Learn more about our team members below.
Kerri Winters-Stone, Ph.D., FACSM
An exercise physiologist by training, my expertise is on the use of physical activity to prevent and manage chronic disease. My studies have shown that cancer survivors can benefit from exercise that reverses treatment-related side effects and symptoms. Ultimately the goal of my work is to develop safe, targeted and effective exercise programs that translate well to community settings and clinical practice so that people can make positive lifestyle choices for better long-term health.
Carolyn Guidarelli, M.P.H., CCRP
Senior Clinical Research Associate and Lab Manager
From an early age, and due to personal family experiences with cancer, I knew I wanted to dedicate my career to making life better for patients with cancer. After completing my undergraduate degree at the University of Portland, I pursued a Masters of Public Health degree in Epidemiology from Boston University where my studies focused on non-infectious, chronic diseases, such as cancer. Having grown up in Oregon and being an avid sports-enthusiast, I jumped at the opportunity to return to the Pacific Northwest and engage in research that combines two things close to my heart: exercise and cancer. I have witnessed first-hand how therapeutic the right exercises can be, especially in the lives of those affected by cancer. I have been working in Dr. Kerri Winters-Stone’s Exercise Oncology Research Lab since 2012 and am proud to be a part of a team that is leading the charge in developing evidence-based exercise programs that may one day be an integral and complimentary part of routine clinical cancer care. As the Lab Manager, I oversee a multitude of grant funded trials, manage an ever-growing team, contribute to scientific development, data management and analysis, and dissemination of our findings. In my free time, I stay active with my husband and our two young kids.
Jessica Sitemba, M.S.
Clinical Research Associate
Since obtaining my Master's degree in exercise science in 2006, I have been blessed with the opportunity to work as a project director on multiple exercise intervention studies aimed at using exercise to improve symptoms and side effects from cancer and cancer treatment, ultimately improving quality of life for many cancer survivors. I have seen firsthand what exercise can do for this population and am thrilled to continue working on these types of studies as long as possible with the ultimate goal of implementing the classes into the community for all cancer survivors to benefit from. As a Research Associate, my main role is to manage the exercise interventions for multiple trials. This includes assisting in the initial design of the programs, instructor training and management, and overseeing the overall progress and conduct of the exercise classes.
Stephanie Krasnow, Ph.D.
After earning a Ph.D. in Physiology and Biophysics from the University of Washington, I spent a decade at the bench studying the central nervous system pathways that disrupt appetite, metabolism, and neuroendocrine function during acute and chronic illnesses. I was trained in clinical and translational cancer research by completing a Brenden-Colson Center for Pancreatic Disease fellowship and earned a certificate in Human Investigations. My research is focused on identifying predictors of treatment-related side effects and strategies to mitigate their negative impact on clinical outcomes and quality of life in patients with cancer. As a Project Director, I oversee the design, conduct, and analysis of an observational study examining neuropathy and mobility deficits in patients with cancer that are treated with neurotoxic chemotherapy.
Deanne Tibbitts, Ph.D., MCR
Assistant Research Professor
I grew up in Georgia, where I earned my bachelor’s degree in Genetics and Cellular Biology at the University of Georgia. I then moved to Portland and completed my PhD in Molecular and Medical Genetics at OHSU studying the molecular basis of leukemia and the application of targeted cancer therapeutics. I went on to complete a certificate in Human Investigations at OHSU and an NCCIH-funded clinical research fellowship in complementary and integrative health at the National University of Natural Medicine. During my fellowship, my research focused on using mind-body interventions, including trauma-informed yoga and yoga nidra, to improve emotional wellbeing. In the Winters-Stone Exercise Oncology Lab, my work focuses on the use of exercise and mind-body interventions to improve psychosocial outcomes and quality of life in cancer survivors.
Kimi Daniel, M.S., ATC
Senior Clinical Research Associate
After years of being a competitive athlete and still a long-time fitness professional, I pursued a Master's degree in Sports Medicine-Athletic Training and graduated in 2012 from Florida International University. I have had the opportunity to work with a full spectrum of individual’s ranging from professional, collegiate and youth sports to the general population in areas of rehabilitation and strength and conditioning. Upon my return to Portland, I discovered my passion lies in improving mobility, physical function and general health and wellbeing using exercise. As a Senior Research Assistant on Dr. Winters-Stone's exercise trials for cancer survivors, I work on the development and delivery of exercise programs. I am an advocate of exercise as medicine and hope that the work our team does will eventually contribute to incorporating exercise as a standard of care for all cancer survivors.
Christopher Chalmers, M.S.
Senior Clinical Research Assistant
Throughout my bachelor's, I worked as a personal trainer for years, coaching a myriad of different clientele from collegiate athletes to retired veterans. After finishing my bachelor's, I worked in military physiology research, where our efforts were to improve the efficiency and safety of our soldiers. Subsequently, I proceeded to get my Master’s degree in Exercise and Sport Science at Merrimack College where my thesis focused on the effects of seated load carriage on the soldier's physical and mental performance. Now, I am fortunate to work with an amazing team at Dr. Kerri Winters-Stone’s Exercise Oncology Research Lab, learning, and researching how exercise plays a critical role in cancer survivorship. Cancer has affected everyone to some degree, and seeing how our work positively affects cancer survivors brings me immense fulfillment. As a Research Assistant, I recruit research participants, schedule and conduct data collection appointments, and ensure survey completion. I also manage the ever-evolving technology aspects of study involvement and help facilitate access and support to our participants across trials.
