Meridien Research - Bradenton

Center Information

Margaret Bell
Site Director
Meridien Research - Bradenton
8043 Cooper Creek Boulevard #107
Bradenton, FL 34201
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Currently Enrolling Trials

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Therapeutic Areas

Cardiology/Vascular Diseases
Family Medicine
Genetic Disease
Healthy Volunteers
Hepatology (Liver, Pancreatic, Gall Bladder)
Infections and Infectious Diseases
Nutrition and Weight Loss
Obstetrics/Gynecology (Women’s Health)
Orthopedics/Orthopedic Surgery
Plastic Surgery
Pulmonary/Respiratory Diseases

Center Overview

Founded in January 2000, Meridien Research is comprised of six multi-therapeutic, dedicated research centers specializing in mental health, central nervous system disorders, nutrition, women’s health and general internal medicine. The founding principals have a combined experience in clinical research of over 50 years. The company was founded on the concept of providing sponsors with the highest quality trial data in a timely fashion. Meridien Research prides itself on having a strong reputation among both large and small pharma. Repeat customers account for more than 75% of our active clinical trials. Sponsors often use all six centers for their trials as the patient populations are separate while gaining the consistency of quality across all centers. Meridien Research’s six centers are located in:

  • St. Petersburg, Florida
  • Tampa, Florida
  • Bradenton, Florida
  • Spring Hill, Florida
  • Lakeland, Florida
  • Maitland, Florida (Orlando)

Media advertising encompasses the Tampa Bay and Orlando markets, which extends the opportunity for enrollment while maximizing recruitment dollars. The centers are structured to support ease of patient participation and research coordinator efficiency. Each center has a site director, regulatory specialist, recruitment specialist, research assistants and laboratory technician who facilitate accurate and efficient data collection.

Performance Metrics

Number of Studies Conducted: 700
Number of Active Patients in the Database: 15,000

ACRP Certifications

Clinical Research Experience

Clinical Experience: 18 years, Preferred Phases 2, 3, 4

Specialties: Anti-Aging Therapy, Behavioral Medicine, Dermatology, Endocrine & Metabolism, Family Practice, Gastroenterology, Geriatric Medicine, Gynecology, Healthy Populations, Hypertension, Immunology, Internal Medicine, Neurology, Nutrition, Psychiatry, Rheumatology, Sleep Medicine, Women’s Health, Mental Health, and Pediatric Studies

Therapeutic Areas:

  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Migraine Headaches
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Mood Disorders
  • Menopause
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Sexual Disorders
  • Contraception
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Osteoporosis
  • Pain Syndromes
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Hypertension
  • Nutrition
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Acne
  • Mental Health
  • Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Memory Impairment (Age Associated)
  • Peripheral Vascular Disease
  • Rosacea
  • Weight Loss
  • Endometriosis
  • Common Cold
  • Schizophrenia
  • Multiple Sclerosis

Facility Description

Site facilities include:

  • Centrifuge
  • Scale in pounds and kilograms
  • Stadiometer
  • -70° freezer
  • Refrigerator
  • Three exam rooms with gynecologic examination capabilities
  • EKG machines
  • Large double-locked medication room with 24 hour temperature recording
  • Three independent monitoring offices with high speed internet access
  • Quiet testing rooms for cognitive evaluations
  • Regulatory office
  • Large medical records storage on site
  • Kitchen for food preparation
  • Multiple waiting areas for subjects
  • Ample parking

Investigator Experience

Principal Investigators:

Andrew J. Cutler, MD is board certified in both Psychiatry and Internal Medicine and has been conducting clinical research since 1993 at the University of Virginia, the University of Chicago and since 1996 in Central Florida. Dr. Cutler also speaks to professional and community audiences about the evaluation and treatment of mental illnesses such as ADHD, Bipolar Disorder (Manic-Depression), Major Depression, Anxiety Disorders and Schizophrenia. He is Meridien Research’s Chief Medical Officer and Principal Investigator in Lakeland, Maitland and Bradenton.

Cynthia Huffman MD - During her six years with Meridien Research, Dr. Cynthia Huffman has been a principal investigator and sub-investigator for over 100 clinical trials. Although, Dr. Huffman specializes in CNS trials, her broad range of investigation includes studies in multiple sclerosis, age associated memory impairment, mild cognitive impairment, generalized anxiety disorder, depression, post herpetic neuralgia, diabetic peripheral neuralgia, insomnia, Alzheimer’s disease, dermatology, gynecology, internal medicine, rheumatology, gastroenterology, smoking cessation and endocrinology.

Dr. Huffman received her B.S. from Ohio State University and her M.D. from Wright State University. She did her four-year residency at the Texas Medical Center at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Dr. Huffman is board-certified by the American College of Psychiatry and Neurology.

