Expert Directory

Celine Richardson

Minimally invasive and bariatric surgeon

LifeBridge Health

Minimally Invasive Surgery, MIS, Bariatric Surgery, Weight Loss Surgery, Northwest Hospital, Lifebridge Health, Robotic Surgery, colon resection, gynecologic procedures, urological procedures, Gallbladder

Dr. Richardson practices in the Department of Minimally Invasive and Bariatric Surgery at Northwest Hospital and Sinai Hospital, both in Maryland. She completed her fellowship at Northwest Hospital and her residency at Emory University Hospital. She attended medical school at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. Dr. Richardson is also proficient in robotic surgery and general surgery. She also speak French (Canadian) and Spanish. 

Deborah Riebe

Professor, Associate Dean of College of Health Sciences

University of Rhode Island

Chronic Diseases, Physical Education, Exercise Science, Exercise Physiology, Sports Medicine

Aging, Gerontology

Sheria Robinson-Lane, a gerontologist and assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of Nursing, is an expert in palliative and long-term care and nursing administration. Her research focuses on the care and support of older adults with cognitive and/or functional disabilities, and on ways older adults adapt to changes in health, particularly how adaptive coping strategies affect health outcomes.

Papacy, Game of Thrones, medieval history, French culture, Chevalier des Palmes, knighted

URI Professor Joëlle Rollo-Koster: Medieval historian, papacy expert 

Key topics:  French culture, medieval history, the papacy, Game of Thrones

URI Professor Joëlle Rollo-Koster is a leading historian on the papacy. A professor of medieval history at URI, she is leading an international team compiling a complete history of the papacy for Cambridge University Press. She is the author of eight books on medieval history and the papacy.

Koster was knighted by the French government with the medal of the Chevalier des Palmes académiques in 2016. A native of France, Koster recently shared her insights on the impact of the 2019 fire at the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris with numerous media outlets. 

A professor, at URI, Koster incorporates the popular Game of Thrones series into her curriculum. She was featured in a story (4/25/19), discussing the history of medieval knights after the character Brienne, from Game of Thrones, was knighted — a true milestone for fans of the hit series.

Joëlle Rollo-Koster received her undergraduate degree and master's degree in history from the University of Nice, France. She earned a Ph.D. in History at SUNY Binghamton in 1992.

Select authored publications:
-Raiding Saint Peter: Empty Sees, Violence, and the Initiation of the Great Western Schism (1378), 2008, Brill, ISBN 9789047433118
-The People of Curial Avignon: A Critical Edition of the Liber Divisionis and the Matriculae of Notre Dame la Majour, 2009, Edwin Mellen Press, ISBN 077344680X
-Avignon and Its Papacy, 1309–1417: Popes, Institutions, and Society, 2015, Rowman and Littlefield, ISBN 9781442215320
-Death in Medieval Europe: Death Scripted and Death Choreographed, Routledge, 2016, ISBN 9781138802131

Kristy Roschke

Managing Director, News Co/Lab

Arizona State University (ASU)

Journalism, Digital Media, Media Literacy

Statistics, Electrical Engineering, Management, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Physical Therapy

Y. Dan Rubinstein is CEO/co-founder of Physera which is using data and technology to innovate in healthcare. Previously, Dan held product leadership roles at Facebook, Google, and Palantir and was an Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) at Khosla Ventures. Earlier in his career, he was the founding CEO of Reflectivity, a semiconductor display startup, which raised over $58M, grew to over 60 employees, set up manufacturing lines in Taiwan & Japan and was acquired by Texas Instruments. 

He holds a Ph.D. in Statistics from Stanford and a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from Princeton and is a published singer-songwriter.

