Our Team

Our physician investigators and staff are dedicated to the execution and completion of each clinical trial and are certified in Human Subject Protection Training, GCP, IATA, and are HIPPA trained. Our physicians are board certified in cardiology, endocrinology, family practice, internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology and orthopedics. We assist our sponsors in completing enrollment in an efficient manner and closing the database with clean and accurate data. In addition, our onsite team includes a recruitment specialists team, study start-up specialists, and dedicated regulatory specialists.


Jeffrey C. Davis, MD

Dr. Davis received his BS in Chemistry from Georgia Tech, where he also played Division 1 football. He then attended medical school at The Medical College of Georgia. After completing his residency in orthopedic surgery at the University of Tennessee’s prestigious Campbell Clinic, Dr. Davis served four years as an orthopedic surgeon in the United States Air Force at Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, WA. Dr. Davis practices orthopedic surgery at Andrews Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center in Birmingham. He has more than 20 years of clinical trial experience in osteoarthritis, post-operative pain, low back pain, deep vein thrombosis prophylaxis, and a variety of other orthopedic and musculoskeletal conditions. Dr. Davis likes to stay current with the latest research and offer improved therapies for his patients.

Kenneth A. Jaffe, MD

Dr. Jaffe received his medical degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he completed his orthopedic surgery residency. He then completed fellowships at Harvard University, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Boston Children’s Hospital in orthopedic oncology and adult reconstruction. He returned to Birmingham where he was on staff at the University of Alabama at Birmingham for 12 years prior to going into private practice. Dr. Jaffe has more than 25 years of clinical research experience.

David DeAtkine Jr., MD, FACE

Dr. DeAtkine conducts research to offer additional opportunities to his patients. He completed his undergraduate degree at Rice University, his medical degree at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, and undertook his residency and internship at Duke University. Dr. DeAtkine practices Internal Medicine with an emphasis on endocrinology, particularly diabetes. He currently sits on the American Diabetes Association Regional Executive Council. Dr. DeAtkine has more than 20 years of clinical research experience and serves as Medical Director for CRA.

Charles E. Sharp, MD

Dr. Sharp likes to participate in medical research and innovation. He completed his undergraduate degree from the Virginia Military Institute before attending the University of Alabama School of Medicine at Birmingham. He undertook his residency and internship at University Hospital. With a large OB/GYN women’s health practice, he finds that many patients are interested in clinical trials and making a contribution for a better future. Dr. Sharp is committed to providing the best care for his patients in a comfortable atmosphere. His research interests include women’s health, contraception, menopause, sexual dysfunction, and vaccines.

Jeffrey J. Clifton, MD, JD

Dr. Clifton joined CRA in 2016. He currently serves as managing partner for the Seale Harris Clinic — one of Birmingham’s busiest primary care/ internal medicine clinics. Dr. Clifton completed his undergraduate degree at Auburn University at Montgomery and attended University of Alabama School of Medicine. After his internship with the University of Tennessee’s prestigious Campbell Clinic, Dr. Clifton earned his Juris Doctorate from William & Mary School of Law.

Research Team

William M. Whitley, PharmD

Dr. William Whitley received his doctor of pharmacy from Samford University’s McWhorter School of Pharmacy in 1996. Active in research since 1995, he has dedicated his career to human subjects research, conducting 100+ trials. Dr. Whitley opened Central Research Associates, Inc., in 2016 to offer cutting edge therapies to the people of Birmingham.

Shannon Helton, RN

Participant Retention Specialist

Mrs. Shannon Helton joined CRA in 2016, bringing with her more than 25 years experience as a registered nurse. She is experienced in conducting both inpatient and outpatient studies and completes annual training in the protection of human subjects and ICH GCP. Mrs. Helton performs patient visits, assists investigators in protocol adherence, and serves as CRA’s participant retention specialist.

Rebecca McNair, CRNP

Research Nurse Practitioner

Ms. McNair received her ASN, BSN, MSN, and Family Nurse Practitioner degrees from Samford University’s Ida Moffett School of Nursing. She has a background in cardiology, oncology, rural health, emergency medicine, family practice and clinical research. She joined CRA in 2017 as a Research Nurse Practitioner.

Melissa Martin LPN, CCRC

Clinical Research Nurse

Ms. Martin has been a Licensed Practical Nurse since 2000 and received her CCRC accreditation in 2016. She has also completed and continues to stay up to date with NIH, CITI ICH GCP training. Ms. Martin joined CRA in October of 2017. She has dedicated 11 years to research in both inpatient and outpatient studies. On a personal level, she has served as a medical missionary to South America in the countries of Peru, Ecuador and Paraguay since 2004.