About Summit Research

Our goal at Summit Research is to expand scientific knowledge while maintaining the highest quality patient care.

Summit Research is a medical research organization located in the greater Portland, Oregon area. Since 1976, we remain dedicated to improving medical treatment by conducting high quality scientific research and patient care. We work in cooperation with pharmaceutical companies to develop better future treatments and better health for individuals with medical and mental health conditions. Our expanded services include the Memory Health Center within Summit Research to focus on dementia and other age related memory conditions.

In 2021, Summit Research joined Headlands Research integrated network of clinical trials sites.

Our staff includes physicians; psychologists, nurse practitioners, certified clinical research coordinators, medical assistants, and support personnel.  

What kind of research is done at Summit?

We perform research studies, also known as clinical trials, of approved and investigational medications. Some of these studies are undertaken to enhance our understanding of currently available medications (for example; determining optimal dose schedules). We also conduct research on medications that are not available to the general public except in research studies, and look at questions of expanded usage (for example; determining whether an established medical treatment for depression is also effective in treating anxiety). 

All medications available by prescription in the U.S. must go through this highly regulated, scientific process to evaluate whether an investigational medication can be approved and made available to all.   

Many of our studies involve comparisons between an investigational study medication, a commonly prescribed medication, and a placebo (inactive substance). Placebo groups are included in some of our studies because the status of patients in the placebo group provides a comparison base for evaluating the effectiveness of active medications. In addition, a surprising number of people improve when treated with placebos.

Our patients receive research-related care, evaluations, and supervision by our professional and experienced staff. A post-study treatment program may also be available to patients once their study participation has been completed. All of these services are provided at no cost to the patient and health insurance is not required for any study required visits or procedures. In addition, many of our clinical trials provide study participants with a stipend or compensation for time and travel.


James R. Hockley, M.B.A

With Summit Since 1984

Jim started with Summit Research (previously Pacific Northwest Clinical Research Center) in December, 1984. He helped navigate Summit’s growth over the years and helped open sites in multiple locations. He has primary responsibility for business development and the overall management of the business. In his spare time, Jim plays tennis, lifts weights and spends time with his family.


Scott Losk, PHD

Principal Investigator / Clinical Director
With Summit Since 1990

Dr. Losk is a clinical psychologist and neuropsychologist who has maintained a clinical and research practice with Summit Research in Portland, OR since 1990. He has been a principal investigator on over 60 clinical trials in Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias and has done research on all of the current FDA-approved drugs for Alzheimer’s disease. He has been a sub-investigator in over 125 clinical trials evaluating treatments of other central nervous system disorders (e.g., depression, anxiety disorders, ADHD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, migraine, fibromyalgia, etc.). Dr. Losk is active in the Alzheimer’s community providing talks and presentations to caregivers and other professionals.

Dr. Losk has extensive clinical and research experience in all aspects of cognitive disorders and because of his background, experience and contacts in the pharmaceutical industry he has access to all of the latest research studies in Alzheimer’s disease.

When he is not working, he enjoys spending time with his family, running, home and yard projects, the guitar, and his dogs.
Jim Bergthold, MD

Principal Investigator
With Summit Since 2001

James Bergthold, MD has been with Summit Research since 2001. He received a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1986 from Biola University and a medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin in 1992. Following his residency in Internal Medicine from Oregon Health Sciences University in 1995, he was a partner at HealthFirst Medical Group and later at Providence Medical Group. Dr. Bergthold’s special interests include geriatric medicine, cardiology and diabetes. He has been an investigator in well over 100 clinical trials. He has been a Principal Investigator in studies involving hypertension, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, obesity, Alzheimer’s dementia, Lewy Body Dementia, insomnia, and migraine headaches.
MaryAnn Conrad, MD

