our team

Matthew Abinante, D.O.

Founder, CEO, Principal Investigator

He is also the Founder and CEO of Covid Clinic and Elevated Health, a direct primary care clinic based in Huntington Beach, CA.

Dr. Matt received his DO and MPH from Touro University in Vallejo, CA and completed his residency training at PIH Health Hospital in Downey, CA. He is a board-certified Family Physician.
Dr. Matt lives in Huntington Beach with his wife, Chelsea, and their four daughters. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family whether it’s at the beach, his parents’ house in Sacramento or with his wife’s family in San Diego. He also loves spending time on his grandparent’s ranch in Idaho.

Kevin Oei, D.O.

Founder, COO, Sub-Investigator

He is also the Founder and CEO of Upper Echelon Medical, a direct primary clinic based in Fullerton, CA.

Dr. Kevin received his DO from Touro University Nevada in Henderson, NV and completed his residency and training at PIH Health Hospital in Downey, CA. He is a board-certified Family Physician.

Dr. Kevin lives in Fullerton, with his wife, Marisse and their 2 sons. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family, hiking, travelling, racing on a track, practicing martial arts and playing the piano and guitar,

Lucy Pun, D.O.


Dr. Lucy is also a Physician at Elevated Health, a direct primary care clinic based in Huntington Beach, CA.

Dr. Pun received her Bachelor of science at UC Irvine. Prior to starting medical school, she trained in child development and was a Montessori preschool teacher. She then received her medical degree from Western University of Health Sciences, and completed residency at PIH Health Hospital in Downey. She is board certified in Family Medicine.

In her spare time, Dr. Pun enjoys traveling, watching movies, and spending time with her husband and two children

Nawar Hussin, M.D.​

Clinical Research Director

Dr. Hussin obtained his MD degree in medicine from the Baghdad University, School of Medicine.

He has more than 10 years experience in leading clinical research activities in academic institutions and in private offices setting. Dr. Hussin learned to perform his work with passion and respect for his patients, colleagues and always to conduct himself with the highest level of professionalism. 

Using scientific clinical research principles and methodology with good clinical practice shaped his professional medical personality to provide the best to the community.

Dr. Hussin enjoy spending time with his family and watching football.

Gaurav Thakral, MD, MHA 

Clinical Research Director

Gaurav Thakral is a pathologist and director of clinical research at Ascada Research. He has over 10 years of clinical research experience including study design, activation, and closure of study. He earned his M.D. from Saint Matthew’s School of Medicine and M.H.A from Saint Joseph College of Maine. He did his residency training at University of Hawaii where he designed and published a 50 gene AML detection panel for the state’s largest hospital system. 

He is an editorial board member of the Gazette of Medical Sciences. He is focused on advancing global healthcare for patient and physicians. 

Kevin Hoang, Pharm.D.

Clinical Research Pharmacist

Kevin Hoang is a pharmacist clinical research coordinator at Ascada Research who is deeply interested in the process of medication development and approval.

He earned his Pharm.D. from Chapman University and his B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences at UC Irvine. At Chapman, he was given the Award of Excellence in Pharmaceutical Industry/Managed Care and served as the president of Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity Inc.

He likes to spend his spare time with his family and friends who are located in Orange County and San Jose.

Pearl Chen

Clinical Research Assistant

Pearl Chen is a Clinical Research Assistant who is pursuing a career in medicine after earning her Bachelors of Science in Microbiology at University of California, San Diego. Prior to joining Ascada Research, she held experience working within the research laboratory setting and emergency medicine field.

Outside of work, Pearl enjoys cycling, gardening, playing tennis, bonding over board games, or spending time making art.

Yasmine Retana

Medical Assistant / Phlebotomist

Yasmine has been a phlebotomist for 9 years. She knew that she wanted to help her community and is glad she found that passion in healthcare.

Yasmine was born at PIH Hospital-Whittier, worked as a medical assistant for Gastroenterology and Urgent Care for the last 8 years at PIH. She’s thankful for all the knowledge and experience she’s gained and is now able to bring to Ascada Research. 

Outside of work, Yasmine enjoys hiking and working out with her younger brother and their dog, Beau.

Denise Solia

Medical Assistant / Phlebotomist

Denise is a Medical Assistant / Phlebotomist and has been working in the medical field for 30+ years. She has always loved working in Urgent Care. Denise loves the fast pace and not knowing what her day will bring. When she discovered Clinical Research 12 years ago she knew that she found her calling. 


Denise lives in Buena Park and has 2 children and 4 grandchildren. On her spare time she loves going to sporting events and spending time with her grandbabies.

Sarah Marsh

Clinical Research Manager

Sarah is our Clinical Research Manager and has 20 years of healthcare experience. 

Outside of work, you can find Sarah spending quality time with her three children and attending Grad School at night!

Jessa Godoy

Clinical Research Coordinator

Jessa is the Clinical Research Coordinator at Ascada Research. With 21 years experience working in the medical field, she is qualified in training, education and experience. Joining the team at Ascada Research has allowed her to work with people from many specialties and backgrounds. She is very efficient and professional. She plans on furthering her education in research and is proud to work for such a great company and with great team members.

Jessa grew up in Southern California, and resides in La Mirada with her family. When she is not working, she enjoys watching movies, relaxing, enjoying time with her friends, taking spontaneous trips, and spending time with her family.

Michiko Miller, RN, MSN, NP

Nurse Practitioner 

Michiko is a registered nurse for over 5 years. She is new to the research field and is excited to learn from her colleagues. Michi loves to connect with her patients and provide the best care possible.

Outside of work, Michiko loves to travel and spend time with her family and friends.  

Shawna Galbreath, RN

Registered Nurse 

Shawna is a Registered Nurse with over 13 years experience in the nursing field.  She is currently working at Urgent Care on the weekends and Ascada Research during the week. She is planning on pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in the near future.    
In her spare time, Shawna enjoys spending time with her two boys. She enjoys hiking, riding bikes, and going to the movies or going on vacation with her children. 

Maria Noriega

Human Resources Manager

Prior to becoming our Human Resources manger, Maria has held Executive Assistant and Talent Acquisition roles. Maria’s passion for helping, meeting goals, and getting established with the proper laws and regulations have brought her to take on this position at Ascada Research.

Maria plans on growing and expanding her knowledge in Human Resources. 

She resides in Long Beach, with her husband, 2 sons, daughter, and their dog. In her spare time, they love to go hiking, take family trips to the lake and enjoy nature.

You can always find her with her family barbecuing and having a great time!

Ruth Noriega

Payroll Manager

Ruth is highly passionate about helping others. For that reason, she became a Certified Nurse Assistant and has been working in the medical field since 2013. 

She has always been opened to new opportunities and decided to move her path in different directions. When she took a role as a Payroll Specialist in 2020 Ruth found a new passion that she didn’t know she had. Ruth is honored to work with Ascada Research. 

She resides in Long Beach with her husband, daughter, 3 sons, and dog. In her spare time, Ruth loves to bake cakes and do outdoor activities with her family.