Expert Directory


Dr. Kevin Varner is board certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery. He completed medical training, an orthopedic surgery residency and a general surgery internship at Baylor College of Medicine. He also completed a clinical fellowship in foot and ankle surgery at John Hopkins University. Varner's clinical areas of interest are tibia fractures and sports-related injuries of the foot and ankle.
Varner serves as a consulting physician for the Houston Astros, a head team physician for the Houston Ballet and a team orthopedist for the Houston Texans.     

Vas Vasiliadis, MBA

Chief Customer Officer, Globus, University of Chicago


Computing, Cloud Computing, Marketing and Technologies, Emerging Technologies

Vas is the “customer guy” at Globus, the de facto standard platform for research data management, developed and operated by the University of Chicago. He is also a lecturer in the Masters Program in Computer Science at the University, where he teaches courses on Cloud Computing and Product Management. Vas has over 30 years of experience in operational and consulting roles, spanning strategy, marketing and technology, and was instrumental in bringing many emerging technologies as products to market. He consults with both global enterprises and early stage technology startups on product management and go-to-market strategy.

Laura J. Veach, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, General Surgery

Wake Forest Baptist Health

Substance Abuse, substance abuse treatment, Ambulatory Care, Patient Compliance, socioeconomic factors

Associate Professor in the Departments of Surgery and Psychiatry/Behavioral Medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, NC, is licensed in NC as a professional counselor (LPC), a clinical addiction specialist (LCAS), a certified clinical supervisor (CCS), and a certified practitioner of NLP. Dr. Veach has her Ph.D. in Counselor Education & Supervision from the University of New Orleans. As a counselor educator researcher, recent research funded by NIH, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma examine BCIs. She is active in IAAOC and research forums such as INEBRIA. She is Director of Counselor Training at WFBMC Trauma and SBIRT services with over 35 years of professional counseling and supervision, especially in brief counseling approaches, addictive and risky use issues. She is the lead author for an upcoming SAGE textbook on the spectrum of use disorders.

Pandurangan Vijayanand, MD/PhD

William K. Bowes Distinguished Professor

La Jolla Institute for Immunology

Asthma, PrecISE Clinical Center, Lung Cancer, immune fitness, immune profiling, Precision Medicine, genomic tools

Dr. Vijayanand was appointed an Associate Professor in the Division of Vaccine Discovery in 2015. He is the inaugural holder of the William K. Bowes Distinguished Professorship

Dr. Vijayanand received his M.D. from the MGR Medical University in Chennai, India, and completed his residency in Internal Medicine followed by a Pulmonary Fellowship in the United Kingdom. In 2008, he obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Southampton, United Kingdom, where he studied the mechanisms of accumulation and activation of T cells in human asthma. Since then, Dr. Vijayanand has split his time between laboratory research and seeing patients at the University of Southampton, where he currently holds an appointment as an Associate Professor in the School of Medicine. In 2007, he was awarded a prestigious National Career Development Fellowship to undertake translational studies in the epigenetic regulation of the immune cell signaling molecules in human asthma at UC San Francisco, where he was appointed adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Medicine in 2009. Two years later, Vijay joined the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology as an adjunct assistant professor in the Division of Signaling and Gene Expression.

Global and Infectious Diseases Fellow at the O’Neill Institute. Prior to joining the O’Neill Institute, Tom worked as an epidemiologist, focusing on infectious diseases such as HIV, Lassa, and Ebola. His work has taken him to Sierra Leone and Uganda, where he organized and trained African public health professionals on field epidemiology, Lassa, and other viral hemorrhagic fevers.

Vincent can discuss infectious disease epidemiology and global public health.

Climate Change, Environmental Policy, Envionment, epa regulations

David Vogel is the Solomon Lee Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Business Ethics at Berkeley Haas and Professor Emeritus of Political Science. He has written extensively on both environmental management and government regulation.

His latest book “California Greenin’: How the Golden State Became an Environmental Leader” (Princeton University Press, 2018) is the first comprehensive history of California’s leadership and innovation in environmental regulation. Other books include: “The Politics of Precaution: Regulating, Health, Safety and Environmental Risks in Europe and the United States” (Princeton University Press, 2012); “Global Challenges in Responsible Business” (Cambridge University Press, 2010); and “The Market for Virtue: The Potential and Limits of Corporate Social Responsibility” (Brookings, 2005).

