The lab has three full-time registered vascular technologists, and a research lab manager. The technologists are trained and certified in all testing procedures provided by the laboratory. The URL has developed and completed multiple training programs and methods of operation manuals for CIMT and PWV protocols for multiple epidemiological studies across the country. The lab provides both onsite and offsite continuous quality control analysis for active studies within the URL. Additionally, the URL trains both pre- and post-doctoral students within the Graduate School of Public Health in all areas of CIMT, PWV and endothelial testing methods.



Emma Barinas-Mitchell, PhD

personnel_bm02Dr. Barinas-Mitchell is Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and serves as Director of the URL. She served as Associate Director of the URL, from 2007 to 2012 during which time she collaborated on more than 10 NIH, ADA and AHA funded projects in the application of subclinical vascular measures in the study of CVD prevention and development. Furthermore, during this time she has been actively involved in research investigating the role of obesity and related cardiometabolic disturbances in the development and progression of subclinical CVD, primarily as a co-investigator on the SWAN (U01 AG012553) longitudinal study of women through the menopausal transition and the weight loss intervention SAVE study (R01 HL077525). For both of these studies, Dr. Barinas-Mitchell was responsible for supervising the data collection, quality control, data management and interpretation of the subclinical vascular measures, including carotid IMT and AD and aortic PWV. For the past 8 years she has mentored several pre- and post-doctoral Cardiovascular Training Grant recipients via the Department of Epidemiology Student Workshop in CVD, which she has co-taught since 2008 and the subclinical CVD journal club she coordinates.


 URL Staff


Mindy L. Columbus, MS, MPH

Columbus01Ms. Columbus manages the day-to-day operations of the Ultrasound Research Lab (URL) and its staff, and provides high-level research and administrative support to the Director of the URL. She has 20+ years of administrative and management experience, and obtained her MPH from the Department of Epidemiology in 2010. She is currently pursuing the PhD degree in epidemiology, and her research interests include subclinical cardiovascular disease, obesity, and women’s health. As an MPH and PhD student she has had experience working with URL data and conducting her own small studies in the lab.

Antoinette Marasco

Ms. Marasco has over 20 years experience in ultrasound and vascular testing.


Anna01Hanna V Kruk, RVT

Ms. Kruk has an AS degree in diagnostic medical sonography. She also studied international relations and customs in Belarusian State University. Hanna is a registered vascular technologist and is currently working on her BS in Health Services.



Anastasia Bonifati, RVT

Ms. Bonifati has an AS degree in diagnostic medical sonography, and an AS in General Studies: Science. Anastasia is a registered vascular technologist through ARDMS.


Chunzhe Duan, MHS

Chunzhe Duan, goes by Emily, is the data analyst/manager at the URL lab. Her duties include maintaining the routine data conversion, data cleaning, and analytical support for studies affiliated with the URL. She is proficient in SAS and R programming. Emily is currently a PhD student in Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh. She obtained her Master of Health Science (MHS) in Environmental Health Science from Johns Hopkins University, and her Bachelor of Medicine in Preventive Medicine from Wuhan University, China. Her research interests include air pollution, environmental chemical hazard, obesity, subclinical atherosclerosis and quantitative imaging. Emily has applied advanced statistical methods for her researches, including cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses, linear mixed effect models, structural equation modeling, time series, ArcGIS and spacial analyses.