John-Paul Rue

fellowship-trained Board Certified orthopedic spor

Mercy Medical Center

Orthopedic Sports Medicine, Orthopedic Surgery, Sports Medicine, Sport

John-Paul Rue, M.D., is a fellowship-trained Board Certified orthopedic sports medicine surgeon, specializing in arthroscopic repair of sports-related injuries, including complex knee and shoulder reconstructions with Orthopedics and Joint Replacement at Mercy. Dr. John-Paul Rue specializes in the prevention and treatment of injuries related to sports and exercise. He treats patients of all ages, serving athletes ranging from the casual jogger or weekend warrior to competitive and collegiate athletes and beyond. His primary focus is treating injuries of the knee, shoulder, and elbow, from ACL tears, meniscus and cartilage injuries to shoulder instability and rotator cuff injuries. He also sees patients with injuries such as overuse tendonitis, ankle sprains, and fractures. As an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist, Dr. Rue is able to diagnose and treat a wide variety of acute and overuse injuries utilizing both surgical and non-operative techniques. He works closely with colleagues and rehabilitation specialists to guide patients through the recovery process, recommend related strength and conditioning exercises and offer return-to-play insight and guidelines. Dr. Rue’s patient-centered approach to treatment and rehabilitation allows him to develop strong doctor-patient relationships and personalized treatment plans for each patient. He is committed to helping his patients perform at their very best when participating in their chosen sports and physical activities. Dr. Rue is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and served as the head team physician for the Naval Academy before coming to Mercy. He deployed to Iraq with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as the Chief Orthopedic Surgeon, Charlie Surgical Company Forward Resuscitative Unit, Camp Fallujah, Iraq and continues his commitment to service as a Naval Reservist. As a respected sports medicine physician, Dr. Rue has contributed numerous print and online publications highlighting his research and experience in the field of orthopedic sports medicine and has given invited lectures on a variety of orthopedic conditions at national and international scientific meetings. His research has garnered 2 major awards from the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine. He is a member of multiple notable medical associations and serves as an expert scientific reviewer for several medical journals, including the American Journal of Sports Medicine, and The Journal of Knee Surgery.

Mark Rupp

Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases

Nebraska Medical Center

Infectious Disease, Epidemiology, Infection Control

Dr. Rupp is a Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Infectious Diseases at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. He is the Medical Director of The Nebraska Medical Center Department of Healthcare Epidemiology and co-Director of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program.

Dr. Rupp received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas and holds a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas, Austin, Texas. He underwent internship and residency training in Internal Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University and completed a Fellowship in Infectious Diseases at VCU.

He is a Diplomate, American Board of Internal Medicine, and in the subspecialty area of Infectious Diseases. He is a Fellow of the Society for Hospital Epidemiology of America (SHEA), American College of Physicians (ACP), and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). He is a Past-President of SHEA and is a past-president of ASM Division L (Infection Control/Hospital Epidemiology). Dr Rupp has served as a consultant for the US Food and Drug Administration as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Rupp has published over 300 articles, chapters and abstracts and is the editor of a textbook entitled “Biofilms, Infections, and Antimicrobial Therapy.” He frequently presents papers at national and international meetings, serves as a guest lecturer, and is an active teacher and researcher. Dr. Rupp’s research interests are in the areas of staphylococcal disease, healthcare-associated infections, and antimicrobial resistance.

Roland Rust

Distinguished University Professor | David Bruce Smith Chair in Marketing | Executive Director, Center for Excellence in Service & Center for Complexity in Business

University of Maryland, Robert H. Smith School of Business

Marketing Research, Economics, Marketing Strategy, Advertising

Roland T. Rust is Distinguished University Professor and David Bruce Smith Chair in Marketing at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, where he is founder and Executive Director of the Center for Excellence in Service. He is also Visiting Chair in Marketing Research at Erasmus University (Netherlands) and an International Research Fellow of Oxford University’s Centre for Corporate Reputation (UK). 