Since 1982, Vogel has served as editor of Berkeley Haas management journal, The California Management Review. He has taught classes and lectured on environment management in the U.S., Europe and Asia. In 2017, he received the Elinor Ostrom Award from the American Political Science Association in recognition of his lifetime contribution to the study of environmental policy. 

Emily E. Volk, MD, MBA, FCAP

President-elect of the College of American Pathologists, Senior VP of Clinical Services, University Health System and Assistant Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Texas Health, Long School of Medicine, San Antonio

College of American Pathologists (CAP)

Pathology, Surgical Pathology, Gastrointestinal, Cytopathology

Emily E. Volk, MD, MBA, FCAP is the Senior Vice President, Clinical Services for University Health System in San Antonio, Texas. In addition, as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Pathology at the University of Texas-Health, she practices cytopathology and surgical pathology. Dr. Volk, board-certified in anatomic and clinical pathology with subspecialty certification in cytopathology, received her medical degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1993. Dr. Volk completed her pathology residency training with a certification year in Surgical Pathology with an emphasis in Gastrointestinal Pathology at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio in 1998. Dr. Volk completed her fellowship in cytopathology at William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, MI. Dr. Volk serves on the Executive Board of the Texas Society of Pathologists and is past president of the Michigan Society of Pathologists. At the College of American Pathologists, she serves on the Board of Governors and is the Vice-Chair of the Council and Government Professional Affairs. She chairs the Pathologists Quality Registry Committee for the CAP.

Early Childhood Education, Child Development, early care and education, School Readiness

Wendy Wagner Robeson, Ed.D., is a senior research scientist on the Work, Families, & Children Team. Her work at the Centers is focused on child development (birth to age 8), child care policy, early childhood care and education, and school readiness.

Robeson began her career as a middle school language arts, reading, ESL and English teacher in Houston, Texas, after graduating from Boston University with a degree in education, math, and English. After finishing her master’s degree in early childhood education at the University of Houston, Robeson pursued her interest in children’s language development and psycholinguistics at Harvard Graduate School of Education and earned her doctoral degree. In addition, to her research, Robeson has taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Robeson’s vast body of work includes the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development, which sought to determine the relationship between children's early experiences and their developmental outcomes, the Massachusetts Early Care and Education and School Readiness Study and the Ready Educators Quality Improvement Pilot.

Michelangelo, art, Art History

Wallace is an internationally recognized authority on Michelangelo and his contemporaries. In addition to more than forty articles (as well as two works of fiction), he is the author and editor of four books on Michelangelo: Michelangelo at San Lorenzo: The Genius as Entrepreneur (Cambridge 1994); Michelangelo: Selected Scholarship in English (Garland, 1996), Michelangelo: The Complete Sculpture, Painting, and Architecture (Hugh Lauter Levin, 1998), and most recently, Michelangelo: Selected Scholarship in English (Garland 1999). He is currently writing a new biography of Michelangelo.

Donya Wallace, Ph.D.

Assistant Visiting Professor

Palo Alto University

Counceling, African American Women, cross cultural counceling

Dr. Wallace’s scholarly areas of interest include wellness among African American women, the Strong Black Woman archetype and mental health disparities in the African American community. She has presented her work on effective treatment of African American women and families, implicit bias in healthcare and the strong Black woman archetype in state, regionally and nationally conferences. Her most recent work, Culturally adapted cognitive behavioral therapy in the treatment of panic episodes and depression in an African American woman: A clinical case illustration (in-press) demonstrates the efficacy of cultural adaptations to an evidenced based treatment to dismantle cognitive distortions associated with panic and depression in African American women. Dr. Wallace is a graduate of the counselor education program at the University of South Carolina, holds a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision, a master’s degree in counseling from Webster University and a B.S. in experimental psychology from the University of South Carolina. She is licensed as a professional counselor, a professional counselor supervisor and a national certified counselor. In 2018 she received recognition for her work with underserved communities by being named a 2018-19 National Board for Counselor Certification (NBCC) Minority Fellow and in 2018 as a Southern Association for Counselor Educations and Supervisors (SACES) Emerging leader. 

