Soul Sitter Advisory Board

Dr. Linda Strause - Chairperson

Dr. Strause is a professor of Human Nutrition at UCSD. She is also a clinical research professional with over 25 years experience. She’s considered among the top in her field and had previously spent 15 year volunteering and working at San Diego Hospice. She is committed to improving the quality of life of people suffering from chronic, debilitating and terminal illnesses.

Dr. Strause was the Executive Director and Head, Clinical Operations for Vical Incorporated where she is responsible for the conduct of all infectious disease programs and all aspects of a phase 3 clinical trial in malignant melanoma.  As Executive Director, Oncology Clinical Operations she launched the pivotal phase 3 clinical trial in melanoma at over 100 sites in 15 countries.  With over 25 years in the drug development industry, Dr. Strause has served as Executive Director of Global Site Development for CancerVax Corporation, Vice President, Business Development for Cyber Medica, Vice President, Corporate Accounts for Innovative Clinical Solutions, Ltd., and as Senior Director, Investigative Site Resources for Quintiles CNS Therapeutics. With expertise in metabolic bone disease, she served as World-Wide Clinical Project Advisor for Quintiles, Inc., providing clinical and contractual expertise to a large, global, Phase III osteoporosis study. 

Dr. Strause’s passion of end of life care began while serving as Director of Education and Research at San Diego Hospice. She is currently the Senior Research Scholar and Founding Chair of the San Diego Hospice & Palliative Care IRB, where she served as chair of the IRB for over 15 years.  This interest and passion led her to Stacey Canfield, founder of Soul Sitters.  After sharing her personal and professional story she became involved at numerous levels including writing and editing. She has accepted the position as Chairperson for the Soul Sitter Advisory Board. In addition, Dr. Strause serves on numerous boards including; ACRP Board of Trustees for 2005-2008, Editorial Board for the Monitor, and Advisory Board for Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics (JERHRE). She is a founding member of CISCRP Leadership team. CISCRP – Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research - a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of trust and education of the clinical trial process.

Dr. Strause received her doctoral degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara.  During her twenty-five year career in research, she maintains an Adjunct Professor appointment at the University of California, San Diego, where she teaches an undergraduate course in Human Nutrition (enrollment >400) (since 1989).  Dr. Strause is an invited speaker at clinical research conference where she speaks on issues of site development and the ethical conduct of clinical studies.

Dr. Bob Uslander

Dr. Bob has been practicing medicine since graduating from the UCLA School of Medicine in 1988.  While his actual training was in Emergency Medicine, as his career has evolved he has naturally gravitated toward taking care of the elderly, and those nearing the end of their lives. Providing care to patients and families as a hospice physician has been the most fulfilling and meaningful calling imaginable for him.

In 2003 Dr. Bob created Sierra Housecalls Medical Group to provide medical care to the homebound and elderly members of his northern California community.  The following year, he helped form Seniority Life care at Home, a provider of non-medical in-home care for seniors, which allows them to remain in their own homes more safely and independently. He was a founder and past president of Sierra LifeNet, a non-profit organization dedicated to meeting the needs of the frail elderly, including the operation of a local Adult Day Health Care program. 

Dr. Bob says, “It has been a genuine honor, and, I believe, my life’s purpose, to provide expertise, guidance, reassurance, and love to people facing major life challenges.” His true blessing is to help people release their fears and “free the joy of their souls.”  To Dr. Bob, there is no group of people more deserving of and desperate for this type of care than those facing the end of their life and the people who love and care for them.

Dr. Bob believes that end-of-life can be a truly magical time if approached with the proper mindset and when the appropriate support is available. He also believes that being involved in helping to create a “good death” for someone else can allow people to live with far more appreciation and intention each day of their life.  Dr. Uslander serves as the medical advisor to Soul Sitters.


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