In addition to the above, Dr. Huffman’s medical experience includes thirteen years in private practice serving out-patients, and hospital and rehabilitation patients. Dr. Huffman has been the director of a National Multiple Sclerosis Society sponsored clinic and has worked for the University of South Florida in medical student education.

Gigi C. Lefebvre, MD is a board certified Family Physician who has been in private practice in St. Petersburg since 1990. After graduating from Louisiana State University in New Orleans in 1987, she came to St. Petersburg to complete her Family Practice residency training at Bay Front Medical Center. She enjoys all aspects of medicine in both the out-patient setting of her private practice as well as the clinical research arena. Dr. Lefebvre has been conducting trials in multi-therapeutic areas with Meridien Research since January of 2006.

Lou Chaykin, MD joined the Meridien team as PI of our Bradenton site in 2008. He retired from his private practice in Miami in December 2007. He has over 15 years in pharmaceutical research and is a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Miami School of Medicine. He is involved with chairing and developing programs for CME and CEUfor Physicians, Nurses, P.A.s, Dieticians, and Pharmacists in Diabetes and related topics. Dr. Chaykin is also a national speaker for Eli Lilly on the topic of relationship of atypical anti-psychotics as they relate to risk of metabolic syndrome, diabetes and cardiovascular events in the treatment of schizophrenia and bi-polar disorders. His areas of expertise are in diabetes, lipids, metabolic syndrome and osteoporosis.Since joining Meridien Dr. Chaykin has broadened his range of investigation to include obesity, women’s health, post herpetic neuralgia, irritable bowel syndrome, smoking cessation, gout and hypertension.

James Andersen, MD is a board certified physician who has served as a Director of the Florida Academy of Family Physicians and is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Miami School of Medicine. Dr. Andersen is an expert in addiction and family medicine and is a Principal Investigator in Lakeland.

Martin Bialow, MD is a board certified physician who has served as a cardiologist in private practice, a staff cardiologist at Bay Pines and Morton Plant, and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of South Florida. Dr. Bialow also serves as the Associate Medical Director of Suncoast Hospice. Dr. Bialow is an expert in cardiology. He is a Sub-Investigator at our St. Petersburg clinic.

Richard D. Knapp, DO is Board Certified in Psychiatry and Addictions Psychiatry and has been practicing psychiatry since 1975. He has been with Meridien Research (formerly Florida Clinical Research Center) in Maitland since 2001. Primary indications served include depression, anxiety, ADHD, alcohol dependency or other addictions, insomnia, schizophrenia, pain, Alzheimer’s disease, bipolar disorder, migraine headache, women’s health, obesity and general medicine.

Andrea Marraffino, PhD She has been with Meridien Research (formerly Florida Clinical Research Center) in Maitland since 2013 as a Sub-Investigator and Principal Investigator. Her specialties include ADHD, Alzheimer’s disorder, anxiety, autism spectrum, binge eating disorder, bipolar disorder, depression, fibromyalgia, migraine headache, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder.

Jose Zaglul, MD graduated Medical School from the Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. He pursued post graduate studies in General Psychiatry at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain and completed residency training in Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of South Florida in Tampa. He is Board Certified in General Psychiatry and in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He is a Principal Investigator and Sub-Investigator at our Bradenton clinic.

Staff Expertise

Meridien Research has a large staff of experienced CCRC certified coordinators and laboratory personnel. We have a staff dietician. Personnel are experienced in ADAS, Ham A, Ham D, MINI, CIBIC, CDR, MMSE, ADL scales, and computerized memory testing.

Jennifer McCaffrey (Tampa), Christina Morales (St. Petersburg), Chris Jacobs (Spring Hill), Margaret Bell (Bradenton), Ginny McClanahan (Maitland) and Stacey Cutting (Lakeland) are Site Directors with clinical research experience ranging from regulatory to psychometric testing. They are responsible for the day to day operations of their sites and are the contact person for new study inquires. They work directly with their Principal Investigators to ensure that all trials are conducted with the highest level of quality.

Patient Demographics

Central Florida comprises a unique demographic of a large geriatric population combined with explosive growth in the population segment 35-55 years of age. Meridien Research capitalizes on the demographics of the region by strategically placing sites to capture the appropriate demographic.

Other Information

Meridien Research has extensive experience in the following information technology systems:

  • eCRF - EDC
  • PhaseForward
  • INet
  • Impala
  • InForm
  • IVRS
  • Sponsor Specific programs

Contact Center

If you are interested in contacting this center to discuss placing a clinical trial there, please complete and send the email form below. A representative from the research center will then follow up with you.