Meet Our Team

Building Strong Connections, Empowering Teamwork, and Fostering Thriving Communities. 

Text us to Get Started: 713-597-4521

Outreach Coordinator: Contact Jillian at¬†¬†[email protected]¬†for questions about our services, our clinic, or if you wish to collaborate with us!

Clinicians at Texas Center for Lifestyle Medicine

Healing often takes a village. At TCLM, you may be referred to multiple providers within our practice, based on your needs and their expertise!

Cheng Ruan, MD

Meet Dr. Ruan, our administrative leader at TCLM. He is a strategic visionary who creates population health strategies and builds communication bridges between organizations and other healthcare providers. Dr. Ruan is responsible for analyzing and publishing our clinic's outcomes data, providing a model for how medicine should be practiced to the United States healthcare industry. His ability to think creatively and critically, combined with his passion for innovation, allows him to lead the clinic in a direction that prioritizes both patient outcomes and the advancement of the field of medicine.

Deema Farah, MD

Meet Dr. Farah, a Family Medicine Physician and board-certified diplomat of the American College for Lifestyle Medicine. She is dedicated to helping our new patients improve their overall health and wellness through personalized lifestyle recommendations. Dr. Farah conducts thorough evaluations to understand each patient's unique needs and works closely with them to develop a plan that will support their health goals. Dr. Farah is committed to empowering patients to take control of their health and make positive changes that will improve their quality of life.

Francesco Amico, PhD

Dr. Francesco Amico, Ph.D. is a behavioral neuroscientist who specializes in using the latest advancements in brain-computer interface technology to help individuals improve their well-being. He leads our remote neurofeedback training program creating personalized programs for our patients, regularly monitoring their progress and offering them guidance on how to take control of their own mental health. As a thought leader and researcher in the fields of clinical neurosciences and translational medicine, Dr. Amico regularly publishes in prestigious medical journals.

Amy Bryant, NP

She is an investigator for helping patients get to the root of complex conditions that many practitioners shy away from. Her ability to understand the underlying causes of these conditions and her approach to providing supportive therapeutic elements, and individualized protocols for her patients sets her apart. Her expertise in Functional Medicine make her a valuable resource for patients seeking and integrative care.

Michelle Rodriguez, NP

Her expertise in the field of gut health and sleep has led her to become an expert in the use of in-depth testing and sleep studies to help her patients optimize their health. With her in-depth knowledge and compassionate approach, Michelle is able to create personalized treatment plans that address the unique needs of each patient.

Health Coaches & Dietitian

Health Coaches are the heart of the clinic. They provide guidance, education, and tools to heal, while creating a safe, non-judgemental space to be heard, seen, and understood.

Geny Moreno, Mind-Body Medicine Practitioner

Geny is paving the way for the use of Mind-Body skills in a clinical setting. She holds a certification in Functional Diagnostic Nutrition, but her heart is in training patients to use powerful tools in order to resolve trauma, improve emotional resiliency, and cope through life's challenges in order to heal mentally and physically. She has graciously used her own painful experiences to develop tools and guide others in their healing process. 

Ruben Lespron, Registered Dietitian

Ruben is the most passionate person about food that you will ever meet! He knows that the real challenge is not only knowing what to eat, but implementing knowledge in a sustainable way in day to day life. Ruben has a way of keeping patients accountable to accomplish their goals, while compassionately holding space for them. 

Chef Franklin Liao

Chef Franklin is an expert in healthy cooking and meal prepping. He encourages patients to step out of their comfort zone in the kitchen and try new things. He leads virtual group Kitchen Behavior Training sessions, where he shares his skills and strategies for healthy cooking and meal prepping. He is dedicated to helping patients learn how to prepare delicious and nutritious meals that will support their health goals. Chef Franklin is passionate about teaching people how to use the kitchen as a healing tool rather than see it as a chore.

Administrative Staff


Meet Amanda, our Operations Director. A skilled leader, she ensures the best quality care for patients by streamlining processes and promoting a positive environment for team and patients. She's dedicated to the success of TCLM, always thinking strategically and creatively to improve operations. Amanda is an invaluable member of the team, whose focus on patient experience is evident in all she does.

