Our Team

Program Director

Mark Walters, MD

Mark Walters, MD
Jordan Family Director
Blood & Marrow Transplant (BMT) Program, BCH-Oak
Chief, Hematology Division
Professor, Pediatrics/Hematology


Dr. Walters is the Jordan Family Director of Bone Marrow Transplantation at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland. He has been the director of stem cell therapy and a division leader since 1999. He has devoted his research career to pursuing curative therapies for hemoglobin disorders with an overarching goal of expanding this treatment more broadly to affected individuals. With NIH and industry support, Dr. Walters has conducted a number of multicenter clinical trials for sickle cell disease and thalassemia. He is currently focused on initiating early-phase clinical trials to test novel genomic editing techniques in hematopoietic stem cells (HCT) from individuals affected by hemoglobin disorders, starting with a high-profile trial in sickle cell disease.


Program Manager

Christina Chun, MPH


Ms. Chun brings nearly 20 years of research experience in the basic sciences, oncology clinical trials, and population-health research in academia, non-profit institutions, and private health organizations. She has extensive experience in operational execution, process optimization, and resolution analytics for clinical and translational research and program management.


Clinical Trials Startup and Regulatory Specialists

The core Alpha Clinic operation supports investigators and study teams with clinical trial activation to catalyze and expand patient access and delivery of cell and gene therapies. These services are distributed across multiple clinical sites in San Francisco and Oakland.


Allyson Beaulieu, MPH
Clinical Research Coordinator - Regulatory and Startup


Ms. Beaulieu brings over 12 years of research experience, most recently as a clinical trial start up specialist and regulatory analyst for phase 1 protocols. She works with investigators and central startup specialists to hasten trial activation.


Abigail Hanson Headshot

Abigail Hansen
Research & Regulatory Compliance Specialist 


Ms. Hansen supports clinical researchers in all stages of trial activities, bringing clinical and industry knowledge into medical and regulatory science. Her goals include working with industry sponsors and institutional investigators to efficiently complete clinical operation milestones for cell and gene therapy studies. In addition, Ms. Hansen supports new trial design for investigators at UCSF, including protocol development, FDA submission preparation and budget planning.  


Clinical Research Coordinators

The clinical research study team brings many years of clinical experience combined with research work to create a team approach for facilitating and executing startup tasks. The team specializes in pediatric blood and marrow transplant, including early-phase gene therapy and gene editing for hemoglobinopathies. They are responsible for all aspects of clinical trial operations from beginning to end and work closely with multiple subspecialties involved in direct patient care throughout the study timeline. 

Cyrus Bascon, BS
Sr. Clinical Trial Coordinator

Mr. Bascon brings over 20 years of clinical experience that covers a wide range of clinical research.  Since joining UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital in 2013 his work has been instrumental in initial Bone Marrow Transplant and Alpha Clinic trials such as the gene therapy clinical trials in Thalassemia and Sickle Cell Disease gene. He is also involved in trials using viral vectors for gene therapy for rare diseases. 


Julie Decaris, BS
Sr. Clinical Trial Coordinator

Ms. Decaris has been with the BMT Team at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, Oakland since February of 2016 and is the primary data manager for the transplant program and a Senior CRC in the Department of Pediatric Hematology. She is the lead CRC on many cooperative group transplant trials and industry-sponsored gene therapy/gene editing trials.  She has over 20 years of experience working in laboratory and clinical research.  


Patient Care Coordinator

The patient care coordinator assists in connecting interested patients to the study team.  The care coordinator can also be a resource for referring physicians to explain and outline required inclusion/exclusion criteria to consider when evaluating their patients and considering referrals.

Marci Moriarty, RN BSN,
Clinical Research Nurse

Ms. Moriarty has almost 20 years’ experience as a BMT nurse in both the inpatient and research setting, and is an expert in cellular therapy trials and treatments.  She is responsible for improving study activation metrics for trials conducted at the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, Oakland site.  As a clinical nurse, she specializes in patient and multidisciplinary staff education providing training in stem cell transplant and product handling to nurses, study coordinators, and lab personnel.  She is often the first contact for the patient and their family and assists eligible patients in navigating the consult, screening and treatment phases of the study.  She is committed to breaking the barriers for patients in underserved communities and bridging the gap to accessing these novel therapies.