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Research Center Profile:
Center for Neurosciences

Center Information

Marjorie Pazzi, RN, BSN, CCRP
Site Director
Center for Neurosciences
2450 E. River Road
Tucson, AZ 85718
520-320-2149 (fax)
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Therapeutic Areas


Center Overview

The Center for Neurosciences is Southern Arizona’s largest and longest-standing medical practice in neuroscience. Our mission is to deliver the highest standard of neurological and neurosurgical care for adults and children. Our multispecialty practice has Centers in Epilepsy, Stroke, Multiple Sclerosis, Movement Disorders, Interventional Pain, and Brain Tumor.

Clinical Research Experience

The Center for Neurosciences (CNS) Clinical Research Program is dedicated to delivering excellence in Neuroscience research. Board-Certified Neurologists and Child Neurologists are expert in their respective specialties and have extensive clinical and research experience in a broad range of neurologic diseases affecting adults and children. Therapeutic areas include epilepsy (both Adult and Pediatric), Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, brain tumors, multiple sclerosis and autism spectrum disorders. Our Program is primarily involved with sponsored, Phase 2-4 clinical trials, but several of our investigators have developed and conducted Investigator Initiated Studies.

Facility Description

In 2008, CNS opened a new outpatient facility which brings the most advanced level of neurological care available to patients. Our facility has on-site radiology including MRI and CT scanners, neurophysiology suite, multiple exam rooms and infusion rooms, an FDA-compliant laboratory with a centrifuge, a -20°C freezer, secure & temperature-controlled study drug storage, an ECG machine and a monitor room with high-speed internet access.

Investigator Experience

All CNS Principal and Sub-Investigators are certified in Good Clinical Practice and Human Subjects Protection.

Adult Neurology

  • Francisco Valdivia, MD is a Board-certified in Neurologist is a member of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers and a Multiple Sclerosis Certified Specialist. He is a Principal Investigator on several Multiple Sclerosis trials. He is also the Medical Director of Stroke at St. Mary’s Hospital. Dr. Valdivia is a fluent Spanish speaker.
  • David Teeple, MD is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in both neurology and neurophysiology. He completed Fellowship training in Epilepsy. He has experience as Principal Investigator on multiple phase III epilepsy trials. He is the Medical Director of Stroke at Tucson Medical Center.
  • Michael Badruddoja, MD is a Board-certified Neurologist with Fellowship training in Neuro-Oncology; his special interest is in the treatment of malignant glioma and he has been the Principal Investigator on multiple phase II glioblastoma multiforme clinical trials. He is a Principal Investigator on Alzheimer’s disease trials.
  • Mateja de Leonni, MD, MA, PhD is a Board-certified Neurologist with Neurovascular Fellowship training. She completed an MA in Cognitive Psychology, and a PhD is in Neurosciences and Biostatistics. Her research interests include stroke and vascular disorders, pain and headache as well as dementias and other neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s disease. Dr. de Leonni speaks multiple languages, including Spanish.

Pediatric Neurology

  • Dinesh Talwar, MD is a Board-certified Child Neurologist and Clinical Neurophysiologist. He has Fellowship training in EEG and Neurophysiology. Dr. Talwar’s special interests include in childhood epilepsy and migraine and he is Principal Investigator on multiple pediatric epilepsy and migraine trials.
  • Monica Chacon, MD is a Board-certified Child Neurologist with Fellowship training in Clinical Neurophysiology. Special interests are childhood epilepsy and pediatric neuroimaging. She has been a sub-investigator on multiple pediatric neurology clinical trials. Dr. Chacon speaks fluent Spanish.
  • John Gray, MD is a Board-certified Child Neurologist with a special interest in developmental disorders of childhood. He has been a Principal Investigator for Autism Spectrum Disorder clinical trials.

Staff Expertise

Site Director and Senior Research Nurse – Marjorie Pazzi, RN, BSN, has coordinated over 40 clinical trials since 2003 and has 20 years’ experience in neurology nursing. Ms. Pazzi is the primary point of contact for Sponsors and Contract Research Organizations. She is a Certified Clinical Research Professional. She speaks proficient Spanish.

Research Coordinator – Yiwen "Amy" Kan, MS, CCRC, joined the research team in 2013. She earned a Master’s degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Arizona. Ms. Kan has more than 10 years experience in coordinating and managing clinical trials and she is a Certified Clinical Research Coordinator.

Clinical Research Assistant – Suchada "O" Hill assists in multiple areas in the Clinical Research Program. In addition to providing support with data entry and regulatory file maintenance, she also helps coordinate recruitment activities and provides administrative assistance.

The Center for Neurosciences Clinical Research Program has partnered with highly skilled professionals in Neuro-Radiology, Nuclear Medicine, Dermatology, and Ophthalmology when consultations or services are required for research protocols. Our contracted Board-Certified Psychologists perform a variety of psychometric assessments in adults and children.

Patient Demographics

CNS not only serves the metropolitan Tucson area, but also due to several outreach clinics in small communities throughout the state, reaches about 1.5 million people in Southern Arizona. This region has a culturally and ethnically diverse patient population, with 60% Caucasian, 33% Hispanic, 2% African American, 3% Native American, and 2% Asian. Several of our Investigators are fluent Spanish speakers.

Other Information

CNS has collaborated with numerous Pharmaceutical Companies and Contract Research Organizations on all phases of research. We offer expeditious study start-up with prompt contract execution and regulatory approval. We utilize centralized Institutional Review Boards such as Copernicus, Quorum, Western and New England IRB. With access to an extensive patient base from which to draw as well as a comprehensive research database, we are frequently an early-enrolling site and typically meet or exceed enrollment goals.

Contact Center

If you are interested in contacting this center to discuss placing a clinical trial there, please complete and send the email form below. A representative from the research center will then follow up with you.

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