Originally, we began as The El Paso Institute for Medical Research and Development in 1985. Western Sky Medical Research has performed over 354 clinical research investigations, involving pharmacologic, biologic treatments, and studies of devices or tests.
In the past years, thanks to a dedicated professional staff, Western Sky has developed a reputation for excellent ethical clinical research.
Western Sky focuses on clinical trials in the areas of Asthma, COPD, Urticaria, Food Allergy and Eczema. They have also conducted studies on Type II Diabetes, Allergic Rhinitis, Pneumonia, Acute Sinusitis, Acute Bronchitis and Hypertension.
Dr. Todd Funkhouser was a Sub-Investigator with Western Sky from 2006-2010 and took over as the Principal Investigator in July of 2021.
Along with all the clinical trials listed above, Dr. Funkhouser also has experience in Pulmonary Hypertension.
We are most proud of our clinical research volunteers. The vast majority have found clinical research experience to be rewarding for many reasons. Most would and do volunteer again.
Our site is very proud to have a Certified Principal Investigator on its staff. Laura P. Herrera, DNP, APRN, FNP-C, CPI has been a Sub-Investigator at Western Sky Medical Research since 2010 and is the only CPI in the entire region.
Western Sky is proud to have 3 of our Research Coordinators that are Certified through ACRP (Association of Clinical Research Professionals).
Laura Herrera graduated from The University of Texas at El Paso with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1997. Her experience as a Registered Nurse was in the Cardiovascular and Psychiatric Mental Health areas. She pursued higher education and obtained her Masters of Science in Nursing at the University of Texas at El Paso with a concentration in Adult Psychiatric Mental Health.
Laura also has a Post Graduate Degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner. She is board certified by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. As an Advanced Practice Nurse, she has worked in the areas of Internal and Family Medicine, Women's' Health, Hospice, Nephrology, Asthma, Allergy, Immunology, and Clinical Research.
On May 13, 2017, Laura received her Doctor of Nursing Practice from The University of Texas at El Paso. She became a Certified Principal Investigator in 2021 through the Association of Clinical Research Professionals. She has been a sub-investigator for Western Sky Medical Research since 2010. She feels very passionate about the uniqueness and challenges of treating patients with Allergic Diseases.
Ruby Velasquez was born and raised in El Paso, TX. She became a Certified Medical Assistant in 2008 when she graduated from Western Technical College. She also received her certification as a Clinical Research Coordinator in March 2012, through the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP). Ruby is experienced in working with various Asthma, Allergy, Urticaria, and COPD clinical research trials for over 14 years.
Elisa Hernandez was raised in Fabens, TX and graduated from Fabens High School in 2004. She then became a Certified Medical Assistant after graduating from Western Technical College in 2011. She joined Western Sky Medical Research as a study coordinator in February 2013. She received her certification as a Clinical Research Coordinator from the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) in 2016. Her primary experience has been in Asthma, Allergy, Urticaria, and COPD clinical trials. She also has experience as an Unblinded Pharmacist in Peanut Allergy trials, requiring food challenges.
Michelle has been a member of our staff since 2014 and wears many hats. She has been the primary Unblinded Pharmacist for all Asthma clinical trials since 2015. Previously our Administrative Assistant, she graduated from the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) Clinical Trial Academy in March 2022 and became a Clinical Research Coordinator, with experience in Asthma and Eczema clinical trials. She also received her certification with the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) as a Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT) in September 2022. Born and raised in El Paso, TX, and a proud graduate of Eastwood High School in 2011.
Miah is our Administrative Assistant at Western Sky Medical Research. Formerly our Archive Specialist, she has been a member of our staff since 2021 and is the first person you see as you walk in the door! Additionally, she manages all social media accounts including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. She is a former graduate from the University of Texas at El Paso, holding a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature with a Minor in Communication Studies.
Sylvia has been our research recruiter since 2018. Prior to that, she was one of our fabulous research volunteers for many years. She is a lifetime El Pasoan and graduated from Ysleta High School. Sylvia has a great personality and rapport with all our research subjects and is one of our friendly front desk staff members.
Brenda Lara graduated in May 2020 from Rochester Institute of Technology with a bachelor's degree in Biotechnology and Molecular Biosciences. In early 2021, she completed the Clinical Research Coordinator Foundations Course at the Clinical Trial Academy in El Paso. She joined Western Sky as a Clinical Research Coordinator in May 2022 and has experience in Asthma and Food Allergy clinical trials. She likes to read thriller and horror books in her spare time.
Catherine Posey is the Director of Clinical Operations for Western Sky Medical Research. She has been Certified Clinical Research Coordinator since 1995 through The Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP). She has been involved in clinical research for over 20 years. Most of her research experience has been in asthma, allergic rhinitis and COPD trials.