Meet the Staff
The knowledgeable staff at our Pasadena cosmetic plastic surgery practice includes experienced, compassionate professionals who share a passion for providing every patient with an unsurpassed level of personalized care. From our registered nurses and skincare specialists to the practice administrator and receptionists, our staff members create a positive and friendly environment, so you’ll feel welcome at each visit.
Below you can learn more about each staff member, including their professional background and qualifications. If you’re considering plastic surgery or a nonsurgical treatment, request a consultation using the online form or call us at (626) 796-3373 to schedule an appointment.
Colleen Brandt, Office Manager
I have had the honor of working for Dr. Sasaki for 23 years. I started in his office as a Medical Assistant assisting him in surgery and the back office. My current job of Office Manager is one in which I have the pleasure of working closely with staff and patients to ensure each patient’s experience is one of excellence and that each staff member is held to the highest standards. I am very proud that our office is one of excellence in patient care, safety, education and clinical research. I strive to make sure the office, from our AAAASF-Accredited Surgical Suite, to our award winning RN Injection/Device and InnoVessence Skin Care Centers are run in a way that reflects Dr. Sasaki’s dedication and passion to the care and well-being of each and every patient. Dr. Sasaki’s motto for the staff is “How do you make yourself better? – By making those around you better” and we hope that we demonstrate that to all of our patients. We look forward to seeing you and giving you a wonderful experience.
Liz Mellinger, Administrative Assistant
I am Dr. Sasaki’s Administrative Assistant and have been working with Dr. Sasaki for 7 years. I have worked as a medical assistant and in the medical administrative field for over 30 years. I am proud and honored to work for such a humble and caring doctor. In this office, every day is a learning experience as Dr. Sasaki is an innovator of new technology on a national and international level. Dr. Sasaki has an emphasis keeping his staff educated and safe.
Natalie Abelev, RN
When I first started working for Dr. Sasaki’s medical center back in 2012, it took but only a few days for it to become crystal clear to me how lucky I was. With his reputation and pedigree as an astounding doctor and genuine human being, Dr. Sasaki simply lights up any room he enters with his dedication to the patient and his respect for the practice. Even with my extensive experience prior to joining his team, I have gained ample knowledge and mastery from this amazing work environment. Before I began my first career as an ICU nurse, I knew that my knowledge and steady hand was something unique. Getting some of my first certifications back in 2005, I knew that my calling and passion lied in transitioning away from the hospital environment to focus on improving the lives of patients through holistic aesthetic procedures. To date, I am extensively certified in a variety facial fillers, neuromodulators, various lasers, and skin-care devices and products. Having been in the industry for more than a decade, my work ethic and accomplishments are evident in the testimonials of our clients. I’ve been privileged to have participated in research studies with Dr. Sasaki and had my name published in The Aesthetic Surgery Journal multiple times. I strive to emulate the very same compassion Dr. Sasaki brings to the office, every day in my work.
Liza Papodopoulos, RN
I am a Registered Nurse I began my career in the operating room and transitioned to aesthetics 18 years ago. I enjoy helping people look as good as they feel using products such as Botox, Dermal fillers as well as various lasers to address the concerns that come with aging and facial volume loss. I started in aesthetics in 2000 here with Dr Sasaki and re joined the practice 3 years ago. I am thrilled to be back “home” working with one of THE Top Docs in the World. I am also a member of the Allergan Medical Faculty and works as an Aesthetic Clinical Educator training health care providers on the use of Dermal fillers, Botox and Kybella.
Evelyn Avanessian, RN
My name is Evelyn Avanessian and I had the privilege of joining Dr. Sasaki’s team in 2017. I work here as an Operating Room and Aesthetic Registered Nurse. I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Science, and Nursing License from West Coast University and have always been obsessed with the aesthetic field of medicine. I’m honored to work very closely with Dr. Sasaki in surgery a few times a week in our AAAASF Accredited Facility that exceeds the strictest standards for patient safety and care. I spend my nonsurgical days seeing patients to provide treatments such as Botox, Dermal Fillers, Lasers, CoolSculpting, Microneedling, Miradry and more. Also attending workshops and seminars to further grow and sharpen my craft. When not working directly with patients, I assist Dr. Sasaki with all different types of Clinical IRB Studies; such as “Regenerative Medicine”, and “Hair Stimulation” to name a few. Every single day delivers a new learning experience as we are all constantly being trained and educated on the newest, safest and most innovative and effective procedures, devices, techniques, and methods in Aesthetic Medicine. Aside from a clinical standpoint, I am encouraged to be a better person daily, being taught that good bedside manner and relationships with patients are just as important as delivering great results. I’m beyond grateful to be able to grow in the best environment, amongst the most caring doctor and amazing staff.
