Karen S Towner, BSN, RN
Karen was born and raised in Watkins Glen, NY. After getting married in 1984, she relocated to Rochester and has 3 sons, a daughter-in-law and 2 beautiful granddaughters. She obtained her Associates in Nursing from Monroe Community College and later her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Brockport State College. She also has a Bachelor’s degree in Educational Studies in Healthcare from Empire State College; she is a certified asthma educator. Her nursing career has included pediatrics, family practice and working as a project coordinator for a Robert Wood Foundation grant for inner city children with asthma. She has worked in both hospital based and private practice. She joined AAIR in 2009 as the Nurse Manager of the private practice. Her hobbies include yoga, antiquing, photography, scrap-booking, gardening and hiking. Karen’s interest in research lies in the new innovations clinical research brings, as well as, seeing the how the patients benefit from these new treatments. Karen has had the opportunity to train under Becky Ricotta, MS, CCRC for the last quarter of 2016 .
Becky Ricotta, MS, CCRC
Research Administrator, Certified Clinical Research Coordinator
Becky retired from AAIR on December 30, 2016
Becky was born and raised in Buffalo and LeRoy, NY. After getting married in 1976, she relocated to Rochester and has 2 sons, a daughter- in- law, and two grandsons. She obtained her Medical Assistant Certificate from Sawyer School of Business, a BS in Biology from Fredonia State University, and a Masters of Science in Community Health Education from SUNY Brockport. She has worked in nursing homes, doctor's offices, and a cardiology unit in a local hospital before coming to AAIR Research in 1993. She has been Certified as a Clinical Research Coordinator by the ACRP (Association of Clinical Research Professionals) since 1997. Becky has been active in the ACRP as the Secretary to the Site Manager's Forum from 1997-1999 and as the Co-Chair for the Western New York Chapter of the ACRP from 2008 - 2010. She is a member of the 2014 ACRP Awards & Recognition Committee. Her hobbies include camping, golf, music, and water aerobics. She enjoys clinical research because it allows her to be on the cutting edge of medicine and provide patients, as well as our medical community with opportunities currently unavailable as part of their health treatment.
Research Assistant/Regulatory Specialist
Tina was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware and moved to Rochester in 1988. She is married and has 1 son. Tina has been in research for over 17 years and has worked with Wyeth Pharmaceuticals as an assistant to the director and data management specialist. She also worked at Rochester Clinical Research for 2 1/2 years before coming to AAIR Research Center in November 2007. She enjoys learning and has taken classes in nursing as well as natural health. Her hobbies include traveling, gardening, and an interest in all things about health and fitness. She has been in research for many years and enjoys how it keeps her "on her toes" as well as allowing her to help people to feel better.
Amy Wielgosz, RN, CCRC
Certified Clinical Research Coordinator
Raised and educated in Rochester, Amy worked in manufacturing at Eastman Kodak and Johnson & Johnson for 19 years as a Quality Control inspector before going back to nursing school. She graduated in 2001 from GCC with her Associates in Nursing and worked in Med/Surg and Surgical Services 7 years before coming to AAIR Research in 2008. Amy then went on to become certified as a Clinical Research Coordinator through the ACRP (Association of Clinical Research Professionals) in September 2010. She is active in ACRP attending local meetings of the Western New York Chapter of the ACRP. Amy is married and has 2 grown sons as well as 3 beautiful grandchildren. She enjoys knitting, gardening, and marching in the Drum Corp. Amy enjoys the patient contact aspect of research as well as being part of the critical role research plays in the advancement medicine.
Erica Irwin, RN, CRC
Clinical Research Coordinator
With family in both Northern California and Virginia, Erica’s childhood was spent backpacking and exploring in the beautiful Sierra, Smokey and Appalachian Mountains. She settled here in Rochester after marrying her husband in 2005. Her passion for healthcare started as a teenager volunteering for her local ambulance service. After many years as an EMT, she expanded her education and skill level into that of a nationally registered Critical Care Paramedic. After 10 years in that role, she furthered her commitment to serving patients by obtaining her Nursing degree from MCC in 2011. Erica continued her dedication to critical care working both in the ICU and the Emergency Department. Fraternal twin by birth, she too, has fraternal twins. They enjoy camping and any excuse to be outdoors or in the water with their yellow lab. Erica celebrates her “me” time by skating in Roller Derby. As her tenure in critical care has shown the long term effects of chronic disease processes, she continues her commitment to the future of medicine by pursuing a career in research.
Michelle Kelly, LPN, CRC
Clinical Research Coordinator
Michelle was born and raised in Rochester. Her passion for healthcare started after volunteering when she lived down south for the American Red Cross. This led to a career in nursing. Michelle has over 15 years in nursing. Her nursing specialties include internal medicine, ENT, obstetrics and gynecology, endocrine and the operating room. In addition to nursing, Michelle also has her Esthetician license. She resides in Brighton with her boyfriend and family. Her hobbies include yoga, volunteering, live music and is currently training for a half marathon. Michelle enjoys being a part of the critical role that research provides in medicine advancement.
Born and raised in Rochester, Collette attended college at MCC. She joined AAIR in 2001 working as a Senior Medical Secretary for Dr. Stephen Rosenfeld until his retirement in 2004 and then for Dr. Donald Pulver until making the transition to AAIR research in January 2017. In 2015, she was the recipient of Community Recognition Award for acts of compassion and kindness. Collette was recognized for volunteering over 10 years of service to raise awareness and funds for Allergy, Arthritis, Asthma, Lupus and Cancer foundations. Collette has 1 son (Matthew) and her hobbies include spending time with family and friends, country line dancing, attending summer music festivals, hiking and camping (the REAL kind – in a tent!). She is thrilled to be a part of the AAIR Research team and is looking forward to working together with some of the most respected investigators and coordinators in the field.