Meet the Team

Eileen M. Handberg, PhD, ARNP, BC, FAHA, FACC
Research Professor of Medicine
Director, Clinical Trials Program
Program Director, Florida CARES

Dr. Handberg is Co-Investigator of the NIH Women’s Ischemic Syndrome Evaluation Study and NIH Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Research Network. Her research interests include exercise, heart failure, ischemic heart disease, and women’s health. She is the Director of the Clinical Trials Program, which supports the research mission for the faculty, fellows, and staff by providing administrative (fiscal and regulatory) and coordinator support. She directs Florida CARES, a practitioner competency program. She is active in the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology. She is Chair of the Continuing Nurse Education committee, a Trustee for the ACC, and serves on several other committees. She is the Program Liaison for the Vascular Biology Working Group ( Dr. Handberg provides adult cardiovascular care in the Division Outpatient Clinic. She is also interested in Exercise and Lifestyle Interventions, Ischemic Heart Disease in Women, and Heart Failure. Publications


Associate Director of Cardiology Clinical Trials
As Associate Director of the Cardiology Clinical Trials program, Dr. Leach manages the clinical research coordinators. She has been with our Division since 1993. Her clinical interests include heart failure, stem cell research, ischemic heart disease, and women’s health. Dr. Leach earned her degrees at the University of Florida. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, Association of Clinical Research Professionals (President of NF Chapter1999-2001), Heart Failure Society of America, and the American College of Cardiology. Publications



Keith March, MD, PhD, FACCKeith March, MD, PhD, FACC
Vice Chief, Cardiology Research Professor
Keith L. March, MD, PhD, FACC, has dedicated his career to bringing new medical approaches to patients. His publications include more than 150 manuscripts. He was the editor of the first book dedicated to cardiovascular gene transfer. Dr. March’s research has resulted in more than 55 worldwide (20+ U.S.) patents, with others pending. He invented the Closer, a widely-utilized patented suture-mediated closure device, used to close the puncture wound in an artery following heart catheterization. This device allows a patient to “walk off the table” after a catheterization without requiring prolonged bedrest. In 1999, Abbott Vascular, an affiliate of Abbott Laboratories, acquired the company that developed this technology; and the Closer approach has been used worldwide to treat more than 8,000,000 patients. He has served as a scientific advisor to numerous pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies. Most recently, he co-founded NeuroFx, Inc., based on a patented platform of technology originating in his laboratory that establishes the therapeutic factors secreted by stem cells as powerful therapeutics for critical medical needs, including degenerative and ischemic diseases of the nervous system. With FDA input, NeuroFx is pursuing this off-the-shelf approach to markedly reduce stroke and prolong quality life in ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), as two near-term goals. Dr. March now serves as the director for the UF Health Center for Regenerative Medicine and as vice chief for cardiology research in the division of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Florida.