Expert Directory

Donald Abrams, MD

Chairman, Ophthalmology

LifeBridge Health

MD, Krieger Eye Institute, Sinai Hospital, Lifebridge Health, Cataract, Glaucoma, ophthmology, eye treatment

Dr. Abrams has practiced at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore for more than 30 years. He has been chairman of ophthalmology at the Krieger Eye Institute at Sinai for more than a decade. Dr. Abrams earned his undergraduate degree from Lehigh University, attended medical school at the Medical College of Pennsylvania, completed his residency at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore and his fellowship at Dohney Eye Institute, USC in glaucoma. 

Anat R. Admati, PhD

Professor of Economics (by courtesy), School of Humanities and Sciences Senior Fellow, Stanford Inst

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Financial, Banking, Portfolio Management, Financial Markets, Financial Contracting, Economics

Anat R. Admati is the George G.C. Parker Professor of Finance and Economics at Stanford University Graduate School of Business (GSB), a Director of the GSB Corporations and Society Initiative, and a senior fellow at Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. She has written extensively on information dissemination in financial markets, portfolio management, financial contracting, corporate governance and banking. Admati’s current research, teaching and advocacy focus on the complex interactions between business, law, and policy with focus on governance and accountability.

Since 2010, Admati has been active in the policy debate on financial regulations. She is the co-author, with Martin Hellwig, of the award-winning and highly acclaimed book The Bankers’ New Clothes: What’s Wrong with Banking and What to Do about It (Princeton University Press, 2013; In 2014, she was named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world and by Foreign Policy Magazine as among 100 global thinkers.

Admati holds BSc from the Hebrew University, MA, MPhil and PhD from Yale University, and an honorary doctorate from University of Zurich. She is a fellow of the Econometric Society, the recipient of multiple fellowships, research grants, and paper recognition, and is a past board member of the American Finance Association. She has served on a number of editorial boards and is a member of the FDIC’s Systemic Resolution Advisory Committee, a former member of the CFTC’s Market Risk Advisory Committee, and a former visiting scholar at the International Monetary Fund.

Fatemeh Afghah, PhD

Associate Professor, School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems

Northern Arizona University

Wireless Networks, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Wireless Communication, System Security/Hackers, Theory/Design, Research & Development, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, computer science and engineering

Fatemeh Afghah, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems at Northern Arizona University, where she directs NAU’s Wireless Networking and Information Processing Laboratory. She is also an affiliated faculty with the Partnership for Native American Cancer Prevention. Dr. Afghah is the principal investigator or co-investigator on major cybersecurity projects funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory. She is a recipient of the prestigious Young Investigator Award from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research for a project involving unmanned aerial vehicle networks for disaster management, and the NSF CRII award for AI-based decision-making in ICUs. Most recently, Dr. Afghah was awarded a CAREER grant from the NSF. She co-invented a patented technology, “PUFs with multi-states and Machine Learning.” A senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Dr. Afghah serves as associate editor for Elsevier Ad Hoc Journal, Springer Neural Processing Letters, IET Wireless Sensor Systems Journal and Frontiers Aerial and Space Networks Journal. She has co-authored dozens of scholarly publications. Dr. Afghah’s primary research interests include wireless communication networks, game theoretical optimization, multi-agent systems, machine learning, signal processing and unmanned aerial vehicles.

Timiebi Aganaba

Assistant Professor, School for the Future in Innovation in Society

Arizona State University (ASU)

Ethics, Environmental Law, Space Exploration, International law

Timiebi Aganaba works in global space governance law and environmental advocacy. 

Aganaba’s work promotes regional collaborations among countries to maximize the presence of emerging countries and marginalized groups. She is well-known in her industry for promoting the regulation of aeronautic technologies to be utilized against climate change. This has expanded to the use of satellites to measure greenhouse gas emissions as well as other remote sensing methods.

She is an assistant professor for the School for the Future in Innovation in Society with a courtesy appointment at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law.

Aganaba has received the Space Leaders Award from the International Astronautical Federation. She has served as the executive director of the World Space Week Association and a legal officer for the Nigerian Space Research and Development Agency.

