Principal Investigator Biographies

Central Nervous System (CNS) and Addiction

Scott D. Segal, MD, MBA
Co-founder of Segal Institute for Clinical Research
Founder of Compass Health Systems
Board-Certified in Adult Psychiatry
Board-Certified in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Conducted approximately 366 Phase I-IV clinical trials in outpatient, inpatient, sleep laboratories, and nursing home facilities

Dr. Segal completed undergraduate studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York where he attended an accelerated biomedical program and received a Bachelor of Science in Biology. Shortly thereafter, he received a medical doctorate from Albany Medical College in Albany, New York and went on to complete a residency and internship program in psychiatry at the University of Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital. His post-residency training included a two-year fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry, at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, and he has since received a Master of Business Administration from the University of Miami. Dr. Segal is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and a Diplomate of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He is a member in good standing of the Young Presidents' Organization.

Dr. Segal has an extensive background in psychodynamic psychotherapy, pain management, psychopharmacology, addiction medicine, and eating disorders, as well as the evaluation and treatment of child and adolescent disorders. He has served as the medical director of several hospitals and treatment facilities and has developed innovative delivery systems that improve health care quality and lower costs. He serves as a consultant to many hospitals, group practices, and behavioral health organizations. He currently serves as the Medical Director of Larkin Hospital PHP and the Lotus Day Treatment Program, and sits on advisory boards of several area hospitals and insurance companies. Furthermore, Dr. Segal is involved with the design and implementation of Compass Health Systems' pharmacy (Medz-Direct), and high complexity Laboratory Services. Dr. Segal's research is conducted throughout South Florida in Segal Institute's North Miami, Hollywood, and East Ft. Lauderdale locations.

Dr. Segal specializes in most areas of pediatric, adolescent, adult, and geriatric research. Since 1998 he has served as a principal and sub-Investigator on nearly 350 phase I-IV clinical research trials. As a principal investigator, he has conducted clinical trials for a wide array of indications including ADHD, Alzheimer's disease, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, depression, insomnia, schizophrenia and substance abuse. In addition, he has served as sub-investigator for a number of women's health studies.

David Howard Flaherty, DO
Board-Certified in Adult Psychiatry
Conducted approximately 229 Phase I-IV clinical trials in outpatient & inpatient facilities

Dr. Flaherty completed undergraduate studies at the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York and graduate studies at the University of Osteopathic Medicine in Des Moines, Iowa where he was awarded a Bachelor of Science and a Doctorate of Osteopathy, respectively. He went on to complete a residency at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa where he served as chief resident for the university's hospitals and clinics.

Dr. Flaherty currently serves as a staff psychiatrist at Compass Health Systems of South Florida. He maintains a very active outpatient practice where he treats psychiatric populations of all ages, ranging from pediatric to geriatric. In addition, Dr. Flaherty serves as a staff psychiatrist at Ft. Lauderdale Hospital, where he specializes in the treatment of a wide range of acute and chronic psychiatric disorders including psychotic disorders, mood disorders, substance abuse, learning disabilities, memory disorders and sleep disorders.

Dr. Flaherty has an impressive clinical research background, and has served in various positions on clinical research trials since 1987. He has served as a primary and sub-investigator since 2002, working on well over 200 phase I-IV clinical research trials in that time. As a primary investigator he has served on studies targeting a wide range of indications including ADHD, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, depression, general medicine, insomnia, schizophrenia and substance abuse. He has also served as sub-investigator on clinical trials for Alzheimer's disease and women's health. Dr. Flaherty joined Segal Institute in 2002 where he continues to conduct clinical research trials for child, adolescent, adult and geriatric populations.

Olga Marie Lapeyra, MD
Board-Eligible in Adult Psychiatry
Conducted approximately 32 clinical trials in inpatient and outpatient facilities

Dr. Lapeyra received her medical degree from the Universidad Central del Este in the Dominican Republic and completed a mini-residency at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Miami Beach, FL on memory disorders prior to a psychiatric observership at the Miami Veteran's Administration and serving as Chief Resident in Psychiatry at the University of Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital. Dr. Lapeyra has extensive experience treating patients with substance abuse and addiction issues, including veterans, and has treated a diverse array of patients with various psychiatric and medical disorders, conducting studies both in Spanish and English.

Dr. Lapeyra currently serves as the Medical Director of the Maternal Addiction Program at Plantation General Hospital, one of very few chemical dependency treatment programs for expecting mothers. She is also a staff psychiatrist of Broward County Hospitals and serves a growing inpatient practice through Compass Health Systems. She serves as an investigator for inpatient and outpatient trials at multiple facilities for Segal Institute. She holds dozens of rater/scale certifications as well as certifications in human research participant protection, and treats a wide array of medical and psychiatric disorders including depression, anxiety, pain management, eating disorders, substance abuse and addiction, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. She was the principal investigator for the Miami Veterans Administration research study "Adjunctive Risperidone Treatment in Combat Veterans with Chronic PTSD".

