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Alexis Hall, Ph.D.

Alexis K. Hall, Ph.D., CNCT, R.NCS.T
Coordinator, Neuromuscular Clinical Services
Neurology

alexis.hall@neurology.ufl.edu

Department of Neurology
PO Box 100383
Gainesville, FL 32610

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A member of the University of Florida’s (UF’s) Department of Neurology since 2009, Alexis K. Hall is passionate about research and seeks to relate it to the health care that patients receive.  She presently is actively involved in outpatient neuromuscular clinical work, which is associated with UF Health’s teaching hospital system.  Her career progression has been well-rounded and commenced with undergraduate studies at Georgia Institute of Technology.  Co­operative education experience in biomechanics during her second year of the Mechanical Engineering program led her to pursue a path that more specifically examined biological mechanisms for their potential to achieve therapeutic outcomes.  Work and academic pursuits at other institutions followed.  Her academic research experience in the development of novel therapeutics began with projects completed through the College of Liberal Arts Honors Program at Florida Atlantic University (FAU).  It was in that setting that she discovered her passion for scientific research.  She began her graduate studies at the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine shortly after receiving her B.S. in Biological Sciences from FAU.  Mentored by Dr. Richard Voellmy, she proposed her first thesis project in 2002 and launched the preclinical stage of a second project in 2006, which was completed collaboratively at a satellite study site: UF’s Center for Environmental and Human Toxicology.  As a liaison for the inter-institutional project, she carried out challenging, complex, tumor regression studies.  Results helped shape ongoing work that continues to build innovative safety into gene therapy designs via a unique molecular switch, now marketed by HSF Pharmaceuticals S.A. (www.hsfpharma.com).

In 2007, interest in the regulatory aspects of research administration led Alexis to serve UF scientists in their endeavors as an Assistant Biosafety Officer within Environmental Health and Safety.  In that capacity, she aided the implementation and programmatic development of the university-wide Biological Safety Program’s policy and procedures for research.  She utilized a site-specific, educational approach when completing facility reviews and strove to assist Principal Investigators with meeting requirements by tailoring the specific address of their unique situations to find a fit with compliant policies and procedures.  Effective coordination and communication were essential to fulfill the position’s comprehensive responsibilities.  Her understanding of scientific methodology was especially valued during committee work with the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) and with the North Florida / South Georgia Veterans Health System Subcommittee for Research Safety.  These committees evaluated protocols to determine feasibility, resource requirements, and training prior to issuing research project approval letters.  To help meet educational needs, she presented both formal and informal training sessions to research personnel.

Alexis next gained experience facilitating the advancement of several simultaneous projects while working in Neurology as Assistant In (2009 – 2012), a position that blended administrative responsibility with bench science, e.g.: shaping study design and developing research protocols.  Beyond utilizing expertise in recombinant DNA technology to provide guidance in the selection of methodology for project approaches, she structured a repository system for samples from patients for clinical research purposes. Management of day-to-day operations, establishing laboratory work flow, direct supervision of the work that followed, as well as assisting with analysis and interpretation of results that were generated were among her responsibilities.  Project priorities, along with progress toward established scientific goals, were reviewed in weekly lab meetings.  Her experiences enable her to provide fluent and comfortable communication with principal investigators, biostatisticians and research coordinators, unifying efforts to promote study feasibility and logistical practicality (both scientifically and clinically).

As UF’s Neuromuscular Clinical Programs Coordinator (2012 – present), and as an American Board of Electrodiagnostic Medicine (ABEM) Certified Nerve Conduction Technologist (CNCT) as well as a Research Member with the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine (AANEM), Alexis is actively involved in performing diagnostic tests with adult and pediatric neuromuscular patients and research participants.  She instructs neuromuscular residents and fellows in the clinic techniques that she utilizes daily.  She also completed two didactic courses in 2016 to complement her background: 1) UF’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute’s Clinical Research Coordinator Certificate; and 2) UF’s Graduate Biostatistics Course: Design & Conduct of Clinical Trials.  She regularly corresponds with clinical research coordinators to schedule study assessments, minimizing follow up attrition by factoring in patient and clinic constraints.  Her background assists her in interpreting data significance and in appropriately framing information for patients.  It also offers a valuable combination of experience in basic science, translational research, regulatory work, clinical assessments and clinical research interests to help spark neuromuscular research collaborations.

