Our Commitment

Objectivity & Transparency

  • Employ a staff of research scholars devoted only to clinical research.
  • Collaborate and co-author with thought leaders and researcher scholars.
  • Support third-party research studies related to Relias products.

Employ Scientific Rigor

  • Engage in systematic, controlled research.
  • Studies are submitted to an independent IRB and peer reviewed.

Improving Educational Technology Solutions

  • Study results identify areas for improvement in current content and technology.
  • Translate study findings into innovative solutions.

Disseminate Knowledge

  • Publish findings in academic journals.
  • Present papers and presentations at industry conferences.

Our Mission

Relias Institute, the research arm of Relias, conducts clinical research studies related to prevention, treatment, and delivery of services to people with health conditions and studies the impact of assessments, analytics, and training on healthcare outcomes. Our mission is to increase knowledge and understanding of the use of data analytics, assessments and learning to enhance the quality of care and measurably improve the lives of the most vulnerable members of society and those that care for them.

Leadership Team

Emaley McCulloch M.Ed. BCBA

Emaley McCulloch M.Ed. BCBA

Vice President, Relias Institute

Emaley directs the Relias Institute research team across all health-related industries and oversees the research roadmap. She facilitates collaboration across Relias’ departments and with research partners. Emaley is a Board Certified Behavior Analysts and Behavioral Scientist with over 20 years of clinical experience. In past roles, Emaley co-founded Autism Training Solutions, LLC where she developed online training content for the autism industry. She conducted research studies on the outcomes of these educational products and has published and presented these studies at industry conferences. Emaley’s passion is eLearning, behavior change, dissemination of evidence-based interventions, research, film and videography and using technology in the field of behavior analysis and special education.

Elise Valdes

Elise Valdes Ph.D.

Director of Research – Health Care, Relias Institute

Elise designs and coordinates clinical research studies across the healthcare field, focusing primarily on senior care and post-acute care. She collaborates within Relias’ departments as well as with industry partners and academic thought leaders. Elise holds a PhD in Aging Studies from the University of South Florida, where her dissertation focused on cognitive speed of processing training for older adults with neurodegenerative diseases. She has conducted numerous research studies on older adult health and cognition and has published and presented these studies in several national and international journals and conferences. Elise’s passion is improving older adult health, cognition, and quality of life, and improving education and technology.

Courtney Hughes

Courtney Hughes Ph.D.

Senior Researcher, Relias Institute

Courtney Hughes conducts studies focused on health education, behavior change, and communications. She employs both quantitative and qualitative methods to investigate innovative approaches for training healthcare professionals and improving patient outcomes. Dr. Hughes is particularly interested in utilizing data analytics to measure impact and help drive behavior change. She has published her research findings in several peer-reviewed journals and has presented at numerous conferences. She received her PhD in Health Services from the University of Washington, an MS in Kinesiology from the University of Michigan, and a BBA in Finance from the University of Notre Dame.

Research Collaborators

Jack Gorman, MD

Franklin Behavioral Healthcare Consultants

Christopher Reist, MD, MBA

University of California Irvine

Carol Clayton, PhD


Leigh Stiener, PhD


Joe Parks, MD

University of Missouri

Lesley Manson, PsyD

Arizona State Unversity

Audra Cuckler

Easter Seals Southern California

Erin Vernon, PhD

Seattle University

Bonnie Bowen PhD, MBA, RN

Seattle University