Meet Our Team

Advances in medical research happen at Coriell because of the exceptional people who work here.

We have various educational backgrounds and we operate in assorted roles in many areas, such as molecular biology, genomics, information technology, facilities, finance, stem cell research, and communications.

In the end, we’re all connected in our enterprise to advance medical breakthroughs that improve people’s lives. 

 Jean-Pierre Issa, MD

President and CEO

Jean-Pierre Issa, MD, is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Coriell Institute for Medical Research. As such, Dr. Issa leads all aspects of the Coriell Institute in its mission to better understand human health and disease as well as serve as a trusted supplier of high quality biomaterials to the global scientific community.

Dr. Issa is an expert in the study of epigenetics – how the turning on and off of genes affects our health – and to better understanding epigenetic changes in aging and cancerous cells.

 Mark Bellafante

Chief Information Officer

Mark directs a group of application developers and infrastructure administrators charged with supporting the institute's key business and scientific programs.

Courtney Mengel Dirks, JD

Director, Public Relations

In this capacity, Courtney guides the internal and external communication programs of the institute, while also elevating the Coriell profile.

 Kathryn H. Driesbaugh, PhD

Program Director

Kate is the principal investigator for the Congenital Heart Disease GEnetic NEtwork Study Biorepository, the Huntington’s Disease (HD) Community Repository and National Eye Institute (NEI) Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) Repository.

 Jaroslav Jelinek, MD, PhD

Chief Research Officer

Jaroslav is the Chief Research Officer at Coriell and as such oversees all research efforts and directs an epigenetic research group at the Institute.

 Leo Jose, MBA

Director, Application Development

Leo leads a team of highly-skilled software developers who create innovative software applications to address Coriell's unique and sophisticated systems requirements. 

 Sameer Kalghatgi, PhD

Director of Laboratory Operations

Sameer manages the cell and molecular biology laboratory supervisors and staff by providing scientific and technical guidance and leads the laboratory teams. 

 Ellen Kelly, PhD

Program Director

Ellen is the principal investigator of the NIA Aging Cell Repository, and oversees new projects at Coriell, leveraging her scientific background and resource management capabilities to guide earned business opportunities. 

 Jozef Madzo, PhD

Director, Bioinformatics

In his role as director of bioinformatics, Jozef steers and oversees all bioinformatics work at the Coriell.

 Matthew W. Mitchell, PhD

Co-principal Investigator, NIGMS Human Genetic Cell Repository

Matt is co-principal investigator of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences Human Genetic Cell Repository.

 Ruby O'Lexy, PhD

Manager, Grants & Research Development

Ruby helps to expand Coriell’s research capacity by pinpointing funding opportunities which align with the institute’s priorities.

 Deborah Requesens, PhD

Program Director

Debbie is the principal investigator of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences Human Genetic Cell Repository.

 Alissa M. Resch, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer

Alissa provides oversight and guidance for all repository contracts and grants and, in this role, oversees the project management teams to ensure all project deliverables are met or exceeded.

 Laura Scheinfeldt, PhD

Principal Research Scientist

Laura is the principal investigator of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) Human Genetics Resource Center at the Coriell Institute.

 Dean Stoios, MBA

Chief Financial Officer

Tasked with overseeing the institute's financial infrastructure and introducing, initiating and implementing key directives, Dean is an accomplished innovator with experience steering global health and medical service organizations.

 Nahid Turan, PhD

Chief Laboratory Officer

Nahid oversees the molecular biology, cell biology, stem cell and cytogenetics laboratories, biobanking logistics, quality control and assurance, and customer service for all of our laboratory operations.

 Dana Youngblood

Associate Director, Human Resources

In her role, Dana oversees a wide range of duties including talent management, benefits administration and employee relations.