Study Directors

Allison Hilberer, MS, DABT

Toxicologist II
Study Director, Photosafety, Ocular & Dermal Assessment
Allison Hiberer

Allison joined IIVS in 2004 as a Biologist I and is now part of our team of Study Directors. Allison’s primary area of focus is the photosafety programs at IIVS. She also oversees ocular and dermal safety assays, as well as specialized 96-well based assays such as the Short Time Exposure (STE) assay.

Allison is dedicated to our international training workshops, and has provided training on alternative safety methods in Brazil, China, and Vietnam. She continues to interact with colleagues who are looking to implement or are using in vitro  in their laboratories.

Allison earned her Master’s Degree in Biology from George Mason University in 2011, and received certification as a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology (DABT) in 2016.

Argel Islas-Robles, PhD

Toxicologist I
Study Director, Ocular & Dermal Assessment

Dr. Argel Islas-Robles joined the IIVS team in 2019 to serve as Toxicologist I/Study Director for the assessment of ocular toxicology and nociception. Dr. Islas-Robles’ main focus is the development of toxicology commercial and research projects using test systems based on in vitro three dimensional (3D) models.

His expertise includes the development of a 3D multi-compartment organ-on-a-chip platform for the in vitro assessment of metabolite-induced toxicity. Additionally, he has participated in multiple projects aiming to understand the molecular mechanism of toxicity induced by metabolites of hydroquinone.

Dr. Islas-Robles obtained his Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Toxicology from The University of Arizona, and a Bachelor’s degree in Biopharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of Guanajuato (Mexico). He has presented various posters, and authored several manuscripts published in highly ranked peer-reviewed toxicology journals. Dr. Islas-Robles is an active member of the Society of Toxicology, and the Hispanic Organization of Toxicologists.

Nathan Wilt, BS

Nathan Wilte

Toxicologist II
Study Director, Ocular & Dermal Assessment

Nathan serves as Toxicologist and Study Director for our Ocular and Dermal Assay Systems, including the EpiOcular™, BCOP and Corrositex™ assays.

Nathan joined IIVS in 2001 as a Biologist and quickly learned and worked with multiple assay systems before taking on the role as lab manager, and ultimately Toxicologist and Study Director.

Nathan has contributed to multiple posters and manuscripts for his work. He has also been one of the primary leaders for our international training workshops, contributing to training programs in Brazil, Vietnam, Japan, and China.

Nathan graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in Biology.

Rishil Kathawala, PhD

Toxicologist I
Study Director, Skin Sensitization

Dr. Rishil Kathawala joined IIVS as a Study Director/Toxicologist I to support the skin sensitization team. He brings to the team his expertise in cell- and molecular biology assays and will assist commercial clients in developing appropriate in vitro toxicology programs for their products.

Dr. Kathawala has his Ph.D. and Masters of Science (both in Pharmacology) from St. John’s University, New York, and a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy from Gujarat University, India. He further developed his skill set as a postdoctoral fellow at the Stanford University School of Medicine working on cancer pharmacology. Before joining IIVS, Dr. Kathawala worked at Medicon Pharmaceuticals Inc., where he conducted in vitro research on novel small molecule inhibitors.

Victoria Diersen, M.S.

Toxicologist I
Study Director, Skin Sensitization & Eye Stinging

Victoria joined IIVS in 2013 as a Biologist and is now part of our team of Study Directors. Victoria serves as Toxicologist and Study Director for our Skin Sensitization and Eye Stinging Assay Systems; including the KeratinoSens™, h-CLAT, and NociOcular assays.

Victoria earned her Master’s Degree in Medical Sciences from the University of Kentucky in 2012 with an emphasis on human physiology. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biology with an emphasis on medical sciences from Eastern Kentucky University in 2010.

Vivek Patel, PhD

Toxicologist I
Study Director, Respiratory Toxicology

Dr. Vivek Patel joined IIVS as Toxicologist I/Study Director, bringing his expertise in inhalation toxicology and immunotoxicology to the Respiratory Toxicology team. He leads the laboratory efforts for client studies and oversees the in vitro method and assay development programs, so that new or existing in vitro assays become useful tools for industrial safety or efficacy programs.

Dr. Patel got his Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy from North Maharashtra University (India), and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Toxicology from St. John’s University, NY. He worked as a postdoctoral fellow at University of Tennessee and Louisiana State University, where he conducted research on particulate matter air pollution associated respiratory toxicity and its effects on lower respiratory tract infections.