Dr. Ron Walter, Ph.D.

Professor and Director Xiphophorus Genetic Stock Center

Texas State University

Science, Xiphophrus, Genetics, Molecular Bioscience, Research, Bioinformatics, Inheritance, Fish Ecology

Dr. Walter has spent his 28-year academic career at a primarily undergraduate campus that has just recently been designated an “Emerging Research Institution.” He has served in the Department of Biology (9 years) and then moved to the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry to assist in development of a Biochemistry undergraduate program. Dr. Walter developed partnership grant proposals aimed towards providing scholarships for student groups that are underrepresented in the sciences (URM). In Fall 2013, he was awarded a Bridges to Biomedicine (B2B) grant wherein Texas State University is partnering with two Alamo Community College campuses to establish a program focused on increasing success of URM students in the biomedical sciences upon transfer to the baccalaureate institution. The B2B program addresses the most important obstacles to upper-division degree completion experienced by students showing an early commitment to a biomedical career. Additionally, Dr. Walter serves as Co-PI for the South Texas Doctoral Bridge Program (STDBP).  The STDBP is aimed at student matriculation from the MS degree into highly competitive doctoral programs. The STDBP is established between the Univ. of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA, medical school) and Texas State University. The STDBP is designed to provide a combination of mentoring and student development activities as well as enhance didactics and research training during a thesis-based M.S. degree in Biochemistry.

African American Literature, African American culture, Feminist Theory, Popular Fiction

​Professor Wanzo’s research interests include African American literature and culture, critical race theory, feminist theory, the history of popular fiction in the United States, cultural studies, theories of affect, and graphic storytelling.

Nicholas Warner, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Geological Sciences

State University of New York at Geneseo

MARS, Mars landing, planetary geology

Nicholas Warner is a planetary geologist who has been a member of the Geneseo faculty since 2014. He is also a SUNY Geneseo alumnus ('00).

Vesla Weaver, PhD

Bloomberg Distinguished Associate Professor of Political Science and Sociology

Johns Hopkins University

state policies, democratic inclusion, Sociology, Political Science.

Vesla Mae Weaver (Ph.D., Harvard, Government, and Social Policy) is the Bloomberg Distinguished Associate Professor of Political Science and Sociology at Johns Hopkins University and a 2016-17 Andrew Carnegie Fellow. She has contributed to scholarly debates around the persistence of racial inequality, colorism in the United States, the causes and consequences of the dramatic rise in prisons, and the consequences of rising economic polarization. Despite being advised that punishment was not a core concern of political science during her early years as a graduate student, Weaver argued that punishment and surveillance was central to American citizenship in the modern era, played a major role in the post-war expansion of state institutions, was a key aspect of how mostly disadvantaged citizens interact with government, and was a political “frontlash” to make an end-run around civil rights advances. Authoring the first article in nearly two decades on the topic of punishment to be published in her discipline’s top journal, she shortly thereafter published an award-winning book with Amy Lerman, Arresting Citizenship: The Democratic Consequences of American Crime Control, the first large-scale empirical study of what the tectonic shifts in incarceration and policing meant for political and civic life in communities where it was concentrated. Weaver is also the co-author of Creating a New Racial Order: How Immigration, Multiracialism, Genomics, and the Young Can Remake Race in America (with J. Hochschild and T. Burch). Her research has been supported by fellowships from the Russell Sage Foundation, National Science Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Brookings Institution. She has served on the Harvard/NIJ Executive Session on Community Corrections, the APSA Presidential Taskforce on Racial Inequality in the Americas, and the Center for Community Change’s Good Jobs for All initiative and has written in the New York Times, Boston Review, Marshall Project, and Slate. She is at work on a new project that will map patterns of citizenship and governance across cities and neighborhoods called the Faces of American Democracy using an innovative technology that creates digital ‘wormholes’ called Portals (

David Weiner, Ph.D.