Family Medicine, chronic disease management, Community paramedicine, Anxiety Disorders, Intimate Partner Violence, primary care and epidemiology

Dr. Gina Agarwal describes herself as a Primary Care Epidemiologist — leading the Vulnerable individuals in Primary Care (VIP) Research Lab that focuses on improving health systems for vulnerable populations, ensuring people in need receive appropriate care at the right time and in the right place. Her work has driven health system change in Ontario. It has been published in influential journals including the Canadian Medical Association Journal and been featured by national media, including the CBC. She holds multiple major grants from the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) and Hamilton Health Sciences for her research on novel health risk-assessment programs for seniors in vulnerable areas and seniors’ buildings. Her work with community paramedicine has been recognized as the foundation for the standardized ‘wellness clinic’ provision offered by paramedics across many municipalities.

Gina is the Principal Investigator of McMaster Community Paramedicine Research Team. The Community Paramedicine at Clinic   program was inspired by her PhD work with the CHAP Program in Grimsby (the CHAD Program) and links to her involvement with other CHAP-like research programs in the South Asian Community (C-ChAMP). She is also the lead of the CHAP-Philippines research program, and has an avid interest in Global Health Research.

An academic general practitioner who trained and worked in England since the early 90’s, Gina joined the McMaster Department of Family Medicine in 2000.  She works as a family physician with a busy family practice at the McMaster Family Practice (MFP) where she is deeply involved in training family medicine residents.

Her research experience started in the UK as a fellow with the Imperial College School of Medicine where she developed and worked on the National Survey of Diabetes Care for the British Diabetes Association. Since moving to Canada, she has been the recipient of many research grants and held research fellowships with CIHR and Diabetes Canada. Her PhD in Epidemiology was awarded the Faculty of Health Sciences Graduate Program Outstanding Thesis Award by McMaster University. She is one of a few active practicing family physicians who also holds a PhD.

She worked extensively with the Public Health Agency of Canada around the development and validation of the CANRISK diabetes scoring tool. She received an Award of Excellence from the College of Family Physicians of Canada in 2016 and CIHR selected her as one of Canada’s 150 Researchers.  Gina was presented the prestigious Mid-Career Researcher Award from the North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG) in November 2018.

Gina regularly supervises undergraduate, masters and doctoral students. Her students have been successful in obtaining research grants and have won McMaster University Health Sciences Quality Assurance Awards and Ontario College of Family Physicians Resident Research Prizes. In 2017, she was recognized for her excellence in student supervision by the McMaster University Department of Health Research Methodology, Evidence and Impact.

Lung Cancer, Resilience, Inspiration

Morhaf Al Achkar is a family medicine physician at UW Medicine who has been living with stage 4 lung cancer since 2016. Like many with the disease, he has a genetic type of lung cancer. He is an amazing advocate on resilience. He gathered 40 stories of inspiration that were published in the book, “Roads to Meaning and Resilience with Cancer.”
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths. In 2019, alone, it is expected that 228,150 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer, and more than 142,670 will die from it, according to the American Cancer Society.
While a significant proportion of patients with lung cancer are diagnosed at advanced stages and have a survival rate of a few months, there are glimmers of hope.
 Al Achkar has a type of lung cancer has responded to treatment with targeted therapy in the form of pills he takes everyday.
As a qualitative researcher, Al Achkar knew stage 4 lung cancer was a novel area of research. He said the need for such work is enormous as the experience of people with advanced lung cancer has been associated with stigma and blame.
He wanted to break that cycle and help anyone dealing with a serious illness as well as inspire those he describes “with the gift of health.”

Angela Alistar, MD

Medical Director, GI Medical Oncology, Morristown Medical Center

Atlantic Health System

Gastrointestinal Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer, Clinical Trials, gi medical oncology researcher, Precision Oncology, Immunotherapy, inmmuno-oncology, cancer metabolism

Dr. Angela Alistar is a board-certified medical oncologist with Atlantic Hematology Oncology, Atlantic Medical Group.  Dr. Alistar is Medical Director of GI Medical Oncology at Morristown Medical Center where she is also Medical Director of the Phase 1 Breakthrough Treatment Center.  Her research focus is related to immuno-oncology and cancer metabolism in gastrointestinal cancer such as: pancreatic tumors, cholangiocarcinoma, colorectal, esophageal, gastric cancer and hepatocellular carcinoma. Her clinical research projects involved active collaborative efforts with other medical departments, such as radiation oncology and surgical oncology, as well as genomics and cancer biology.