Principal Investigator
With Summit Since 2002

MaryAnn Conrad, MD, graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1987, and a medical degree in 1991. She is board certified in internal medicine and completed her internal medicine residency at the University of Hawaii in 1995. Before joining Summit Research in 2002, Dr. Conrad practiced as a primary care physician for Providence Medical Group and Kaiser Permanente. At Summit she enjoys focusing on clinical research, mental health and women’s health. When not taking care of patients at Summit, Dr. Conrad enjoys hanging out with her husband and cat, watching Blazer games, hiking, going to the Oregon coast, and photography.
Beal Essink, MD

Principal Investigator
With Summit since 2021

Beal Essink, MD, is the newest member of our Summit Research Investigator team. He hails from the Midwest, where he graduated with Distinction from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 1996. He has been an Alpha Omega Alpha member since 1996 and completed the Psychiatry Residency Training Program at Oregon Health Sciences University in 2000. In residency, he served as a Chief Resident and was elected Psychiatry Resident of the Year in 2000. Since 2002, he has been a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and he won the Distinguished Services Award at OHSU in 2003.

Dr. Essink has psychiatric experience in both inpatient and outpatient settings, but his true passion has always been research. He has been conducting clinical research studies since 2003 and has been an Investigator for over 250 trials.

When Dr. Essink is not working, he enjoys rock climbing at the gym, hiking in the forest, watching football, and playing card and board games.


Mary Horton, RN, ANP

Sub-Investigator / Rater
With Summit Since 1998

Mary Horton graduated from Walla Walla School of Nursing and the Nurse Practitioner program at Kaiser Permanente. She is Board Certified by the ANCC, the certifying organization for Nurse Practitioners. She joined Summit Research in 1998 and has participated in over 100 clinical trials involving mental health, dementia, migraine & fibromyalgia and other medical issues. Prior to coming to SRN, she worked at Kaiser Permanente in primary care. In her free time she enjoys gardening, travel and playing with her grandchildren.
Carrie Crider, BS

Research Clinician / Rater
With Summit Since 2005

Carrie Crider, BS, received her bachelor's in Psychology at Portland State University. She has been a Research Clinician at Summit since 2005. Carrie has clinical trial experience in studies focusing on depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and Alzheimer’s disease. At Summit, Carrie has been a sub-investigator on over 60 studies. Prior to working at Summit, Carrie attended school at Queens College in New York and worked in a research and publishing capacity studying the effects of dementia on emotion under Dr. Joan Borod. Before this, Carrie worked at OHSU on a cognitive remediation program for children who were cancer survivors.


Lisa Calmettes

Accounting Manager
With Summit Since 1994

Lisa began working with Summit Research Management, Inc (SRN) as a contractor in 1994, she owned a bookkeeping service for small business and SRN was a client. She became a fulltime employee with SRN in 1999. She manages the financial aspects of the business, as well as payroll and tracking our Human Resource services. In her free time, she loves traveling to warm destinations and spending time with her family, especially her grandkids.
Annika Truitt

Manager - Research Operations
With Summit Since 1994

Annika received her bachelor's degrees in biology and statistics from Washington State University in 1994. She was the senior recipient of the Herbert J. Eastlick Young Sciences award that year and completed an internship at Pacific Northwest Asthma and Allergy that got her “hooked” on research. Following graduation, Annika started working at Summit Research and has had the opportunity to provide oversight on over 150 trials in pediatric ADHD, Alzheimer’s and many other central nervous system and medical studies. In her free time, Annika enjoys running, spending time with family and cuddling with her Shiba Inu pups.
Kim Plank, BS, CCRC

Clinical Research Manager
With Summit Since 1996

Kim graduated from the University of Oregon with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She started working with Summit Research in 1996. Her work started as a clinical research coordinator and evolved over the years to include various roles including regulatory compliance specialist, auditor, research coordinator manager and clinical research manager. Kim has had the opportunity to be the primary coordinator on over 125 clinical trials in central nervous system and medical studies. In 1999 she successfully passed the certification exam through the Association of Clinical Research Professionals making her a Certified Clinical Research Coordinator (CCRC). In her free time, Kim enjoys spending time with her family, going to Duck football games and traveling.


