Investigator Initiated Research
Investigator-initiated research is conceived and designed by a Cook Children's staff member and is conducted solely at Cook Children's. With these projects, the investigators are responsible for coordinating and facilitating the entire project life-cycle. This includes the research design, initiation and conduction of the study, as well as analysis and publication of the clinical research. These are most often smaller scale studies aimed at evaluating drugs already on the market or providing open access to drugs in development that are not otherwise available.
Meet our team:
A Texas native, I grew up under the wide-open skies of west Texas and stayed relatively close to home to pursue higher education at Abilene Christian University in Abilene, TX. There I received a Bachelor's degree in psychology in 1999 and Master's degree in counseling psychology in 2001. My pursuit for higher education took me further as I moved to the metroplex in 2001 and began working at Cook Children's. A few years later I began a doctoral program at the University of North Texas in Denton, TX, where I earned a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology with an emphasis in Cognitive Neuroscience in 2013. During my graduate training, I spent a two and a half years working in the Neurotherapy Program conducting neurofeedback, where I learned to interpret EEGs and quantitative EEGs.
My career at Cook Children's began in 2002, working in the Life After Cancer Program in the Hematology & Oncology Center, where I conducted research in the areas of quality of life and cognitive outcomes of cancer therapy in pediatric cancer survivors for eight years. I then transitioned to the Research department where I spent several years conducting research in the areas of epilepsy, movement disorder, and neurosurgery while working with neurologists and neurosurgeons in the Jane and John Justin Neurosciences Center. My role in the research department continued to expand and in 2014, I moved into a manager role. While still providing services directly to Neurosciences, I also began to focus on increasing the investigator-initiated research support service line at Cook Children's. In my new role, I provided direct and indirect support and oversight of scientists focused on internally developed, investigator-initiated and Sponsor-Investigator IND clinical research protocols. In 2015, in an effort to fully develop a collaborative program to offer a research experience during medical school, I was appointed Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of North Texas Health Science Center. Since that time, we have hosted numerous medical students through the Pediatric Research Program.
As part of my ongoing effort to continually expand the breadth and depth of investigator-initiated research at Cook Children's, I accepted the role of Director in the newly formed division of Research Data Science & Analytics in 2019. This division was developed to accelerate data-driven research, promote collaboration, and train future leaders. The division connects data science experts with investigators in all fields to spark discovery and pairs research scientists with investigators to provide comprehensive research support for investigators pursuing investigator-initiated research at Cook Children's.
Outside of my work, I serve on a couple of boards for non-profits. One focused on innovative primary care and public health research and the other is focused on providing childhood experiences to children who come from hard places. My free time is often spent at camps and retreats for these children or with my son at the pool, at the movies, working on computers, or just doing what he wants to do. I enjoy music, cooking, and doing anything that allows me to work with power tools.
I was born in England, but grew up in Fort Worth, Texas. After my first winter at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, I transferred back to warmer weather and completed my bachelor's degree from Texas Christian University. During my undergrad at TCU, I worked as a clinical research intern at Cook Children's Medical Center. I then attended the University of North Texas Health Science Center where I earned my master's degree in biomedical sciences. Following graduation, I returned to working at Cook Children's as a clinical scientist. Outside of work, my husband and I stay busy with our two young children and two energetic dogs
I was born in Irving, Texas where I attended high school and met my wife. We moved to Abilene, Texas to attend Hardin-Simmons University where I completed my bachelor's degree. I then attended the University of North Texas Health Science Center where I earned my master's degree. Prior to working at Cook Children's, I worked as a scientist in an immunogenomics laboratory where I developed TCR-mimic antibodies, and a pain management medical device company where I developed a three dimensional skin simulator used to visualize radiofrequency ablations. While at Cook Children's, I have worked as a clinical scientist for endocrinology and genetics, and have authored over 25 publications and written 2 textbook chapters. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my wife and two boys and staying active through running, weight training, and hiking.
Google Scholar: Luke Hamilton - Google Scholar
Despite being a Texan for quite some time now, I called St. Louis, Missouri, and the Chicago area “home” while growing up. I attended Hope College in Holland, Michigan for my undergraduate degree in Biology and received my MPH in Epidemiology from Texas A&M University. In my early career I interned with the CDC at the National Center for Emerging Zoonotic Infectious Diseases and with the City of San Antonio Metropolitan Health District. In 2014 I moved to Dallas where I met my husband, and began my clinical research career at Mary Crowley Cancer Research. In my 5 years there, I matched patients to targeted clinical therapies and served as the staff epidemiologist. Since joining Cook Children's, I have worked as the Project Manager over Stroke and Thrombosis research. In my free time, I enjoy camping and traveling with my husband, watching hockey (Go Blues!), and relaxing by the pool with my dog Moose.
I was born in Honolulu, Hawaii but have called Texas home since I was 2 years old. I attended the United States Military Academy at West Point and earned a BS in Life Sciences. With that came 5 years of service in the US Army as an infantry officer. During this time I had the honor of leading soldiers on two combat deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. After my military service, I decided to dive into research and earned a master's degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio as well as a PhD from Rice University both majoring in bioengineering. Prior to coming to Cook Children's, I completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Houston Methodist Research Institute where I conducted research in tissue engineering for congenital heart defects. My research focused on the differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cells into functional beating cardiomyocytes as well as developing biomimetic materials for full cardiac wall repair. While at Cook Children's I have been able to continue my interests in pediatric cardiovascular research as a project manager in the Heart Center assisting cardiologists and surgeons in their clinical research endeavors. In my free time, you'll either find me spending time with the family, smoking meat or building stuff, anything from furniture to fly rods.
