Clinical Research Assistant

Sonya Rios joins our team as a Clinical Research Assistant for South Texas Research Institute- Brownsville. She obtained her Associate’s degree specializing in Pharmacy from South Texas College and is a certified Phlebotomist and Pharmacy Technician, specializing in Sterile Compounding. She brings over 18 years of experience in the medical field, three of which were spent conducting clinical trials. Sonya has gained clinical and internship experience throughout the years and is extremely compassionate towards patients and very enthusiastic to learn more about clinical research.

Clinical Research Data Coordinator

Victor Villarreal moved to the Rio Grande Valley from Kingsville, Texas, where he attended Texas A& M University-Kingsville received his Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science and Chemistry and his Master of Science in Chemistry. Before joining the STRI team, he worked in a molecular biology laboratory, where he performed experiments to generate and analyze data. He will draw from these previous experiences to support his position as a Clinical Research Data Coordinator. He hopes that within his role at STRI, he can help the organization make a positive impact within the Rio Grande Valley community for years to come.

Administrative Associate

Karla Ann Hooper provides administrative support to the President and CEO, Dr. Rashmee Patil. She joins the team with 12 years of administrative experience with combined expertise in the healthcare and retail industries. Karla obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a minor in English from the University of Texas-Pan American. She has a passion for the community and is excited to apply her skills to assist the residents of the Rio Grande Valley in seeking out innovative healthcare.

Quality Assurance/Regulatory Associate

Narexcy returns to the Rio Grande Valley with a Bachelor of Science and Arts in Neuroscience from The University of Texas – Austin, and completion of a successful internship with STRI. She has excelled in her role as a Clinical Research Data Coordinator and is now our newest Quality Assurance/Regulatory Associate. Narexcy brings her dedication and fresh perspective to her new position and continues to embody the STRI values and mission in her new role. She is excited to combine her passion for medicine and dedication to her community to improve the health of South Texas residents.

Director of Business Development

STRI welcomes our Director of Business Development, Yoli Pena. A Rio Grande Valley native, she attended the University of Texas Pan American and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications with a minor in Sociology. Yoli has over 12 years of healthcare marketing experience and enjoys fostering and cultivating professional relationships with physicians. She…

Clinical Research Coordinator

Claudia Padilla, M.D. has joined our team and will be our clinical research coordinator at the site in Brownsville, Texas. Claudia obtained her medical degree as a Medical Surgeon with specialization in Ear, Nose, and Throat from Universidad Autonoma Nuevo Leon.

Monica Garza

Director of Compliance and Data Management

Monica Garza is a Rio Grande Valley native and in 2007 obtained a Bachelor of Science in Biology from University of Texas – Pan American. Since 2008, she has worked on multiple Phase I – Phase IV clinical trials in various therapeutic areas.

Lissete Ochoa

Clinical Research Coordinator

Lissete joins our team with over 10 years of experience as a CRC and has worked in several therapeutic areas and phases of clinical trials. As a certified medical assistant, she also brings clinical knowledge to her work.

Maria Ybarra

Community Health Worker (Promotora)

Maria is a certified Community Health Worker through the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and has been a Promotora in the Rio Grande Valley for 30 years. She is part of the South Texas Promotora Association, where she currently sits on the Board. Promotoras de Salud are trained lay health workers who work…

Estella Mendoza

Clinical Research Coordinator

Estella is a fully credentialed, bilingual Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) with 22 years of experience in providing compassionate care to her patients across medical specialties. A native of the Rio Grande Valley, she graduated from South Texas College and has worked in healthcare systems within her community. She has dedicated the past two years of her career…