When Overseeing Clinical Research Studies, Experience Matters

Research Centers of America’s team members have been leaders in the clinical trial industry for the past 25 years, successfully executing over 1000 research studies across multiple therapeutic areas. RCA owes much of its success to a high level of physician involvement in protocol review, recruitment, and study team training, along with caring for the study volunteers.  Our physicians are well respected in the South Florida medical community and can access other physicians as needed to help with recruitment and study related procedures.  Our staff conducts trials with integrity and by the highest standards to obtain quality data and ensure the safety of study participants.

We have excelled at Early Phase, Vaccine, and Proof of Concept studies, often serving as a single site that assists with writing and designing the protocol.  We strive to provide reasonable timelines and can meet or exceed expectations to help manage the drug development.  We believe the key to this success is a collaborative approach throughout the process, where our team of investigators, nurses, project managers, and pharmacists work in conjunction with CROs and sponsors.

Most of our physicians have private practices and are involved in Phase I and later phase trials when they believe they can meaningfully contribute.  Our areas of focus are Psychiatry, Neurology, Addiction Medicine, Women’s Health, Endocrinology, and Gastroenterology.  Our physicians are well published and have contributed to the development of numerous medications currently on the market.


Peter Ventre, MD


Dr. Peter Ventre is the Founder of Research Centers of America.  He has built a strong reputation over the years within the research community as being a diligent and insightful investigator.   With experience in more than 100 clinical trials, he ensures excellent patient care and thorough involvement in the research process.

Maria DePombo, MD


Dr. Maria DePombo is a Board Certified Psychiatrist who joined Research Centers of America in 2018 where she serves as a Principal and Sub-investigator. Her areas of research focus on patients suffering from Depression, Bipolar, Schizophrenia and substance disorders.

Howard Schwartz, MD

Chief Medical Officer

Dr Schwartz is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology and practiced in South Florida for over 30 years and is now focusing to make RCA the premier research site in South Florida. He has lectured and published extensively on many of the clinical trials he has participated in.  Additionally, he served as an industry consultant and served on numerous Data Safety Management Boards.

Sandeep Mendiratta, MD

Principal Investigator

  • Board Certified in Psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
  • Licensed to prescribe Controlled Substances and Suboxone

Dr. Mendiratta has served as sub-investigator for the majority of RCA’s clinical trials in both the outpatient and inpatient settings for a variety of diagnoses including schizophrenia, ADHD, substance abuse and depression. His expertise in these areas have led to several features

Nelson Cordero-Torres, MD

Principal Investigator

  • Board Certified in Psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
  • Licensed to prescribe Controlled Substances and Suboxone

Dr. Cordero has delved into clinical research since starting with RCA and is currently one of RCA’s Principal Investigators. He has experience with over 50 clinical trials and always maintains abreast on current research in CNS. Dr. Cordero’s experience and leadership pave the way for success in conducting clinical trials at RCA.

Nathalia Betancourt, M.A., Psy.D

Clinical Rater

Dr. Betancourt has extensive experience working with children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly population in different mental health settings.

Inna Ozerov, MD


Dr. Inna Ozerov is a Sub-Investigator at Research Centers of America.  She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Ophthalmology and specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of medical and surgical corneal diseases, with a particular interest in the treatment of Keratoconus and Dry Eye Syndrome.

Elizabeth Etkin-Kramer, MD, FACOG


Board-Certified in OB/GYN

  • Fellow, American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (FACOG)
  • Dade County Medical Association
  • Florida Medical Association
  • North American Menopause Society
  • American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists
  • American Institute of Ultrasound Medicine
  • American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology

Line Bohbot, PA-C


Board-Certified Physician Assistant

  • Florida Academy of Physician Assistants
  • American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Dade County Medical Association

Maria Companioni ARNP, PMHNRN -BC


Maria Companioni serves as a Sub-Investigator and rater for Research Centers of America.  She has practiced in various settings including home health, hospitals, and private practices.  Additionally, she has worked on both in-patient and out-patient clinical trials and has over five years of experience working with Acute and Chronic Mental Illness.

All told, the investigators and associated personnel at RCA have conducted more than 1,000 clinical trials over the years, so they possess an in-depth understanding of the process and the best methodologies to use – both to keep participants safe and to attain accurate and useful information that will be used to improve life by developing new medical procedures and drugs.