 

Professional Experience

University of Florida (Gainesville, FL) 

Clinical Programs Coordinator
2012 – present     

  • Assist physicians with electromyography (EMG) by performing nerve conduction studies (NCV) for clinic patients seen in Adult Neurology as well as in Pediatric Neurology
  • Interface with the EMR system (EPIC); generate report graphics from neuromuscular testing
  • Develop, implement & perform additional patient assessments as needed, e.g.: autonomic nervous system tests using tilt table, blood pressure, pulmonary function & electrocardiogram recordings
  • Assist in the interpretation and implementation of policies and procedures as they apply to neuromuscular testing; recommend changes to policy/procedures as necessary; report to Neurology Clinic Supervisor, Neuromuscular Division Chief, & Director of Neurology
  • Aid clinic administration in equipment purchases & coordination of maintenance; select assessment supplies; track & compile study related statistics, as needed; support staff in billing
  • Act as liaison between the Neuromuscular Division, outside agencies, general public & patients
  • Ensure HIPAA practices are utilized & that UF Health’s hospitality mission is fully extended
  • Contribute to the research mission of Neurology’s Neuromuscular Division: perform testing, coordinate studies, communicate study schedules, provide technical support to Principal Investigators for new & ongoing projects, relay relevant factors to departmental administration
  • Train / supervise additional technicians engaged in carrying out clinical & research protocols
  • Support training of Neurology house staff & fellows in NCV concepts, challenges & performance
  • Support special studies or projects as directed (e.g., dissertation projects and residents’ projects)

Assistant In Neurology
2009 – 2012

  • Supervised & trained personnel in standard molecular biology techniques and genetic screens
  • Contributed to the intellectual development of project approaches; utilized available databases
  • Aided annual poster presentation of projects underway in the laboratory
  • Streamlined bench work productivity, designed protocols, structured patient sample repositories
  • Ordered supplies & managed equipment care
  • Ensured that the lab met UF standards for compliance with respective regulatory agencies

Assistant Biosafety Officer, Coordinator 2
2007 – 2009

  • Aided the implementation / development of the university-wide Biological Safety Program
  • Conducted facility audits to monitor compliance with local, state, and federal regulations
  • Conducted risk assessments and issued approval letters for projects involving work with biohazards (recombinant DNA, biological agents, and acute biological toxins)
  • Assisted principal investigators and research staff with questions related to various regulations for work with biohazards & aided development of site specific standard operating procedures
  • Conducted compliance training seminars: Bloodborne Pathogens, General Biosafety, Autoclave Safety, as well as Shipping & Transport of Biological Materials
  • Provided technical expertise in Biosafety for the Subcommittee for Research Safety’s review of projects and facilities associated with the North Florida / South Georgia Veterans Health System
  • Aided project preparation for Institutional Biosafety Committee review
  • Approved projects for minors working with biological materials in laboratories on campus

Collaborative Researcher, Center for Environmental and Human Toxicology
2006 – 2007

  • Designated as a liaison to plan & collaboratively conduct preliminary, preclinical trials
  • Defined the challenges that future gene therapies now face to regulate & target tumor treatments

 

Education

Ph.D., Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL
2008
Dissertation – “Harnessing the Heat Shock Response to Raise Refined Therapeutic Outcomes”

B.S., Biological Science; Certificate in Biotechnology; Liberal Arts Honors Program
Florida Atlantic University, Davie, FL
2000
Honors Thesis – “Historical Biogeography and the Evolutionary History of Chihuahuan Desert Reptiles: Crotalus lepidus Phylogeography”

Honors and Awards

  • Florida Scholar, State of Florida 2000-2002
  • Selected for the President’s Honors List (Fall, 1999)
  • Dean’s List (Fall, 1999)

 

Professional Memberships 

  • American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine (AANEM) Research Member 12/11/2012 – 12/31/2017
  • Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) Member 11/17/2016 – 11/30/2017
  • Appointed by University of Florida’s Vice President for Student Affairs via nominations- Selected to serve the Presidential Committee for Persons with Disabilities (CPD) as Member: 8/7/2013 – 8/15/2016

 

Publications

Gallego-Iradi C, Bickford J, Khare S, Hall A, Nick J, Salmasinia D, Wawrowsky K, Bannykh S, Huynh D, Rincon-Limas D, Pulst S, Nick H, Fernandez-Funez P, Waters M. (2014). KCNC3R420H, a K+ channel mutation causative in spinocerebellar ataxia 13 displays aberrant intracellular trafficking. Neurobiology of Disease 71: 270–279.

Hall A. (2008). Harnessing the Heat Shock Response to Raise Refined Therapeutic Outcomes. Open Access Dissertations. Paper 102. http://scholarlyrepository.miami.edu/oa_dissertations/102

Petrucelli L, Dickson D, Kehoe K, Taylor J, Snyder H, Grover A, De Lucia M, McGowan E, Lewis J, Prihar G, Kim J, Dillmann WH, Browne SE, Hall A, Voellmy R, Tsuboi Y, Dawson TM, Wolozin B, Hardy J, Hutton M. (2004).  CHIP and Hsp70 regulate tau ubiquitination, degradation and aggregation.  Hum Mol Genet. 13(7):703-14.

Kumi-Diaka J, Sanderson NA, Hall A. (2000).  The mediating role of caspase-3 protease in the intracellular mechanism of genistein-induced apoptosis in human prostatic carcinoma cell lines, DU145 and LNCaP.  Biol Cell. 92(8-9):595-604.