His lifetime achievement honors include the AMA Irwin McGraw-Hill Distinguished Marketing Educator Award, the EMAC Distinguished Marketing Scholar Award, Fellow of the INFORMS Society for Marketing Science, the Paul D. Converse Award, Fellow of the American Statistical Association, as well as the top career honors in service marketing, marketing research, marketing strategy, and advertising, and honorary doctorates in economics from the University of Neuchatel (Switzerland) and the Norwegian School of Economics.  He was one of the inaugural honorees in the American Marketing Association’s Marketing Legends video series, and one of the inaugural AMA Fellows.  He has won best article awards from five different journals, including four best article awards from the Journal of Marketing, as well as the Berry/AMA Book Award for the best book in marketing.  He served as Editor of the Journal of Marketing, founded the annual Frontiers in Service Conference, was founding Editor of the Journal of Service Research, and served as Editor of the International Journal of Research in Marketing (IJRM). 

He has consulted with many leading companies worldwide, including such companies as American Airlines, AT&T, Comcast, Dow Chemical, DuPont, Eli Lilly, FedEx, Hershey, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, NASA, NCR, Nortel, Procter & Gamble, Sears, Sony, Starwood, Tata, Unilever, and USAA.  A national class distance runner in his collegiate days, he has been inducted into the DePauw University Athletic Hall of Fame. He has coached one age group world champion and several age-group national champions in track and triathlon.  

Big Pharma, Health Policy, Drug Law, Drug Regulation, Health Law

Armando Sardi

Medical Director, The Institute for Cancer Care at

Mercy Medical Center

Thyroid Cancer, Oncologist, Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy, Cancer, medical director

Armando Sardi, M.D., is a respected and renowned Surgical Oncologist who has been honored as a Top Doc in Baltimore magazine multiple times. He serves as Medical Director of The Institute for Cancer Care at Mercy and as Chief of Division of Surgical Oncology at Mercy Medical Center in Downtown Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Sardi is one of Maryland’s leading surgical oncologists who use Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC) to treat late-stage, complex cancers of the abdominal region. Dr. Sardi has been performing HIPEC procedures since 1994 and is considered to be among the best doctors using the technique. This advanced heated chemotherapy procedure is often a life-saving treatment option for patients who have exhausted more traditional treatment plans for stomach cancer. Patients have traveled to Mercy Medical Center from points up and down the East Coast to destinations across the U.S., to seek out Dr. Sardi for his cancer expertise in the HIPEC treatment.

Dr. Armando Sardi is a man whose professional focus is devoted to medical excellence, research and finding a cure for cancer. For his patients, Dr. Sardi’s personal concern and approach to their care are what helps them gain a positive outlook and confidence to face the challenges ahead. His cheerful smile and kind-hearted laugh immediately put patients at ease. And yet, his unyielding determination to give every patient the best possible chance to overcome their illness that ranks him among the best of the best. When other doctors have told patients there is no hope, Dr. Sardi tries even harder to beat the odds. Thanks to Dr. Sardi, the HIPEC procedure and other leading-edge treatment options, he has given patients so much more than hope. Patient after patient, year after year, have shared their stories at Mercy’s National Cancer Day Survivor Celebration and Mercy's annual Heat It to Beat It fundraising event. There are 3, 5, 10-year cancer survivors – each telling a heartwarming story of hope and survivorship. Dr. Sardi co-chair Mercy’s Cancer Committee and actively participates in The Tumor Board. These efforts allow cancer experts, specialists and key members of the healthcare team to discuss and collaborate on complex cancer cases to learn new and different ways to optimize resources, medical knowledge and treat patients so that long-term results will be improved.
Dr. Sardi also plays a key role in the Mercy National Cancer Survivor Day festivities. This joyous and spirited celebration is more than a reunion of cancer survivors, it is a day when Dr. Sardi and the Mercy family rejoice with their patients and loved ones. Together they have been through a long and challenging cancer journey and together they delight in all the possibilities ahead.
Dr. Armando Sardi, whose celebrated reputation has garnered local and international acclaim, has earned an international reputation for the advances he has made in the surgical oncology field and for his humanitarian efforts to care for the poor and underserved in third world countries. 
Dr. Sardi has been distinguished in Colombia, South America as one of the 100 Most Influential Expatriates – an honor received, in part, for the medical care he provides through the non-profit organization, Partners for Cancer Care and Prevention. This organization was the recipient of the Conquer Cancer Foundation's Inaugural International Innovation Grant.
Dr. Armando Sardi has been recognized for his research, leadership and compassionate bedside manner. Some of his awards include:

“Hispanic Hero Award for Excellence as a Medical/Social Entrepreneur”  Presented by USHYEE
“Gold Star Teamwork Award” Presented by The Sisters of Mercy in recognition of Gold Star performance
Honored by Fusionarte as one of “100 Colombianos” who represent the talent, creativity, and perseverance of Colombia. Bogota, Colombia December 2012
Named by Baltimore Magazine a "Top Doctor" in the Surgical Oncology specialty
Named by Castle Connelly Medical Ltd. a "Top Doctor" in Surgery
Dr. Sardi founded the annual HEAT IT TO BEAT IT benefit walk in Baltimore to raise awareness about HIPEC and cancer treatment.

Climate Change, Global Warming, Environmental Science

Paleoclimate expert Morgan Schaller, an assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, studies the history of the Earth system and changes in the climate over long timescales. In recent research published in Science, Schaller identified an extraterrestrial impact as the likely trigger for the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), a rapid warming of the Earth caused by an accumulation of atmospheric carbon dioxide 56 million years ago. The PETM is considered an analog to global warming today. 

Adolescent, Psychology, Medication, Opiod, Misuse, Prescription Drug Abuse, Nicotine Addiction, Psychopathology

Ty S. Schepis, Ph.D., is an associate professor of psychology at Texas State University. He obtained his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, and he completed a National Institutes of Health-funded Postdoctoral Fellowship in Substance Abuse at Yale School of Medicine. His primary expertise is in prescription medication misuse and nicotine use across the lifespan, and his work has been published in notable academic journals, including Addiction, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and PAIN. He has been a principal investigator on four funded National Institutes of Health research grants, all from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, with over $1 million in total research funding.

Larry Schlesinger

President/CEO Texas Biomedical Research Institute

Texas Biomedical Research Institute

Microbiology, Immunology, Molecular Genetics

Larry S. Schlesinger, MD is an internationally recognized authority in infectious diseases with a particular interest in tuberculosis and lung biology. He earned a BA in Biology from Cornell University and MD from Rutgers Medical School. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan and clinical and research fellowships in Infectious Diseases at UCLA. He joined the faculty at the University of Iowa in 1991 where he served as Fellowship Director for the Division of Infectious Diseases and Associate Chair of the Department of Medicine. He moved to the Ohio State University in 2002 where he served as Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine until 2011 when he became first chair of Microbial Infection & Immunity. During his tenure he founded the Center for Microbial Interface Biology, a Board of Trustees approved university-wide center with a focus on infectious diseases of concern to public health. In 2017 he became President and CEO of Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio, TX. 
Dr. Schlesinger is a leading physician scientist whose studies focus on the pathogenesis of tuberculosis and other airborne infectious agents that subvert lung immune mechanisms. His discoveries have led to greater insight into the unique attributes that soluble and cellular components of the innate immune system of humans bring to the microbe-host interface (with a focus on human macrophages), translating them into drug discovery platforms. He is a prolific scholar, having authored more than 170 peer-reviewed articles, served as editor of 2 books and has written several chapters in leading textbooks on tuberculosis and lung biology. He has been continually funded for nearly 30 years by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other federal agencies as well as private foundations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
He is a current NIH NIAID Council member, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Association of American Physicians and American Academy of Microbiology, and OSU’s 2011 Distinguished Scholar and 2105 COM Distinguished Professor.

medieval history, Women's History, church history, gender history, book arts, monastic history, Middle Ages, NUNS

Yvonne Seale is a historian of women and the social history of religion in the European Middle Ages. Her current research focuses on the involvement of women with the Premonstratensian religious order in twelfth- and thirteenth-century northern France. It explores the ways in which, amidst the religious reform movement which shook Europe during the High Middle Ages, women’s financial contributions, familial links, and spiritual vocations were fundamental to the cohesion of this new religious organization. She is presently at work on an edition of a thirteenth-century manuscript, the cartulary of Prémontré.