Ellis Hews, MUS
Senior Clinical Research Assistant
I first became interested in improving the health outcomes of older adults, especially those coping with chronic illnesses, while completing my master’s degree in Urban Studies with a concentration in Gerontology. After spending some time conducting research with older adults at PSU’s Institute on Aging, I discovered that community-dwelling older adults need resources and programs that would enhance social well-being and improve access to healthy food and housing. I am delighted to be working with Dr. Winters-Stone’s team because I get to witness how the interconnection of exercise and technology improve the quality of life of older adults coping with cancer. As a Research Assistant, I help to lead efforts with recruitment, including community outreach to our partners and providers. Outside of work, you can find me biking in a blazer or antique shopping.
Christopher Palmer, B.S.
Clinical Research Assistant II
I graduated from Linfield College in the spring of 2018 with a B.S. in Exercise Science. After graduation, I started working in a Physical Therapy clinic in McMinnville, OR as my first post-graduate job. After almost three years of working there, I realized that I wanted to take on a new adventure that still helps benefit others’ lives. Having performed numerous research studies in my undergrad related to exercise, nutrition, weight training, and strength and conditioning, I knew that working in Dr. Winters-Stone’s Exercise Oncology Research Lab would be a great fit for me. My family history is riddled with cancer, the most recent being my grandfather, who unfortunately passed away. I knew as a young teenager that I eventually wanted to become involved in the cancer field and the fact that I loved research during college helped bring this part of my life full circle. I joined Dr. Winters-Stone’s lab in February 2021 with the hopes of gaining and advancing my knowledge of exercise and its role with chronic diseases, especially cancer. Working with this team has already given me so much more insight and knowledge than I could hope for and I am thrilled to continuing that and help bring fulfillment and knowledge to those in cancer survivorship. As a Research Assistant, I recruit research participants, schedule and conduct data collection appointments, and ensure survey completion. I also assist in the management and data conversion of wearable sensors used in various aspects of our research.
Becky Chan, B.S.
Clinical Research Assistant II
After receiving a BS in Human Physiology from the University of Oregon, I quickly realized I was far more passionate about the overarching field of public health than in the clinical healthcare path I had been preparing for. That curiously led me to serve a 2-year term in Peace Corps Botswana, where I was placed in the rural village of Pilikwe and worked on implementing HIV capacity build-ing projects at a grassroots level. Upon returning to the US, I looked towards research to integrate my love for scientific knowledge with the fulfillment I get from contributing to meaningful work. I am beyond thrilled to have found that perfect balance in Dr. Kerri Winters-Stone’s lab, where I get to witness the positive effects of exercise on cancer survivorship–alongside working with an amazing team. As a Research Assistant, I recruit research participants, schedule and conduct data collection appointments, and ensure survey completion. I also assist in community outreach across our trials.
Kendra Braun, B.S.
Clinical Research Assistant II
In the spring of 2021, I graduated from Oregon State University with my Bachelor of Science in Nutrition. As an undergraduate, I worked in Dr. Emily Ho’s Cellular and Molecular Nutrition Lab for three years to complete my Honors Thesis project while also assisting with other studies that the lab conducted. Although my ultimate goal is to attend medical school, I knew through my experience at Oregon State that I wanted to continue working in research. Joining Dr. Kerri Winters-Stone’s team is an exciting opportunity for me to contribute to research that I find extremely valuable and fulfilling, knowing that cancer and other chronic diseases affect many of us at some point in our lives. As a Research Assistant, I recruit research participants, schedule and conduct data collection appointments, and ensure survey completion. I’m excited to be a part of an exercise oncology lab as I’ve been a group fitness instructor teaching Body Pump classes for the last 2 years — in addition to strength training, I also enjoy indoor cycling, hiking, and cardio kickboxing.
Ramyar Esalmi, B.S.
Clinical Research Assistant II
I graduated from Portland State University as an Honors student and Build EXITO scholar in the spring of 2021. My path in college was focused on studying pre-medicine with a focus on sports medicine and public health. Through the Build EXITO program at Portland State, I was fortunate enough to join Dr. Kerri Winters-Stone Exercise Oncology Research Lab to focus on research related to exercise and cancer. Cancer has unfortunately impacted many lives in the world, and when I was in 6th grade, my grandfather was diagnosed with Bladder Cancer. His journey to recovery at OHSU initially inspired me to choose the field of medicine and now that drive has continued with the opportunities and experiences I have gained since. Now that I have joined Dr. Winters-Stone’s lab, I am beyond grateful to be a part of such a great team and research lab, and I hope to contribute to the world of exercise and medicine like my peers. As a Research Assistant, I recruit research participants, schedule and conduct data collection appointments, and ensure survey completion. I also assist in data entry from various research assessments.