MERIT Announces Expansion of Senior Leadership Team

MADISON, WI (August 25, 2021) – MERIT CRO, Inc., a global specialty Contract Research Organization (CRO) focusing on ophthalmic and respiratory clinical trial endpoint services, today announced the expansion of its senior leadership team.


Heather Baumhauer has been promoted to VP of Project Management. Baumhauer brings a unique blend of academic research, reading center, and CRO knowledge to the oversight of MERIT projects. Heather has over 15 years of experience leading project management teams in the clinical trials industry. “It’s a privilege to join the MERIT senior leadership team at this time of rapid growth. I’m excited to collaborate with our group of dedicated experts and to contribute to the company’s continued success,” said Baumhauer.


As an ACRP Certified Clinical Research Coordinator, Heather combines know-how gained in her previous work as a site coordinator with skills obtained managing global clinical trials. The insights acquired from her diverse background centered on project management will help guide the project management team as MERIT enhances its current offerings and expands into other therapeutic specialties.


Shinji Yue joins MERIT as VP of Commercial Strategy, Oncology. Shinji has 20+ years of global commercialization and market development experience in medical imaging, AI software, and medical devices for clinical trials. He will be responsible for growing the oncology business; developing commercial relationships with sponsors; and building and managing an exceptional team to meet aggressive revenue and profitability targets.


Shinji developed international markets and launched more than 40 products globally including novel devices that required close interactions with the U.S. FDA and international regulatory organizations. He holds an MBA degree in marketing and finance from the University of Massachusetts, a master’s degree in microbiology, immunology, and cancer biology from the University of Minnesota and a bachelor’s degree in biotechnology from North Dakota State University.


With the addition of Shinji, MERIT is now poised to introduce oncology endpoint services in 2022 as our newest therapeutic specialty. “We are looking forward to launching our oncology solution with Shinji’s deep expertise in this market. Our comprehensive imaging software, EXCELSIOR™, will offer a broad range of imaging modalities for oncology clinical trials,” said Yijun Huang, Ph.D., Co-Founder and CEO of MERIT.


To view the full MERIT leadership team, visit Our Team Page.



MERIT is an innovative, global specialty CRO focusing on clinical trial endpoint services in the ophthalmology and respiratory disciplines. MERIT expertly navigates complex clinical trial projects through exceptional services, unique technology, and deep scientific expertise. Our ophthalmology team has extensive knowledge and experience in managing and evaluating images, especially with ocular diseases affecting the retina. Our respiratory services include standardized collection and consistent interpretation of spirometry data along with personalized service to ensure accurate, actionable outcomes.


MERIT’s headquarters are in Madison, WI, with additional subsidiary offices near Iowa City, IA, and in China. We conduct studies across the globe with experience managing clinical trials in 55 countries.


MERIT’s comprehensive cloud-based software solution, EXCELSIOR™, is built to elevate efficiency and accuracy in the endpoint assessment of clinical trial data. EXCELSIOR™ is HIPAA, 21 CFR Part 11, and GDPR compliant, and is cleared1 with the FDA as a Class II medical device (K130453). MERIT’s combination of advanced technology and exceptional service optimizes clinical trial stakeholders’ drug development strategy and enhances trial success.