Recently, she has published in Lancet Oncology the results of a Phase 1 clinical study in pancreatic cancer that are very promising for advancing the field for this disease. This study has shown impressive synergy of a novel agent, CPI -613 in combination with chemotherapy. She is co-leading the national multi-site, randomized study of this promising combination, as well as many other phase 1-3 clinical trials.

Dr. Alistar comes to Atlantic Health System from Wake Forest School of Medicine where she had a heavy emphasis on clinical trials and clinical research. At Wake Forest, she led the GI oncology disease oriented team as a gastrointestinal medical oncology physician and researcher, bringing cutting-edge treatments to patients. She designed, secured funding for and conducted five investigator-initiated therapeutic clinical trials, with four of them being phase one. Her work involved maintenance of a sponsor-investigator investigational new drug. She is passionate about Precision Oncology and Immunotherapies and seeks to identify novel treatment strategies for her patients.

Past positions at Wake Forest include being a member of the Translational Cancer Genomics Committee, the GI Tumor Board, Internal Medicine Grand Rounds, and the Hepatobiliary Oncology Committee. She is a member of several health care organizations, such as the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Society of Hospice and Palliative Care Medicine, and the American Society of Hematology, among many others. As well, she is a member and advisor for several other health care institutions. She was recently awarded the "Danny Danielson Translational Innovation Award" by Hoosier Cancer Research Network for her commitment to clinical research. 

She received her medical degree from University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Cluj Napoca, Romania and her residency at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, NJ, where she was chief resident. After her residency, she completed a hematology oncology fellowship at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Tisch Cancer Institute. She is affiliated with Atlantic Medical Group, and is a participating provider of Atlantic Accountable Care Organization, and sees patients at Morristown Medical Center.

Cancer, Epidemology, Cancer Prevention, Breast Cancer, Health Disparities

Roswell Park Alliance Foundation Endowed Chair in Cancer Prevention and Senior Vice President of Population Sciences, Roswell Park Cancer Institute

Rachana Ananthakrishnan

Executive Director & Head of Products, Globus, University of Chicago


Computing, Security, Data Management

Rachana Ananthakrishnan is Executive Director & Head of Products at the University of Chicago, and has a Joint Staff Appointment at Argonne National Laboratory.  In her role at the university, she leads the Globus ( department, which delivers a research data management platform to national and international research institutions. She also serves on the WestGrid Board of Directors, and is a member of the InCommon Community Assurance and Trust Board. 

Her work is focused on the research and education field, and she has worked on security and data management solutions on various projects including Earth System Grid (ESG), Biomedical Informatics Research Network (BIRN) and Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE). Prior to that she worked on the Globus Toolkit engineering and customer engagement teams, leading the efforts in web services and security technologies. Rachana received her MS in Computer Science at Indiana University, Bloomington.

Biology, Epidemiology, mathematical biology, integrative biology, Statistics

Lauren Ancel Meyers is the Cooley Centennial Professor of Integrative Biology and Statistics & Data Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin and a member of the Santa Fe Institute External Faculty. She was trained as a mathematical biologist at Harvard and Stanford Universities and has been a pioneer in the field of network epidemiology and the application of machine learning to improve outbreak detection, forecasting and control.

Professor Meyers leads an interdisciplinary team of scientists, engineers, and public health experts in uncovering the social and biological drivers of epidemics and building practical tools for the CDC and other global health agencies to track and mitigate emerging viral threats, including COVID-19, pandemic influenza, Ebola, HIV, and Zika. Her research has been published in over 100 peer-reviewed articles in major journals and covered by the popular press, including The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, NPR, CNN and the BBC. Professor Meyers was named as one of the top 100 global innovators under age 35 by the MIT Technology Review in 2004 and received the Joseph Lieberman Award for Significant Contributions to Science in 2017.