Maria "Cristina"

Meet Cristina, our Practice Administrator. Skilled and detail-oriented, she keeps our team focused on goals. Responsible for daily operations, she multitasks and delegates effectively. Available for guidance and support, Cristina prioritizes to manage the clinic efficiently. Her focus on goals and attention to detail helps to keep the team motivated to achieve success. Cristina is dedicated to providing the best care to our patients and improving the clinic's services.


Meet Jillian, our Outreach Coordinator. She connects TCLM with outside organizations, doctors, and institutions as a liaison, providing clinical planning and coordination. She identifies new opportunities for partnerships and maintains existing relationships. Her communication skills and healthcare knowledge make her a valuable asset to the clinic, expanding our reach and helping more patients receive care. Jill's dedication ensures TCLM stays connected with the community and provides the best care to our patients.


Meet Ifreke, Our Lead Adminstrato and Accounts Manager. Ifreke manages our patients' accounts and completes a wide array of tasks to ensure all billing and payment processes are running smoothly. She answers patient's questions and concerns related to billing issues, manages processes and payments that involved with various insurance groups, and ensures that patients remain updated about any changes. Ifreke's attention to detail, organization skills, kindness, and communication skills allow her to ensure patients' concerns are addressed. 


Meet Sandra, our friendly, outgoing check out staff. Sandra ensures that patients have a very smooth check out process for our patients, while addressing any concerns or questions they may have. She is detail-oriented, and goes above and beyond to ensure that patients have a positive experience.  Her kind and approachable demeanor make it easy for patients to feel welcomed and leave with clarity on their next steps. 


Meet Paulina, our Lead Administrative Assistant for the IV Infusion Department. Paulina handles a wide range of administrative tasks, including scheduling appointments, gathering patient information, and addressing any questions or concerns that patients may have. Paulina's attention to detail, compassionate nature, and communication skills allow her to ensure patients feel cared for, seen, and have their needs addressed during efficiently. 


Meet Lalisha, our front desk agent. Lalisha is the friendly face that greets patients as they visit our clinic. She is dedicated to providing exceptional customer service and making sure that patients feel welcome and comfortable. She is responsible for checking in patients, scheduling appointments, and answering any questions they may have.


Meet Francesca, our dedicated, friendly, and welcoming administrative assistant. Francesca's attention to detail enables her to assist team members and patients with scheduling, addressing tasks needed to ensure that patients' journey in the clinic is as smooth as possible, identifies and addresses specific concerns, and maintains documentation and medical records.


Meet Aliza (Ali), our compassionate, warm-hearted and detail-oriented Administrative Assistant. Ali's attention to detail, process-oriented thinking, and caring nature enable her to go the extra mile when it comes to caring for our valued members. Her excellent communication and organizational skills allow her to assist members through their journey in our clinic in an effective and compassionate manner. 


Caroline is our passionate and caring Health Coach Administrative Assistant, who works virtually from Zimbabwe. She goes the extra mile when it comes to meeting our patients needs from scheduling, to resource distribution, and communication. Caroline's passion for what we do in our clinic spills over into her own life and healing, allowing her to effectively communicate our mission to our patients.


Meet Kim, our compassionate and warm administrative assistant, who handles scheduling and resources. She handles new patient intake and walks our members through the steps of becoming a cared member in our tribe. Kim goes the extra mile to ensure there are no cracks in the scheduling process. 


Meet Richard, our warm and welcoming Administrative Assistant! Richard goes above and beyond to ensure that each member added to our tribe feels welcomed, and that the onboarding process is as smooth as can be! He is detail oriented, friendly, and compassionate. 

Medical Assistants

Our dedicated medical assistants are the warm and welcoming faces of our clinic. They ensure that we are delivering quality care at each step of the journey, from intake, to procedures, to managing medical records and more.


*Army Veteran

Meet Cesar, our highly skilled and dedicated operations and clinical procedures specialist. He is an Army veteran, bringing a unique perspective and a strong work ethic to his role. He ensures that everything runs smoothly and efficiently. He is an expert in clinical procedures, and is responsible for overseeing the training of medical staff and ensuring that all procedures are performed in accordance with best practices and safety protocols. 


*Air Force Veteran

Meet Nia, our highly skilled and dedicated medical assistant. Nia is an Air Force veteran who brings a unique perspective and a strong work ethic to her role. She is able to assist with a wide range of services and is able to navigate the complex administrative tasks of managing patient information and team leadership. She is dedicated to providing the best possible care to her patients, and always goes the extra mile to ensure their needs are met.