Katie Sierra, RN
I had the privilege of joining the Sasaki Advanced Aesthetic Medical Center in the summer of 2018 as an operating room nurse. I perform all peri-operative nurse duties, assist in surgical procedures, and participate in the upkeep of our AAAASF-certified operating room. In 2010, I attained a Liberal Arts degree from Whitman College, where I majored in Biology and Environmental Studies. As an undergraduate, I participated in scientific research and thesis writing, so I have enjoyed building upon this experience while assisting Dr. Sasaki and his team in his IRB studies. After graduating with my Master’s in Nursing degree from the University of Texas at Austin, I worked as a nurse at the Apple Wellness Center located at the Apple, Inc. corporate campus in Austin, TX. At this modern interdisciplinary facility, I garnered three years’ experience in dermatology and accepted the role of Lead Nurse. In 2016, I won our company’s Eddie Aikau Award for exceptional teamwork and leadership achievement.
I am fascinated with human anatomy and have had a lifelong passion for the visual arts, so I am excited to merge these passions in the unique area of aesthetic medicine. I am fortunate to work alongside a world-renowned expert in plastic surgery and delight in bringing joy to each and every patient through our technical skill and personal kindness.
Sharon Cuellar, Surgical Technician
I have been a certified surgical technologist for 6 years and blessed to be part of the surgical team with Dr. Sasaki for the past 5 years and counting. I assist Dr. Sasaki in all in-office surgical procedures as well as meet with patients for their pre-operative appointments and provide a variety of post-operative care treatments. I am involved in study cases that are represented as clinical findings for IRB protocols and articles in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal that Dr. Sasaki has published. Dr. Sasaki also trusts me enough to look over and improve PowerPoints he creates and presents for meetings around the world. At times when I am not assisting in surgery or seeing patients, I look up books for him as he is quite the reader. Working for Dr. Sasaki has been a great experience because the knowledge and skills obtained here are incomparable.
Brenda Reyna, Surgical Technician
I am a Certified Surgical Technologist. I started working at the Sasaki Advanced Aesthetic Medical Center in 2018. I am honored to work under the supervision of Dr. Sasaki in providing the best standard of care during all of our procedures along with the rest of the surgical team. I ensure that the operating room environment is safe, our instruments and equipment are properly maintained, prepare the operating room for surgery, as well as assist Dr. Sasaki during the procedures. Aside from surgery I also partake in his IRB studies along with post-surgery treatments. I am very grateful to work with a dedicated and passionate team that provides an excellent experience for the patients.
Melissa Avitea, Medical Assistant
My name is Melissa Avitea and I have been a medical assistance for 5 years. Dr. Sasaki has been the first Dr. that I have the privilege to work for, and I am truly blessed that Dr. Sasaki gave me the opportunity to start my Career here in this astounding office. As a Medical Assistance here at Dr. Sasaki office I assist in the accredited Operating room when needed, I make sure all surgical patients have all surgical paper work together and walk them through what to expect prior and post-surgery. One of the interesting things that I do is work closely with Dr. Sasaki with assisting in the Clinical IRB studies that Dr. Sasaki partakes in with different companies that he is a consultant for. I have to say working here with the staff and Dr. Sasaki has allowed me to grow as a medical assistance and a person and learn so much more each day and for that I am grateful.
Kathy Oyler, MA, Skin Care Specialist
I have worked for Dr. Sasaki for 27 years. From 1992 through 1993 I developed our skin care program, implementing medically-based products and treatment protocols that we still use today.
I continue to pursue excellence in offering Dr. Sasaki’s patients with the most state of the art, cutting edge medically- supervised treatments.
Yazmin España, Skin Care Specialist
I have over 20 years of experience as an Aesthetician. I have been with Dr. Sasaki for 8 years. Through Dr. Sasaki’s guidance, I have achieved a higher level of treating and understanding of the skin’s physiology. I provide advanced skincare treatments tailored to each patient. I also practice new techniques for enhancing beauty. I am always looking to advance my knowledge and skills for the benefit of the practice.
