In order to keep abreast of the newest treatments, we have participated in clinical research since 1978.

Current Clinical Research Opportunities Include Treatment For:

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Pain Management

Please visit our Clinical Trials & New Studies page for more details.

Meet Our Clinical Research Staff

Karen Rendt-Zagar, MD

Karen E. Zagar, MD is a native of Pennsylvania, where she attended college (majoring in mathematics and chemistry at Clarion State College) and attended medical school (University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia). She remained at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania for her internship and residency in Internal Medicine. She did her fellowship in Rheumatology at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

Dr Zagar joined our staff in 2005.  Prior to that, she spent six years on the staff of the Department of Rheumatic and Immunologic Diseases at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio. There she served as the Fellowship Education Program Director to train physicians specializing in Rheumatology. She was also a member of the Center for Vasculitis Care and Research, headed by Dr. Gary Hoffman, and has participated in numerous clinical trials related to osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and vasculitis.

Dr. Zagar is board certified in both Internal Medicine and Rheumatology, and she is a fellow in the American College of Rheumatology. Dr Zagar is currently Principal Investigator for all research trials and studies performed at Arthritis Center.

Dr. Zagar and her family enjoy numerous outdoor activities, particularly sailing, biking, and gardening. She also plays flute and classical piano.

Tatiana Nagibina, MD

Dr. Nagibina received her medical degree from Minsk State Medical Institute (former USSR). She completed her internship and residence in Internal medicine at The Chicago Medical School as well as fellowship in Rheumatology at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Before joining our staff in 2011, Dr. Nagibina spent 10 years serving patients in Pinellas County providing Rheumatological care.

Dr. Nagibina is board certified in Internal medicine and Rheumatology and she is a fellow of the American College of Rheumatology.

Dr. Nagibina enjoys travel, theater, and museums.

F. Shonte Jones, LPN, CCRP

Shonte is Co-Director of the Clinical Research Department. She joined the staff of The Arthritis Center in March 2003. Her past research experience was in working on clinical trials for Vaccines and clinical trials treating Hypertension, COPD, Asthma, Osteo and Rheumatoid Arthritis, Hyperlipidemia, Gout, Pain Management and Diabetes.

Shonte is a Licensed Practical Nurse and a Certified Nurses Assistant. Shonte also has over 12 years of experience working with Mentally Challenged and Handicapped Individuals. She enjoys spending her free time with family and friends.

Kelli Castle RN, BS

Kelli is originally from Pennsylvania. She attended The Pennsylvania State University, majoring in Nursing, and graduated in 1994. She has worked in Cardiology, Out Patient Surgery and Endoscopy.

She enjoys working as an Infusion Nurse because it allows her to build a long-term relationship with her patients. She looks forward to seeing them and following their improvement with the infusions she gives.

She is an enthusiastic Penn State Football fan, and enjoys running and going to the beach with her family.

Ginger Pfeiffer, RN

Clinical Research Trial at the Arthritis Center in FloridaGinger recently joined the Arthritis Center with 14 years of clinical research experience working on trials for COPD, Diabetes, Psychiatry, Pain management, Hypertension, hyperlipidemia, Fibromyalgia, women’s studies, osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis. She is a Registered Nurse and a Certified Clinical Research Coordinator.

Originally from Texas, she and her husband and two sons have lived in Florida since 1992. She enjoys travel, tennis, boating and scuba diving with her family.

Alex Aquino

Clinical Research Trial at the Arthritis Center in Florida Alex recently joined the clinical research team in early 2013. Alex’s past research experience includes microbial physiology, bacteriology and food borne illnesses. Alex received his Bachelor’s of Science in Microbiology from The University of South Florida (Go Bulls!).

While relatively new to clinical research; Alex is excited to be part of our patient’s road to greater health and is looking forward to getting a first hand view of the future of medicine. In his down time Alex enjoys golf, fishing and the outdoors.