Awards & Fellowships

2018- Denton A. Cooley Centennial Professorship, UT
2017 Joseph Lieberman Award for Significant Contributions to Science
2011-2013, 16-18 William H. and Gladys G. Reeder Faculty Fellow, UT
2006-2010, 14-15 Fellow, University of Texas Institute for Molecular and Cellular Biology
2013 Center for Excellence in Education - Excellence and Achievement Award
2010-2011 Donald D. Harrington Faculty Fellowship, UT
2005 College of Natural Sciences Teaching Excellence Award, University of Texas
2004 MIT Technology Review TR100: One of 100 Top Global Innovators Under 35
2000-2002 National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biological Informatics
2000-2002 Santa Fe Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship
2000 Samuel Karlin Prize for Ph.D Thesis in Mathematical Biology
1999 Steinmetz Fellowship, Santa Fe Institute
1996-1999 National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate Fellowship
1991-1995 U.S. Congressional National Science Scholar

Don Anderson, PhD

Director, U.S. National Office for Harmful Algal B

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Harmful Algal Blooms, Red Tide, Fish Kills, toxic algae, Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning

Dr. Donald Anderson is the Director, U.S. National Office for Harmful Algal Blooms and a Senior Scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. His lab studies species of toxic algae responsible for disrupting human and ecosystem health. While some of these organisms create the phenomena commonly known as “red tides,” others can be less visible while still causing illness. From the Caribbean to the Arctic, his team is working
to understand the factors that drive these harmful algal bloom (HAB) events. Lab:

Oncology, Big Data, Data Standards, Medical Research, Coronavirus, COVID-19

Dr. Brian Anderson is a Harvard-trained physician-scientist, innovator, and digital health expert. Dr. Anderson’s focus is on the use of information technology in support of emerging clinical decision support (CDS) models and the provision of safe, effective, patient-centered care. 
While at Athenahealth, where he led the Informatics Department, Dr. Anderson launched a new model of CDS leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI). He has served on several national health information technology committees in partnership with the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC). 
At MITRE, Dr. Anderson works on mCODE, a standardized data language and interoperability model for cancer research and treatment, as well as architecting, implementing, and analyzing health information systems for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). He also sits on the ONC’s Health Information Technology Advisory Committee.
Dr. Anderson has written in the Journal of Precision Medicine and spoken at the Precision Medicine Summit and HIMSS19. 

Insulin Pump Therapy, CGM, Diabetes, Diabetes & Endocrinology, Type 2 Diabetes, Type 1 Diabetes, Diabetes Management, Diabetes Self-management

Antinori-Lent is a diabetes clinical nurse specialist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center - Shadyside Hospital, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Yoshimi Anzai, MD, MPH

Associate Chief Medical Quality Officer, University Health Care

University of Utah Health

Radiology, Neuroradiology, Health Services, Patient Care, Medicine, Brain Injury, Cancer

Dr. Anzai is Professor of Radiology at the University of Utah. She completed her Diagnostic Radiology residency and neuroradiology fellowship training at the University of Michigan. In 2000, she moved to the University of Washington, Seattle where she had served as the neuroradiology fellowship director from 2004-2008, subsequently became the section chief in 2008. In 2005, she obtained her MPH from the University of Washington in Health Services funded by GERRAF program and AHRQ K08 award.

Dr. Anzai currently serves as Associate Chief Medical Quality Officer of the University of Utah Health Care. The major goals as the Associate Chief Medical Quality Officer are to improve safety and quality of patient care, to facilitate the process standardization and coordination of care, to implement patient centered outcomes measures that are relevant for each service line, and connect the costs of delivering care with outcome measures in the entire healthcare enterprise. She received the AAMC (Associations of American Medical College) Award for the implementation of Value Driven Outcome tool in 2016.

Dr. Anzai has been a longstanding member of many academic organizations, including ASNR, ASHNR, RSNA, AUR, ACR, and AAWR. She also participated in the large clinical trial including ACRIN trial. She has over 16 years of experience in working as a neuroradiologist in leading academic institutions with a background of health services research. Her area of primary imaging research interest includes head and neck cancer imaging, traumatic brain injury, and neurodegenerative disease. She is also involved in the cost effectiveness and comparative effectiveness of diagnostic tests in various conditions.

