CVVR Clinical Trials Unit

The focus of the CVVR Clinical Trials Unit is early phase and first-in-human studies of novel preventive and therapeutic approaches to viral illnesses and other infections. This page provides helpful references via links provided by AVAC: Global Advocacy for HIV Prevention, the National Institutes of Health HIV Vaccine and Prevention Trials Networks, and other organizations. 

Contact information: 


T: 617 735 4610



Clinical Trials Unit Team:

Jessica Ansel, Clinical Research Nurse Coordinator

Jessica is a Registered Nurse from Long Island, NY.  She received her BA in Chemistry at SUNY Geneseo in 2010.  Knowing she wanted to pursue a career that involved both scientific research and health care, Jessica spent the next couple years taking pre-requisite classes for nursing school and volunteering as an EMT. In 2014, she graduated from SUNY Stony Brook with her BS in Nursing.  Jessica spent the beginning of her nursing career gaining experience on a busy and fast-paced acute care floor on Long Island.  In 2015, she moved to Boston and was able to combine her passions for both research and nursing. She joined the CVVR CTU as the new Clinical Research Nurse Coordinator for Dr. Stephenson’s clinical trials unit.


Diane Ananos, Clinical Research Coordinator

Diane comes from a line of nurses that stretches back two generations. She received her BS in nursing from Penn State University in 2006. She began her career at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan, working in the pediatric intensive care unit for 4 years, followed by 2 years in the medicine / pediatric outpatient clinic. In 2012 she took a position as a research coordinator in the Division of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology where she gained experience in the design and execution of clinical trials.  Continuing to follow her passion for research, in 2016 she moved to Boston where she joined the CVVR CTU as a clinical research coordinator working on HIV vaccine / immunotherapeutic and Zika vaccine trials.  She plans to obtain a graduate degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner and to one day lead her own research studies. In her spare time, Diane enjoys visiting local museums, drawing and cheering on the Patriots.

Dominique Piquant, Clinical Research Assistant

Dominique received her degree in Biological Studies in 2014 from one of the seven sister institutions, Mount Holyoke College. After undergrad, she worked for an education nonprofit known as Citizen Schools where she taught math and science to 7th grade boys with behavioral and learning issues. Her last position was at McLean Hospital in Belmont. There she supported 4 different directors with their specific disciplines and she currently volunteers at Horizons for Homeless Children throughout the week. The Fenway area has been quite the adjustment for her since she’s a proud Brooklyn-born and raised Yankees and Giants fan but working with such an educated and goal-oriented team makes it a bit more bearable.

David Lee, Clinical Research Assistant

David received his B.S. in Biology from Brandeis University in 2016. There he conducted research on the relationship of mitochondrial mutational load with Type 2 Diabetes onset in Arvicanthus Niloticus. He also served as the President of Brandeis Tae-Kwon-Do club and enjoys karaoke, learning new recipes, and tutoring.


Connor Bradshaw, Clinical Research Assistant

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Connor received his B.S. in Biology with a concentration in Health Sciences from Emmanuel College in 2017. During this time, he was a member of the Men’s Soccer Team, served on the Academic Integrity Board, and participated in Emmanuel College’s Alternative Spring Break, where he and other students volunteered their time at various service locations throughout the Boston area. As an undergraduate, he conducted clinical research at Boston Medical Center that looked to prove a method of quantifying fibrotic tissue build-up as a result of radiation therapy in head and neck cancer patients, and to hopefully improve treatment options and quality of life outcomes for future patients in the field. In his spare time, he enjoys exercising, reading, and exploring new parts of Boston. Connor is passionate about public health and infectious disease research, and hopes to go on to graduate school to learn how to better address the health care inequities that exist in the world.



Rachel Fogel, Clinical Research Assistant

Rachel received her B.A. from Macalester College in 2016, where she studied psychology, religious studies, and community and global health. Following graduation, she spent a year working as a Research Assistant in an Autoimmune Hepatitis lab at Indiana University. As a recent Boston transplant, Rachel enjoys exploring the art scene and trying new restaurants. She plans to attend medical school in 2019 with the hope of pursuing a career in global women’s health.