In August 2016, Yvonne joined the faculty of SUNY Geneseo in beautiful upstate New York, where she is an assistant professor of medieval history. She is a member of the interdisciplinary faculty cluster in Digital and Computational Analytics, which allows her to pursue her interest in digital humanities research and pedagogy. She serves as a Book Reviews Editor for the History of Women Religious of Britain and Ireland Network, and is a member of the Executive Board of the New York State Association of European Historians.

Yvonne received a B.A. in History/Archaeology from Trinity College Dublin and an M.Litt. in Mediaeval History from the University of St Andrews, Scotland. She earned her PhD in history from the University of Iowa.

Joshua D. Septimus

primary care internist

Houston Methodist


Dr. Joshua D. Septimus is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Clinical Lipidology. He completed his medical training and a residency in internal medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. Septimus' research interests include lipidology and investigations of novel prevention strategies for atherosclerosis. His clinical areas of expertise include diabetes, wellness, preventative medicine in atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease, internal medicine and lipidology.  

Mental Health, Depression, Anxiety, Eating Disorders, PTSD, Insomnia, Sleep Disorders, Psychology

Dr. Amit Shahane, PhD, is a clinical psychologist who serves as the director of the Behavioral Medicine Center at the University of Virginia Health System. Dr. Shahane specializes in treating psychological disorders, including PTSD, that impact medical illness. His research interests include examining the effectiveness of cognitive and behavioral treatments for insomnia, as well as healthcare utilization research, such as the effect of HIV stigma.

UVA's Behavioral Medicine Center diagnoses, treats and prevents medical problems either caused or aggravated by lifestyle or stress, including:
•	Depression and anxiety
•	Migraine and tension headaches
•	Nervous stomach and irritable bowel syndrome
•	Sleep problems
•	Eating disorders

Listen to Shahane discuss sleep problems:

Shahane discusses PTSD:

Jeffrey Shaman

Chief Science Officer

Coriell Life Sciences

pharmcogenomics, clinical decision support tools, Precision Medicine, personalized medicine, Translational Science, Stem Cells, Epigenetics, DNA, Genomics, Population Genomics, laboratory systems

Veena Shankaran

Co-director of the Hutchinson Institute for Cancer Outcomes Research (HICOR) at Fred Hutch

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Healthcare economics, healthcare economist, cost of healthcare, Cost of Care, cost of cancer care, Cancer Cost, value-based cancer care, Financial toxicity, financial toxicity of cancer, Drug Costs, Healthcare Costs

Dr. Veena Shankaran is a medical oncologist and healthcare economist whose research focuses on the cost of cancer care and how it impacts patients and their families. A nationally recognized physician-scientist, her current research is investigating the out-of-pocket costs that patients with gastrointestinal cancers experience as well as the cost-effectiveness of cancer therapy—studying how great care can be delivered without wasting resources. 

Along with Dr. Scott Ramsey, Dr. Shankaran co-directs the Hutchinson Institute for Cancer Outcomes Research (HICOR) at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, researching and assessing the cost effectiveness of healthcare and health-related quality of life. In addition to her role as co-director of HICOR, she is an associate member of the Public Health Sciences and Clinical Research divisions at Fred Hutch. She also serves as associate professor of Medical Oncology at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

Oncology, Breast Cancer, Hematologic Cancers

Dr. Priyanka Sharma is an oncologist in Fairway, Kansas and is affiliated with University of Kansas Hospital. She received her medical degree from Baroda Medical College and has been in practice between 11-20 years.

Her specialties are: oncologists diagnose and treat cancers of all types. They use diagnostic tools like biopsies, endoscopies, X-ray and other imaging, nuclear medicine, and blood tests. Cancer surgeons, or surgical oncologists, remove tumors, while medical oncologists treat cancers with chemotherapy. Radiation oncologists use multiple forms of radiation in an effort to eliminate tumors.