Tiffany Burch

Clinical Research Coordinator
With Summit Since 2021

Tiffany received a Bachelor of Science in Animal Sciences with an option in Animal Behavior and Bioethics from Oregon State University in 2007. Shortly after graduating, Tiffany began a career dedicated to research with Oregon Health & Science University. Over the next 12 years Tiffany worked as a Research Assistant managing a multitude of preclinical trials with Nonhuman Primates. As a natural progression, Tiffany later joined the Knight Cancer Institute within OHSU as a Clinical Research Coordinator conducting Clinical Trials for Genitourinary Cancer. Since joining the Summit team in 2021, Tiffany has quickly adapted to balancing a variety of study types including weight loss and Alzheimer’s Disease. When not at work she enjoys spending time with her black lab and loved ones, cooking from scratch, travel adventures, gardening, and wandering the farmers market.
Kate Walker-Schneider

Clinical Research Coordinator
With Summit Since 2021

Kate Walker-Schneider, PhD, received a Bachelor of Art degree in from the University of Oregon in 2000, and her Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology from Walden University in 2021. At Summit she is currently working as both a Clinical Research Coordinator and a Rater in a hybrid position. Kate’s background is in Medical Administration where she spent close to 20 years working in a variety of different roles in both the hospital and clinical setting. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her sweet and active little boy.
Katie Norris

Clinical Research Coordinator
With Summit Since 2022

Katie graduated from University of Portland in 2020 with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and minor in neuroscience and chemistry. After graduating, she spent two and a half years working as a Clinical Research Assistant II at Oregon Health & Science University conducting studies for the ALS and Neuromuscular Disease Center. Since joining the Summit team in 2022 as a Clinical Research Coordinator she has worked on studies involving Alzheimer’s disease and depression. In her free time, Katie enjoys trying new restaurants with friends, yoga, hiking, skiing, indoor rock climbing, and bouldering.
Hilary Wahlen

Clinical Research Coordinator
With Summit Since 2022

Hilary received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Westminster College, Salt Lake City, Utah in 1995. She has enjoyed a varied career in nursing; one including hospital care for pediatrics and adults, as well as a specialist for Kentucky's Poison Control Center. She found her niche in the world of Clinical Trials and Research over 20 years ago and has since dedicated her time in this field. Her research began with Endocrinology and Metabolic disorders but has grown to cover an array of indications from Dermatology to Celiac disease. Hilary is new to Pacific Northwest and Summit Research (2022) and has enjoyed the challenges of her hybrid position as the Unblinded Pharmacist and Clinical Research Coordinator. Hilary brought her love of Skiing, Hiking, & Mountain Biking with her to the Northwest and enjoys getting outside as much as she can with her beautiful family and dog, Daisy.
Ona Ramsey

Clinical Research Coordinator
With Summit Since 2022

Ona Ramsey was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska and new to the Portland area. She spent 9 years working as medical assistant before starting her career in research coordinating Allergy and Asthma trials. She is excited to work at Summit and expand her knowledge base through Alzheimer’s trials. In her free time, she enjoys exploring the Portland area and taking mini adventures with her cat, Ollie.
Holly Rittenberry

Clinical Research Coordinator
With Summit Since 2022

Holly, a South Carolina native, received a Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training from Winthrop University in 2017. She then made the trek across the country to attend graduate school at the University of Oregon, receiving a Master of Science in Human Physiology with an emphasis in Upper Extremity Biomechanics. While at the University of Oregon, Holly developed a love for clinical research; after graduation, she began her clinical trails career at Providence Hospital where she worked as a clinical research coordinator for Gastrointestinal and Oral/Head/Neck oncology trials. Holly enjoys spending time doing yoga, traveling, hiking, gardening, and exploring all the coffee shops in Portland!
Bridgette Wathen

