The lab has two 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
Emma Barinas-Mitchell, PhD

URL Director

Dr. Barinas-Mitchell is Associate 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.

Mindy L. Columbus, MS, MPH
Mindy L. Columbus, MS, MPH

Research Lab Manager

Ms. 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. Mindy is experienced in the oversight of data management for single and multi-centered population health studies, and conducted her own small studies in the lab as an MPH student. She is actively involved as a co-author on publications based on subclinical CVD data generated in the URL. Her research interests include subclinical atherosclerosis, obesity and women’s health.

Anastasia Bonifati, RVT
Anastasia Bonifati, RVT

Vascular Technologist

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.

Jody Michalski, RDMS

Ultrasound Technologist

Jody has an Associates Degree in diagnostic medical sonography.  She is a registered ultrasound technologist through the America Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). She worked at Sewickley Hospital for 11 years.  

Jennifer Wells

Data Manager

Jennifer serves as a Graduate Student Researcher data manager for multiple national studies focused on cardiovascular health at the Ultrasound Research Lab. She is a PhD student in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh. Her background and interests include women’s health across the life course, stress and health equity. She previously worked in applied research related to sexual violence. She has an MPH in Epidemiology from Columbia University.