Our Team

Rohit Bhatheja, M.D.
Cardiovascular Research Physician Leader

Dr. Bhatheja is board certified in cardiovascular disease, interventional cardiology, and internal medicine. He earned his medical degree from Maulana Azad Medical College in New Delhi, India. Dr. Bhatheja completed his residency at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland, OH, and went on to complete his fellowship at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY. He is currently Medical Director of the Cardiac Care Unit at AdventHealth, formerly Florida Hospital, in Orlando, FL. Over his vast career, Dr. Bhatheja has led and participated in a multitude of clinical trials and research for the betterment of the medical community and patient care. He provides physician leadership to our team and is the Cardiovascular Research Leadership Council Representation. He has also written and contributed to a number of published works on the subject of cardiovascular disease, treatment, and prevention. An award-winning specialist, Dr. Bhatheja is the recipient of many honors from the National Institute of Health, the American College of Physicians and the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. He is a member of the AdventHealth Cardiovascular Institute, a Fellow of the Society of Coronary Angiography and Interventions (SCAI), and a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology (FACC). An accomplished speaker, Dr. Bhatheja has presented on many topics across the state and around the country.  

Christopher A. Davis, Ph.D.
Senior Director, Cardiovascular Research

Dr. Chris Davis serves as Senior Director, Multi-Center Research at AdventHealth Orlando, with responsibilities for Cardiovascular Research, Winter Park Research, and the Translational Research Institute for Metabolism and Diabetes (TRI-MD).  Prior to his current appointment, Chris served as Director for the TRI-MD, where he facilitated administrative and operational processes to support the clinical research goals of the department.

Chris earned his Ph.D. from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in the College of Medicine at the University of Florida, Gainesville. He then undertook his postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Eric Olson at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, where his primary research focus was to better understand the molecular mechanisms of cardiovascular development and disease.  

Following his postdoctoral training, Chris joined the Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease Department at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, where he led efforts to identify and validate novel therapeutic targets for heart failure. Following his tenure at Wyeth, he joined the Hypertension Department within Merck Research Laboratories, where he focused on developing, validating and leveraging preclinical models of cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary disease.

Delores Barnes, RN, BSN, CCRC
Cardiovascular Research Manager

Delores Barnes earned her Associate Degree in Nursing in 1991 and was licensed as a registered nurse. She then earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1997 from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. Prior to starting clinical research in 2009, Delores had 15 years in cardiovascular clinical experience and pediatrics clinical experience. Delores has been manager of the Cardiovascular Research Department since 2015. She is a Certified Clinical Research Coordinator (CCRC), and a member of the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) and the Society of Clinical Research Associates (SOCRA). Delores is instrumental in the partnership of research within the Cardiovascular Institute and physician practices to facilitate optimization of clinical research at AdventHealth Orlando. She is presently enrolled in the Master of Business Administration and Master of Science Management and Leadership at Webster University.

Clinical Research Nurses

Deanna Allen, BSN, RN, CCRC
Kimberly Cawthon, RN
Leann Goodwin, RN, CCRC
Sandy Houser, BSN, RN, CCRC, CCRN
Tracey Purvis, BN, RN, CCRC, CFRN, CEN
Maggie Warrington, RN

All of our clinical research nurses have an extensive background in the cardiovascular arena. Our inpatient research nurses maintain ACLS, BLS and NIH Stroke Certification. Research Nurses also attend classes/workshops to keep up-to-date on cardiovascular clinical skills and research advancements to provide optimal patient-centered care within the context of research.

Research Support Team

Melissa Pequeno, Office Support Specialist
Robin Michaels, Research Assistant
Joy Meyer, Research Compliance Coordinator


47 IRB Credentialed Investigators
     32 Cardiologists
     4 Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeons
     5 Vascular Surgeons
     6 other clinical investigators