CTX Central Operations Leadership

​​​​​​​​​​Patricia A. Winger​
Founder and President, Collaborative Clinical Research Solutions, Inc. 

Patty Winger is the Founder and President of Collaborative Clinical Research Solutions, Inc.  (d/b/a CCRS Consultants). With over 25 years of experience in clinical research operations and network management, Patty has successfully led numerous academic, industry and healthcare systems as they navigate the complexities of multi-institutional research collaborations and streamlining operational processes.

Patty is a dynamic, results-driven research executive with a proven record of achievements in clinical research operations and network management. She offers excellent insight, strategic and leadership skills and the ability to motivate, coach and maximize the performance of personnel at all levels. She is a champion of driving efficiencies and harmonizing operations. 


In her previous roles, Patty served as the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Statewide Clinical Trials Network of Texas; Vice President of Business Integration at Sarah Cannon Research Institute; and Vice President of Research Operations at US Oncology. During her executive tenure, she was responsible for driving innovative clinical solutions, refining core operational processes, promoting business integration and developing novel strategies focused on cutting edge clinical operations and efficiencies.



Paula K. Shireman, MD, MS, MBA

CTX Scientific Advisor​ and CTSA Co-Principal Investigator


Dr. Shireman is the Co-Principal Investigator of the Institutional Clinical Translational Science Award (CTSA) and the Clinical Trial Xpress (CTX) Scientific Advisor, a UT System initiative managed and supported by Collaborative Clinical Research Solutions, Inc. With over 20 years of experience in the medical field, clinical research and administrative operations, Dr. Shireman is responsible for supporting the development of CTX and its central operations. As Co-PI for the CTSA at the University of Texas Health San Antonio, she is responsible for developing strategic partnerships with CTSA-affiliated institutions, biostatistics, study design and biomedical informatics cores, and evaluating all CTSA programs and incorporating Lean Six Sigma Methods to improve efficiencies.

Dr. Shireman is an academic vascular surgeon and physician scientist in the School of Medicine at the University of Texas Health San Antonio and the South Texas Veterans Health Care System where she is a tenured Professor in the Departments of Surgery and Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics. Dr. Shireman holds the Dielmann Chair in Surgery. Dr. Shireman's research interests include muscle regeneration, imaging modalities to study extremity injuries and outcomes of vascular trauma. Her health services research focuses on the long term outcomes of extremity vascular trauma in Active Service and Veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation New Dawn. She is currently designing care pathways for frail patients and understanding the role of social risk factors in surgical outcomes. Dr. Shireman’s research is primarily funded by the National Institutes of Health, Veterans Administration and Department of Defense.

Dr. Shireman previously served as the Vice Dean for Research and later as the Vice Dean for Team Science in the School of Medicine at the University of Texas Health San Antonio. She served on two expert panels for the Institute of Medicine on sharing clinical trial data.

Dr. Shireman earned a Doctor of Medicine Degree from Indiana University and a Master of Sciences in Clinical investigation from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. Dr. Shireman is currently completing her Executive Master’s in Business Administration from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin.  




Carla Kantara, PhD, MBA
Assoc. Vice President for Business Development, Collaborative Clinical Research Solutions, Inc. 

Dr. Carla Kantara is the Associate Vice President of Business Development at Collaborative Clinical Research Solutions, Inc. With over 14 years of experience in the fields of drug development, health innovations, and business development, Dr. Kantara is responsible for developing and creating strategic partnerships/alliances with academic, pharmaceutical, industry and healthcare partners to promote multi-site clinical trial operations and streamline network efficiencies.

Dr. Kantara is the former Director of Health Innovations-Digital Health at The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMBHealth) and was responsible for developing new health-related technologies and forging strategic partnerships to promote the commercialization of health innovations. Dr. Kantara was also responsible for overseeing the day to day operations of the Virtual Health Network, a UT System telehealth initiative established to create a unified healthcare enterprise across Texas. Prior to that role, Dr. Kantara directed the Cancer Stem Cell and Radiation research division for Chrysalis BioTherapeutics, Inc., where she​ ​provided expertise for research operations, R&D strategic planning and business development processes in an effort to promote the commercialization of novel therapeutics capable of mitigating nuclear and cancer therapy radiation damage.


Dr. Kantara earned degrees in Mathematics and Biology with a minor in Chemistry and a Master’s in Business Administration with a focus in Management of Technologies and Leadership.​​ Dr. Kantara also holds a PhD in Biological Sciences and completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in in Advanced Biomedical Research and Strategic Management.



Minerva Griffin, MHA, CCRP
Clinical Research Program Manager, Collaborative Clinical Research Solutions, Inc. 


​​Minerva Griffin is the Program Manager for Clinical Trial Operations at Collaborative Clinical Research Solutions, Inc.  With over 13 years of experience in clinical research network operations and development, Minerva is responsible for developing and streamlining multi-site clinical trial operations, including overseeing all regulatory affairs, contracts and budgeting processes. Minerva has successfully built and managed research teams responsible for executing multisite research programs and worked on over 100 industry-sponsored, investigator-initiated and cooperative group studies. 

Minerva’s career in clinical research has been on an upward trajectory since 2005. Minerva is the former Clinical Studies Supervisor for the Division of Pediatrics at MD Anderson Cancer Center and was responsible for supporting and managing the Clinical Research Program including regulatory, data, and financial processes. Prior to that role, Minerva served as a Clinical Research Program Coordinator in which she coordinated and facilitated the regulatory and data processes for the Department of Sarcoma Medical Oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center. She also assisted with the coordination of an Immune Monitoring Core Laboratory at MD Anderson Cancer Center and handled specimen processing and experiments for clinical research studies as a Research Assistant. 

Minerva earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry - Premed from The University of Oklahoma and a Master’s in Healthcare Administration from Texas Woman’s University. Minerva is also a Certified Clinical Research Professional through SOCRA.