Microbial Ecology, Biological Oceanography, Marine Science

Amy Apprill, Ph.D. leads the Microbial Ecology for Ocean Conservation research laboratory at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Her research examines the contribution of microorganisms to the health and ecology of sensitive animals and ecosystems of the ocean. Dr. Apprill’s laboratory group uses a combination of field measurements and observations and laboratory experiments and relies on diverse methodology (cultivation, genomics, metagenomics and bioinformatics), as well as collaborations with marine chemists, to understand the microbial symbionts of marine mammals and corals and microbial dynamics within coral reef ecosystems. Examples of Apprill’s research include using drones to examine the upper respiratory microbiome of whales, founding a U.S.-Cuban collaborative study of microbial biodiversity on pristine Cuban coral reefs and developing field-based sequencing methods to speed up the study of coral disease pathogens. Dr. Apprill’s work on the Cuban coral reefs was featured in a Project Earth documentary by Fusion television, and her research on the humpback whale microbiome was highlighted in Science magazine’s ‘XX Files: Extraordinary Science, Extraordinary Women’ video series. Apprill received a B.A. from the University of San Diego, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Hawaii.

Sandra Arevalo, MPH

Director of Nutrition Services/Community Outreach

Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists (ADCES)

Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes, Diabetes Self-management, Diabetes and Adults, Diabetes and Latino, hispanic health risk factors, Hispanic Health, Bronx and Brooklyn, Latino Health, Minority Health, Minority Health and Health Equity, Health Literacy, Nutrition,

Sandra currently works independently as a nutrition and diabetes educator consultant, as well as Director of Nutrition Services and Community Outreach at South Bronx Health Center, a program of Montefiore and The Children’s Health Fund. 

Maneesh Arora, PhD

Assistant Professor of Political Science

Wellesley College

race & ethnicity, Public Opinion, Immigration, intergroup solidarity, Methodology

Assistant Professor in the Political Science department at Wellesley College and an affiliate of the Taubman Center for American Politics and Policy at Brown University. My research focuses on race and ethnicity politics, public opinion, campaigns and elections, and experimental and survey methodology. My articles have been published or are forthcoming in Political Research Quarterly, Politics Groups and Identities, and Journal of Education and Social Policy. 

​My book project, Changing Temptations: The Evolution of Racialized Messaging in the Obama and Trump Eras, explains the causes and consequences of racial appeals in U.S. politics. I propose a theory of differential norms, in which different histories of racial politics have generated different norms of acceptable rhetoric targeting blacks, Latinos, and Muslims. Using original survey experiments, I show that the effectiveness of explicit racial appeals varies systematically by the group being targeted: explicit appeals to racial prejudice increase support for Republican candidates who target Latinos and Muslims but not blacks, whereas explicit appeals to racial equality increase support for Democratic candidates. These results suggest greater attention to target groups is essential for understanding how racial appeals work and help to explain the contours of racial priming in contemporary American political discourse. 

Webb Space Telescope, Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Flight Operations

Amanda Arvai serves as the deputy branch manager for the spacecraft operations and engineering branch at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which supports the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) spacecraft flight operations. In this role, she develops flight products and procedures to operate JWST post-launch. She leads the Attitude Control Subsystem (ACS), which is responsible for pointing control and attitude determination, and supports the propulsion and fault management subsystems. She also supports the development and maintenance of software tools for the flight operations team.

Victor Asal, PhD

Director of the Center for Policy Research

University at Albany, State University of New York

Terrorism, Homeland Security, Political Science, International Affairs, Public Administration

Victor Asal is Director of the Center for Policy Research and a Professor in the Department of Political Science. He is also an editor of the American Political Science Association Journal of Political Science Education.

He received his PhD from the University of Maryland, College Park. He is also, along with R. Karl Rethemeyer, the co-director of the Project on Violent Conflict. Dr. Asal is affiliated with the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), a Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence.

Asal’s research focuses on the choice of violence by nonstate organizational actors as well as the causes of political discrimination by states against different groups such as sexual minorities, women and ethnic groups. In addition, Asal has done research on the impact of nuclear proliferation and on the pedagogy of simulations. Asal has been involved in research projects funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, the National Science Foundation, and the Office of Naval Research.

Asal teaches courses on world and comparative politics, political violence and oppression, negotiation and research design. He has worked as a negotiation trainer in a variety of academic, governmental and military settings, and in conjunction with the ICONS Project, created simulations on varied topics. Asal also is a past director of the Center for Policy Research.