My relationship with Cook Children's began when I was born at 26 weeks and spent the first few months of my life in the NICU. I continued to be treated at Cook Children's for epilepsy until I graduated from the High School of Medical Professions at North Side High School in Fort Worth, TX. I earned my bachelor's in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Health Psychology from the University of Texas at Arlington. After graduation, I came back to Cook Children's as a volunteer in neurosciences for some of the same doctors who treated me as a child. After a year-and-a-half, I was offered a full-time position in the research department where I have been working for over 10 years. I have managed data for neurosciences, NICU, and cardiology. I am responsible for multi-site registries, investigator initiated databases and assist with regulatory processes.
I graduated from University of Benin in Benin-City, Nigeria with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) Degree. My research there focused on the knowledge, attitude, and practice of exclusive breastfeeding among working mothers' in Oredo Local Government Area, Edo State, Nigeria. I worked as a physician in Nigeria for a few years before deciding to study Epidemiology in the United States. I received my Master of Public Health (MPH) Degree from the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth, TX. I am a certified public health professional, and have worked in research since 2013. Prior to joining Cook Children's, my research has focused on factors affecting hospital readmissions, orthopedic studies and Maternal & Child Health. I joined Cook Children's in 2018, and my work has been centered around cardiology and cardio-thoracic surgery research studies within the Heart Center. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my family, gardening, singing, working with children and youth groups, and volunteering for community outreaches.
I was born in Frankfurt, Germany, but consider myself a native of San Antonio, Texas. I attended the University of Oklahoma where I earned a Bachelor of Science in Health and Exercise Sciences. Prior to joining Cook Children's, I worked at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC) for 16 years. During my career at OUHSC I held various roles from a Research Assistant and Exercise Physiologist for both the General Clinical Research Center and the Children's Metabolic Research Institute and most recently as a Research Program Coordinator for the Adult and Pediatric Urology departments. My proudest accomplishment at OUHSC was being selected to implement Oklahoma's only Pediatric Bone Clinic at OU Children's Physicians Endocrinology Clinic. I was responsible for clinically administering and analyzing bone density and body composition scans of patients using a GE Luna DEXA (Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry) machine.
In 2016, I joined Cook Children's Medical Center as a certified Clinical Research Coordinator for the newly established Pediatric Urology clinic. I'm assigned as the Lead Research Coordinator for the department's primary study titled, DSD Long-Term Outcomes of Interventions for Reproductive Dysfunction: Continence, Behavioral Outcomes, and Novel Predictors of Brain Masculinization (STUDY 1 - 4); a 10-year project which consist of thirteen national sites and is sponsored by the National Institute of Health (NIH). Since arriving at Cook Children's I have expanded to working with investigators from the Emergency Medicine, Orthopedics, Pain Medicine and Trauma departments to initiate new research projects. In 2019, I earned the Cook Children's Medical Center Team Peak Performer Award for my work with the Aim for Safety team regarding Gun Safety and our intervention project, Increasing Utilization of Gun Safety Devices. To date, I have 27 peer-reviewed research articles as well as numerous conference presentations.
In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family, working out, watching college football, vacationing, and cheering for my favorite teams – Oklahoma Sooners, Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Dodgers and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
I was born and brought up in India. I completed my school and got my Associate degree in Nursing from there. After I got married, we migrated to USA as part of my husband's job. Then I continued my studies, got my Bachelor's in Nursing and later on earned Master's degree in Healthcare informatics. Prior to working at Cook Children's, I worked as a NICU nurse in Texas Health Recourse for 10 years and as a quality coordinator at JPS Health network. Currently I work as a Clinical Data Manager at Cook Children's, maintaining and supporting the data needs for NEST database. Outside work, I enjoy spending time with my family and cooking.
I was born in the beautiful Caribbean island of Jamaica W.I. I migrated to the US as an international student at Prairie View A&M University where I completed my BBA-Management (2005). I later completed my Masters of Business Administration-Finance and Masters in Healthcare Administration (2008), and Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (2015) at The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA). After completing my doctoral studies, I worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow with the LINK Research Lab, UTA for one year (2016) where I further pursued research on college graduates' career transitions. My personal career path later transitioned to the Oakwood University as Assistant Professor, Finance and Strategic Management, where I taught and continued my research (2016 – 2019).
In February 2020, my career took another turn when I joined Cook Children's Health Care System in Fort Worth, Texas as Research Project Manager. My time has been with both the Genetics and Pain Management research teams. Within each respective department, our emerging research focuses on pharmacogenetic variability in pediatric patients with depression and the usage of massage therapy and virtual reality to help mitigate patients' anxiety and pain.
In my spare time, I like reading spiritual books, swimming, and above all enjoying my family.
I was born in and grew up in Lubbock, Texas. I earned my bachelor's degree in mathematics from Lubbock Christian University, a master's degree in mathematics from Texas Tech University, and a PhD in experimental psychology from the University of Texas at Arlington. In graduate school, I worked as a graduate teaching assistant, independently teaching undergraduate mathematics courses as well as undergraduate labs in research design and statistics; and I was employed as a research assistant with a focus on survey methodology and applied statistics. Prior to coming to Cook Children's, I worked as a statistician for a financial corporation. At Cook Children's, I oversee research projects that medical students conduct in our healthcare system. I have trained over 200 medical students, and I have co-authored over 20 articles while at Cook Children's. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my wife, reading, and cooking.