Executive Vice President Director, Vaccine & Immunotherapy Center W.W. Smith Charitable Trust Prof

Wistar Institute


Weiner directs a translational molecular immunology research team focused on creating novel immunotherapy approaches for disease prevention and treatment using synthetic nucleic acid technology. Accomplishments of the team and collaborators include the first clinical studies of DNA vaccines, with a focus on advances in gene optimization and electroporation (EP)-mediated DNA delivery. Their work has revitalized the field, rapidly and safely moving new advances into human studies. These include the world’s first Zika vaccine, the first MERS vaccine, an advanced Ebola Vaccine, and a novel HIV vaccine, among others. Additionally, the Weiner laboratory has helped to develop immunotherapy approaches that are currently in clinical testing for HPV-associated cancer, prostate and other cancers. The first clinically efficacious therapeutic DNA vaccine for HPV cervical intraepithelial neoplasia CIN) has moved into a licensure trial (REVEAL). Weiner and his lab have received several awards/honors for their accomplishments, including the Vaccine Industry Associations Outstanding Academic Research Laboratory (2015 & 2016), being named one of the Top 20 Translational Research Laboratories of the Year (Nature Biotechnology 2016, 2017 &  2018) and the 2014 Stone family Award for Cancer Research. Weiner was named one of the nation’s top 40 most influential vaccine scientists in 2014, received the 2011 NIH Directors Translational Research Award and is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science since 2011 and a fellow of the International Society for Vaccines, for which he served as president from 2018 to 2020. Weiner is an avid trainer, advisor and advocate for students, fellows and junior faculty as he is highly committed to developing the careers of young scientists.  

Weiner received his B.S. in biology from Stony Brook University, N.Y., and his M.S. in biology from the University of Cincinnati. He then earned a Ph.D. in developmental biology with a focus on molecular immunology from the University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine. Weiner joined the University of Pennsylvania as a research fellow in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, where he rose through the ranks to become Professor. He held a second appointment from The Wistar Institute from 1990 to 1993. At Penn, he served as co-chair of the Tumor Virology Program of the Abramson Cancer Institute and as chair of the Gene Therapy and Vaccine Training Program.

Christopher Whitt, PhD

Vice Provost for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion

Creighton University

Diversity, Leadership, Equity, Black Political Scientists, Political Science

Christopher M. Whitt, Ph.D is Creighton University’s inaugural Vice Provost for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion. In his role, he leads collaborative efforts fostering progress in diversity and inclusion across the university and into the surrounding community. In line with the Catholic Jesuit mission of the university, Dr. Whitt works to coordinate the institution’s diversity and inclusion efforts from the perspectives of solidarity and justice by working with every office, department, and unit across campus as well in engaging in efforts with community partners. Among his many entrepreneurial efforts are the establishment of Creighton’s first National Black Alumni Network, the annual Interdisciplinary Scholars Symposium, and the Union Pacific Diversity Scholars Program.
Prior to arriving at Creighton in February 2018 he spent over a decade at Augustana College in Rock Island, IL where he was an Associate Professor of Political Science, Chair of the Political Science Department, a co-founder of the Africana Studies Program, and founding Director of the Center for Inclusive Leadership and Equity. For his work in the classroom and in the community Dr. Whitt was awarded the National Conference of Black Political Scientists’ “2013 Anna Julia Cooper Teacher of the Year Award” and their 2017 “Fannie Lou Hamer Outstanding Community Service Award,” and awarded The Rock Island County NAACP’s Civil Rights Hero Award in 2017 among other recognitions.
Dr. Whitt earned his Ph.D in Political Science and his M.A. in Political Science at the University of Maryland, College Park. His B.A. in Political Science is from Salisbury University in Maryland.

Macroeconomics and markets, recessions, Federal Reserve policy, business conditions, unemployment and inflation, Consumer spending

Professor of Economic Analysis and Policy and Finance

Expertise and Research Interests:

Small Business Lending
Bank Mergers and Acquisitions
Business Conditions
Consumer Spending
Unemployment And Inflation
Federal Reserve Monetary Policy And Interest Rates
Credit Union Failures And Losses

Positions Held:

1978 – present, Professor, Haas School of Business
2016 – present, Member, Financial Economists Roundtable
2014 – 2016, Member, Board of Directors, VirtualBeam, Inc.
2012 – present, Member, Board of Directors, Finance Scholars Group
2012 – 2015, Chair, Economic Analysis and Policy Group, Haas School of Business
2003 – present, Fellow, Wharton Financial Institutions Center
1999 – 2001, Chief Economist, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Washington, DC
1991 – 1992, Economist, Federal Reserve Board
1990 – 1991, Senior Economist, President’s Council of Economic Advisers

Healthcare, Health Policy, Public Health

Michael D. Williams is a surgeon at the University of Virginia Health System and director of the UVA Center for Health Policy, which provides comprehensive, apolitical analysis of current and proposed health policies.