Clinical Research Coordinator
With Summit Since 2022

Bridgette graduated from The University of Washington with a bachelor’s degree in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology with Interdisciplinary Honors. As an undergraduate, she worked as a research assistant in a neurology lab focusing on identifying therapeutic targets for neurodegenerative diseases. After graduation, Bridgette completed a professional certificate course in clinical and translational research from the University of Hawaii Cancer Center and was able to gain experience in endocrine and vaccine studies as a clinical research assistant. Now back in the PNW, Bridgette has joined the Summit team as a clinical research coordinator. In her free time, she enjoys arts and crafts, pickle ball, and exploring all the parks and trails around her new home.
Linda Johnson, AAS

Assistant Clinical Research Coordinator
With Summit Since 2008

Linda started working at Summit Research in 2008. Her first position started as a Telephone Screener and evolved to an Assistant Clinical Research Coordinator. Prior to coming to Summit, Linda worked as a Senior Research Associate at the VA Medical Center in Portland, Oregon, Los Angeles, California and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She has also worked as the Business Office Manager at Regency Park Assisted Living. Linda truly enjoys working with patients and also with the wonderful team at Summit Research.
Anita Voskanyan Semerjian

Data Entry Coordinator
With Summit Since 2022

Anita graduated from Yerevan State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics. She speaks English, Armenian, Spanish & Russian. Prior to moving to the United States from Armenia, Anita worked at Armenia TV Company as the Head of Foreign Relations Department. Since 2012 she had been doing medical interpreting & then document processing for Passport To Languages in Portland, OR. Anita has recently joined Summit Headlands as Data Entry Coordinator. She loves her job & the people she is working with. Outside of work Anita enjoys spending quality time with her sweet daughter, loves cooking, baking, dancing, playing chess & traveling. She is also an active member of St. Kevork Armenian Apostolic Church of Oregon.


Rachael Young, ST, MA

Lead Lab Technician
With Summit Since 2016

Rachael has been working with Summit since 2016. Her first position was as a recruitment specialist completing interviews with potential research participants. Since this first position, she has transitioned to coordinator assistant and is now putting her MA skills to even greater use as Summit’s lab lead. She has been a MA since 2004. Her current duties include patient procedures such as starting IV infusions, setting blood draw ports, drawing blood, ECG’s, vital signs and saliva testing. Processing and shipping samples per specific protocol requirements is also an important part of Rachael’s role. About Summit, Rachael says, “I love the work I get to do here at Summit, it is fast paced and ever changing. I find it challenging as well as very interesting. I am happy to be here on the front lines of medical research.”
Chelsea Shepherd

Lab Technician
With Summit Since 2022

Chelsea has been with Summit since 2022. She graduated PCC CLIMB Institute with her Phlebotomy Technician Certificate in 2016. Through navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, she found a love for research, specifically in the lab. Her first research position included coordinating, dispensing medication, performing ECG’s, and running the lab on her own. She then moved on to work in oncology, quickly realizing research was her first love. Her previous experience working in a research lab made her a valuable asset in joining the Summit team. She works alongside Rachael as the dynamic duo that maintain protocol requirements for all lab study-specific duties. When asked what she enjoys most about working for Summit, Chelsea says, “ The lab is an integral part of any research center. I feel a sense of accomplishment and take great pride in providing patients with hope. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.”


Missy Bruinenberg

Contracts Coordinator
With Summit Since 2005

Missy joined the Summit team in April of 2005. She's been able to learn many different aspects of the business working in the administrative department. Most of Missy’s time is spent reviewing contracts and budget spreadsheets for new and ongoing studies. She is also responsible for entering contract and budget details into the site’s database to ensure accurate scheduling and accounting. Her role involves communicating with the front office, coordinating, accounting and administrative teams to ensure accuracy in contracts and budgets. In addition to contracts, Missy is a “team player” and takes on many different tasks when asked. She really enjoys what she does. This job challengers her daily, keeps her busy and she continues to learn new things! At home, Missy stays busy with her husband and son. They enjoy playing games, taking trips to the beach and working with the kids of their youth group.

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