Meet Stephanie, our dedicated Infusions Operations Manager for the IV infusion department. She oversees complex operations and improves patient care through effective systems and processes. She is dedicated to providing exceptional service to patients and is always available to answer questions and resolve any issues that may arise. With her strong leadership and communication skills, she manages our team and ensures the highest level of care for patients. Stephanie's expertise in IV infusion makes her an invaluable member of our team.


Meet Janet, our compassionate medical assistant. She is dedicated to providing the highest standard of care to patients, and her warm and empathetic nature makes her an important member of our team. Janet's compassionate approach to patient care is evident in our clinic. She is able to navigate complex tasks, always ensuring that patients' needs are met. She is a great listener and always takes the time to understand her patients' needs and concerns.


Meet Elizabeth, our welcoming, kind and newest IV technician to join our team! Elizabeth provides exceptional patient care with extra attention to detail, dedication, and thoroughness. Her warm and friendly personality allow her to bring positivity and compassionate care to all patients she comes in contact with and to our tribe. We are grateful to have her on our team! 


Meet Jessica, our compassionate and personable medical assistant. She thrives on building connections with patients and making them feel comfortable. Her sense of humor and empathetic nature make her an invaluable member of our team. She is a great listener and always takes the time to understand her patients' needs and concerns. Her light-hearted approach to patient care not only makes patients feel comfortable but also helps them relax during their visit and experience a more positive outcome.


Meet Kim, a skilled medical assistant known for her patience and compassion. She expertly handles administrative and procedural tasks, ensuring smooth operations and top-notch patient care. Her strong organizational skills and attention to detail make her an asset to our team. She also excels at communicating with patients, providing clear explanations and addressing their concerns with empathy. Kim is a dedicated member of our team, always going the extra mile to ensure patients receive the best care possible.


Meet M'kyia, our warm, compassionate and friendly Infusion Technician. She performs infusions with precision and care, always placing the needs of her patients first. Her kind and welcoming demeanor, close attention to detail, communication skills, and efficiency allow her to provide excellent patient care. We are grateful for the positive energy, compassionate nature, and work ethic that M'kyia brings to our staff and patients. 

Advanced Research Institute

At TCLM, we are always seeking out the Best solutions and multifaceted approaches to help patients manage symptoms, reach their goals, and improve their quality of life. Collaborating with the Advanced Research Institute introduces an additional avenue to our array of options and solutions.Advanced Research Institute is a multi-specialty clinical trial company that leads the industry in conducting clinical trials

Kevin Peterson

As Chief Executive Officer Kevin oversees all facets of the company including: developing company strategy, managing expansion opportunities, implementing company vision, and overseeing day to day operations. Kevin's innovation and dedication keeps Advanced Research Institute at the top of an ever changing medical research field.

Amanda Ward

Originally from Twin Falls, ID, Amanda received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Weber State University while competing on the women's cross country and track teams. She has been at Advanced Research Institute since 2015 and manages all marketing and advertising efforts: social media platforms, community outreach, brand awareness, and advertising campaigns. 

Bri'Ana Gardiner

Houston Clinical Research Manager. Bri’Ana has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a minor in Human Development & Family Studies and a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology. She has been in the medical research realm for 10+ years working in various disciplines such as Dermatology, Vascular Surgery, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Pulmonary, Internal Medicine, Psychiatry, and Family Medicine. 

John Hepworth

As Chief Administrative Officer, John oversees administrative functions, ensuring compliance, patient recruitment, creating and maintaining collaborative relationships with both internal and external partners, and driving the success of clinical trials and studies at Advanced Research Institute.

Cortney Larsen

As the Chief Financial Officer Cortney oversees all aspects of the company's finances including development and management of budgets, profitability and cash flow, and negotiations of business partnerships. Cortney also serves as a strategic partner regarding overall business decisions at Advanced Research Institute. 

Shannah Aleiwe

As the Chief Learning Officer, Shannah is responsible for overseeing, designing, and implementing Advanced Research Institute's learning and development initiatives. She has been involved in the clinical research industry for over 20 years.

John Lowe

Medical Director and Owner. Since medical school Dr. Lowe has become one of the top gastroenterologists in the country. He has served as the Chief of Medicine, President of Medical Staff, and member of McKayDee Governing Board at McKay Dee Hospital.

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