Dr. Lapeyra has conducted clinical research trials since 1999 and has served as Principal Investigator and Sub-Investigator on over 30 phase II-IV clinical research trials. She has served as principal investigator on clinical trials for adults with anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia, and as sub-investigator for adult trials for bipolar, depression, general medical disorders, and schizophrenia.

Dr. Lapeyra joined Segal Institute in 2009, where she has conducted and continues to conduct clinical research trials for the treatment of psychiatric and medical disorders.

Rishi Kakar, MD
Board-Certified in Adult Psychiatry
Conducted approximately 178 Phase III-IV clinical trials in inpatient and outpatient facilities

Dr. Kakar received his medical degree from Albany Medical College. There, he was selected to the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Honors Medical Society and received Harold D Wiggers Award based on his potential to become a scholarly physician. Additionally, Dr. Kakar was awarded "American Academy of Neurology award for Excellence in Neurosciences". His post graduate residency training included medical internship at Drexel University-St. Peters University Hospital, where he was given the "Most Outstanding Resident of the Year Award". He pursued his psychiatry training at Georgetown University School of Medicine where he received accolades from medical students for his teaching and was nominated for teaching award.

In the final year of training, Dr. Kakar was selected for a Clinical Fellowship at National Institutes of Mental Health, where he provided psychiatric consultation to patients involved in medical, surgical and neurological Phase I-IV clinical trials. Additionally, Dr. Kakar was actively involved in providing psychiatric assessments as a member of psychogenic movement disorder research team. He has successfully published in reputable scientific journals and presented at scientific meetings.

Currently Dr. Kakar is working as the Primary Investigator at the West Broward Outpatient Clinic and maintains an active outpatient practice with Compass Health Systems. He conducts clinical trials for Phase I-IV studies in indications including ADHD in children, adolescents and adults, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, opioid dependence and other neuropsychiatric and medical conditions. Dr. Kakar is also actively involved in teaching medical students and is clinical instructor at NOVA University. Dr. Kakar has a waiver to prescribe bupenorphine.

William A. Gerson, D.O., CPI
 Board-Certified in Adult Neurology
Conducted approximately 132 Phase III-IV clinical trials in inpatient and outpatient facilities

Dr. Gerson is a Neurologist with extensive clinical trial experience from the dedicated research site perspective in early and late phase trials for most drug indications. He has eight years of early phase team leader experience as an investigator. He has also created and managed a clinical research site.

Dr. Gerson is a Certified Physician Investigator and is listed as an author on multiple clinical trial publications. He achieved his Neurology residency and Neurophysiology training at the prestigious Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio. Prior to entering the field of clinical research he had a outpatient Neurology practice in South Florida.

Dr. Gerson joined Segal Institute as a Sub-investigator at the North Miami Outpatient Clinic and as Sub-investigator at the Segal Institute inpatient site in Ft. Lauderdale.

Krithika Iyer, MD

Dr. Krithika Iyer is a Board Certified Physician practicing both Adult and Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. She obtained her Residency training at University of Missouri in Columbia and completed Child Fellowship at University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. She is a graduate of Grant Medical College Mumbai, India from where she received her MD.

She is a member of American Psychiatric Association, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Florida Psychoanalytic Society and Florida Psychiatric Society.

Dr. Iyer has been in Private Practice since 2006 in Broward County. She has significant experience in working with Addiction patients, Adolescent Psychopathology, ADHD, Anxiety disorders and various types of Psychotherapy.

Her interests are Medical student teaching, research trials, in-patient and outpatient practice/ Partial hospital programs/Residential Rehab Programs and creating awareness in the community about mental illness.

She holds visiting faculty positions at University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine.

Women's Health and General Medicine

Steven E. Chavoustie, MD, FACOG, CCRP
Board-Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology & SoCRA-Certified in Clinical Research in 2010
Conducted approximately 69 Phase I-IV clinical trials in inpatient, outpatient, nursing home facilities and international global health studies 7 of which trials he has composed protocols

Dr. Chavoustie is a native of Miami, Florida and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Miami with a Bachelor's in Science degree in chemistry. He attended the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and completed his residency and internship in obstetrics and gynecology. He was also the administrative chief resident at Jackson Memorial Hospital. In 1987, he was appointed diplomate of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Dr. Chavoustie served in the military as an active duty Air Force Officer in the Medical Corps. He received the Air Force Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service for his role as Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Medical Readiness Officer.

Dr. Chavoustie holds dual faculty appointments at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine both as Voluntary Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Family Medicine and Community Health. He teaches clinical skills, provides didactic lectures in obstetrics and gynecology, biomedical engineering and directs the clinical pelvic and breast exam module for all second year medical students. He has been selected many times as one of the "Best Teachers" by the medical students.

Dr. Chavoustie is the medical director of a non-profit organization called "Medical Students in Action" that offers medical and preventative care and education to the underserved communities in the rural areas of the Dominican Republic. He travels yearly with his medical students where he evaluates and treats over 1500 patients per week for most medical conditions.

Dr. Chavoustie joined Segal Institute as an Investigator in 2007. He has conducted and is currently conducting clinical trials in most women's health conditions and several trials in general medicine. Because of his expertise with implantable drug delivery systems, he is the current implant medical monitor for Titan Pharmaceuticals, Inc.