Williams has served as chief medical officer for the Washington, D.C. Fire and EMS Department and is now director of UVA’s Summer Medical Leadership Program, which helps prepare underrepresented minority students for medical school and to become leaders in the medical field.

Williams’s analysis is frequently featured in national and regional media outlets.

See Williams discuss the Summer Medical Leadership Program:

Linda M. Williams, Ph.D.

Senior Research Scientist; Director, Justice and Gender-Based Violence Research Initiative

Wellesley College, Wellesley Centers for Women

Criminal Justice, Sexual Violence, Human Trafficking, Child Abuse

Linda M. Williams, Ph.D., is a senior research scientist and director of the Justice and Gender-Based Violence Research Initiative at the Wellesley Centers for Women. The focus of her current work is on the justice system response to sexual violence, commercial sexual exploitation of women and children, human trafficking, intimate partner violence, child maltreatment, and prevention of sexual violence on college campuses. Williams returned to WCW after serving as a professor of Criminal Justice and Criminology at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell (2005-2015), where she is now Professor Emerita.

Author of many books and scholarly publications, Williams has lectured internationally on sexual violence, commercial sexual exploitation, trauma & memory, and researcher-practitioner collaborations. She served as an invited expert for the first international expert meeting on domestic sex trafficking under the auspices of the National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings and Sexual Violence against Children in The Hague, Netherlands, and on the National Research Council Panel on Violence Against Women.

For the past 42 years, Williams has directed research on violence against women, sexual exploitation of children, sex offenders, and the consequences of child abuse. She has been the principal investigator on 16 U.S. federally funded research projects (and has directed research funded by the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, the National Institute of Mental Health, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of the Navy, and private foundations). 

Williams earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania where she studied at the Center for Criminology and Criminal Law. In 1996 Williams joined the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) as director of research at the Stone Center. Until her departure in the fall of 2005, she continued her examination of the resilience of women, children, and families. She conducted research designed to understand and prevent the negative consequences of violence against women and children and collaborated on international research and action projects.

alcohol use, alcohol use disorder, harm reduction, , Alcohol Use, Alcohol Use Disorder, harm reduction, moderate alcohol consumption, Mindfulness, reductions in drinking, alternatives to Alcoholics Anonymous, behavioral therapy for alcohol, Statistics, alc

Dr. Katie Witkiewitz is a Professor of Psychology at the University of New Mexico with a joint appointment at the Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse, and Addictions.  The underlying theme of her research is the development of empirically-based models of alcohol use disorder, with an emphasis on harm reduction and the application of person-centered models to better understand individual changes in alcohol use over time.  Her recent work has focused on novel definitions of alcohol use disorder treatment outcomes that focus on reductions in drinking, as an alternative to an abstinence-only model of alcohol recovery.

Dr. Witkiewitz is also a licensed clinical psychologist and has worked extensively on the development of a theoretical model of biopsychosocial influences on alcohol use and relapse.  This research has led to her collaborative work on the development and evaluation of mindfulness-based interventions for alcohol and drug use disorders.  She has conducted numerous empirical studies on the prediction of alcohol and drug relapse following treatment, mechanisms of successful alcohol treatment outcomes, as well as the development of behavioral interventions to treat addiction.  Her research has been supported by grants from the National Institute on Mental Health, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the National Cancer Institute, totaling over $22 million in research funding since 2004.   

Dr. Witkiewitz was born in Rochester New York and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the State University of New York at Potsdam in 1999. She completed a Masters of Arts degree at the University of Montana in 2000 and her doctoral degree at the University of Washington in 2005 under the direction of Dr. G. Alan Marlatt. To date, she has authored 5 books, over 185 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters, and she has given over 75 presentations and invited talks.