The lab has two full-time registered vascular technologists, one part-time vascular technologist, 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. She has collaborated on more than 20 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 10 years she has mentored several pre- and post-doctoral trainees as Co-Director of the Cardiovascular Training Grant. She has also mentored students via the Department of Epidemiology 2152 course Student Workshop in CVD, which she has taught since 2008 as assistant instructor and since 2012 as lead instructor.



 URL Staff


Mindy L. Columbus, MS, MPH

Columbus01Ms. Columbus, Research Lab Manager, 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 atherosclerosis, 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 is the lead vascular research sonographer at the Ultrasound Research Laboratory.  Her duties in the lab consist of overseeing, maintaining and monitoring quality control and vascular testing for multiple studies in the lab.  She has over 30 years of clinical experience in vascular ultrasound, as well as experience in EKG, Holter monitoring, stress testing and echocardiography.


Anastasia Bonifati, RVT

Ms. Bonifati has an AS degree in diagnostic medical sonography, as well as an AS in General Studies: Science. Anastasia is a registered vascular technologist through the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). She also has experience as a Cardiac Monitor Technician.


 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, Belarus. Hanna is a registered vascular technologist and is currently working on her BS in Health Services.



Li-An Lai

Li-An Lai, MS

Li-An Lai is the data manager at the URL. His duties include converting, cleaning, and checking the data,  and also analysis support with the URL. He is a proficient user of SAS, and he can also apply the ArcGIS to epidemiology studies. He is currently an MPH student in Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh, School of Public Health. He acquired his MS title in the Department of Public Health, Taipei Medical University. He has experience being involved with studies in many fields, including cancer, arsenic exposure, gene polymorphism, urinary tract inflammation, and diabetes related researches.