Rita Hernandez, Skin Care Specialist
I have been in the skin care industry since 1992. In the past 26 years, I have developed her skills from various work experiences starting at a holistic office to a spa environment and then medical office. Being a part of Dr. Sasaki’s medical skin care team for the past 6 years, I feel fortunate to be in a work environment that encourages and supports education with innovative and state of the art skin care products, treatments and devices while continually striving for the optimum in patient care and satisfaction.
Robin Stanley, Skin Care Specialist
I am the newest aesthetician to join the InnoVessence Medical SkinCare Center. Having worked over twelve years as an aesthetician in Pasadena, West Hollywood and San Francisco, I bring a passion and expertise to the practice.
“I’ve been coming to Dr. Sasaki for my own skin care for over a decade. I’m honored to now be a part of this award-winning, medically-based, skin care center with state-of the-art technology and services. The team of professional here is amazing!”
I graduated from University of San Diego and am a Southern California native and reside in Pasadena.
Nicole Keller, Skin Care Specialist
I am a Licensed Esthetician who holds licensing from the California State Board and am a member of The American Society of Plastic Surgical Skin Care Specialists. Working here at Dr. Sasaki’s office is truly a blessing. He makes sure we are constantly learning, growing and perfecting our craft. He continues to fill me with the knowledge in this field, which gives me the ability to offer you the latest and most up-to-date treatments to best suit you and your skin care needs. With almost 20 years of experience, I take a unique approach to each individual patient with the end goal of making patients look and feel their best.
Brianna Mellinger, Skin Care Specialist & Skin Care Receptionist
I am a Licensed Cosmetologist of 4 years, who began working for Dr. Sasaki in 2016. I joined Dr. Sasaki’s team with passion in helping assist his patients and providers. I have gained the knowledge and understanding of different techniques used for care and maintenance of the skin, and also how and when to use a variety of different products. With a background in customer service of over 8 years, I ensure that each patient is satisfied, from booking to services. I strive to give each guest a positive, welcoming, and lasting experience.
Valerie Manrique, Bookkeeper
It has been a privilege working for Dr. Sasaki since 2014. I am the bookkeeper for both Medical and Skin Care departments, back up for the Skin Care reception area, product inventory, and OR as a surgical tech. It’s great keeping Dr. Sasaki’s patients safe and satisfied here at Sasaki Advanced Aesthetic Medical Center.
Patty Becerra, Medical Receptionist
I have worked for Dr. Sasaki for 13½ years now. I am one of the front desk Receptionists. My duties range from greeting patients, answering phones, making appointments, answering questions regarding surgical & nonsurgical procedures, ordering implants for augmentation surgeries & maintaining the proper logs. I also help in scheduling Dr. Sasaki’s study patients and assist the front desk in Skincare.
I really enjoy working for Dr. Sasaki because I am constantly learning. Dr. Sasaki is continually educating us on new procedures & treatments to be brought into the office so that we may be better able to explain them to his patients. It is always my pleasure to assist patients and I strive to make them feel special as they have become more than just a “name” over all these years. My days, months & years have flown and our beautiful office is an added bonus.
Last but not least, Dr. Sasaki is a great man to work for because of his caring ways with staff and patients.
I enjoy spending time with my family, especially my 8 grandchildren.
Shawn Scott, Medical Receptionist
I am the newest addition to the front office and am one of the first faces you will see when you come for your appointment. With nearly 10 years in the medical field and over 20 years of customer service expertise, I am very excited to be a part of Dr. Sasaki’s team. I strive for excellent customer service in addition to interacting with patients and guaranteeing they receive the best experience our office can offer. I enjoy Dr. Sasaki’s positive attitude and work ethic and his ease with patients and staff.
Margaret Gaston, Medical Photographer/Computer Analyst
I joined Dr. Sasaki’s practice over 17 years ago. I oversee the photographic systems, statistical databases, and provides on-site IT support for the computer network. Providing Dr. Sasaki statistical, research, photographic, videography, and graphics for publications and for national and international scientific presentations. I currently hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Business. My main purpose is to safeguard your patient data and its security and it conforms HIPAA law. I have assisted Dr. Sasaki with over 20 research studies; of which 14 were IRB approved studies, 140 presentations, and edited over 35 videos.