by cancer and autoimmune diseases. I am passionate about learning as much as I can.”

Lizbeth Barrios BSN, RN

Lizbeth has a diverse background in the allied health professions before graduating from nursing school from Brookline College in 2020 and achieving her BSN. She has extensive experience in oncology, gynecologic oncology, women’s health, and primary care settings. She has a passion for advancing patient care through research and the nursing profession.

Gabby Pobar, PA-C


Gabby brings dynamic experience, focus, and a passion for patient care and research to our team. She has a Bachelor of Science in Emergency Medicine and a Masters of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from the University of New Mexico in 2019. Gabby has been in health care for as long as she can remember having started her career as a certified nursing assistant, then achieved licensure as a Nationally Registered Paramedic where she worked as a Licensed Paramedic with American Medical Response and was later an infusion room manager before graduating from PA school. She is detail-oriented, driven, and dedicated. Currently, she is completing a fellowship in Integrative Oncology and working on her capstone research project. She loves research because of the difference she has seen it make for her patients and its opportunity to help improve care for patients in the future.

In her spare time, she owns and runs a CrossFit gym with her husband, where she enjoys helping others achieve better health through fitness and challenging herself through fitness.

Denise Wright BSN, RN


Denise has been working on oncology clinical trials for more than a year and has an extensive background in intensive and cardiovascular care. She brings diverse experiences to our team and is passionate about caring for her patients. She says, “I am excited to be part of the research process as we participate in clinical trials, offering our patients hope with new treatments.”