Expert Directory

Pietro Tonino, MD, MBA

Director, Sports Medicine, Loyola University Medical Center

Loyola Medicine

sports and injury, Sports Medicine, sports medicine doctors, Professional Sports, Professional Sports Leagues, College sports medicine, High school sports medicine

Pietro Tonino, MD, MBA, was drawn to orthopaedics in part because of his love of sports, and he now works extensively with professional, college and recreational athletes. Over the years his team of orthopaedic and sports medicine physicians have increasingly seen more ACL and other injuries in young women. Dr. Tonino received his medical degree from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and completed his residency at Northwestern University McGaw Medical Center. He completed a fellowship in orthopaedic surgery and sports medicine at Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedics. 

rhizosphere, Phenomics, X-ray imaging, Growth Modelling

The Topp laboratory deploys X-ray-based imaging and analysis of corn and other root systems to develop more robust and sustainable crops.

While at the University of Georgia pursuing a genetics degree, Chris began studying plant pathogens. Interested in cutting-edge and emerging technologies, he worked as a research tech in an NSF-funded plant science lab to develop artificial chromosomes, an example of early synthetic biology. In grad school, he focused on maize, realizing that this crop could have the biggest impact: “In the U.S., there are about 90 million acres of corn planted each year. At an average density of 30,000 plants per acre, that’s 2.7 trillion corn plants. It’s been said there are more corn seeds are planted each year than stars in the Milky Way.”

After launching his professional career at Duke University, Chris is today a principal investigator at the Danforth Center working to unlock the secrets of the hidden half of plants.

When Chris learned about specialized 3D X-ray computed tomography (X-ray CT) systems for very large objects used in the aerospace industry, he saw a new potential application. In 2016, a partnership with Valent BioSciences, along with funding from the National Science Foundation, brought one of these 8-ton machines to the Danforth Center. The success of this instrument soon led to a smaller, but more powerful X-ray microscope to look at root-microbial interactions. Now the Topp lab can see the 3D subterranean world of roots nondestructively, at least for plants growing in large containers. The Topp lab’s X-ray CT and microscope facility for plant science at the Danforth Center is unique in the world.

Jordi Torrelles, PhD

Tuberculosis researcher and scientist

Texas Biomedical Research Institute

Tuberculosis, lung microbiome

Dr. Torrelles’ research is focused on the study of the human lung environment and its effect on the outcome of TB disease due to Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) infection. He also aims to improve the diagnosis of susceptible and drug resistant TB in high burden areas.

Beyond the diagnosis of TB, Dr. Torrelles and his team aim to understand the impact of the human lung mucosa in TB pathogenesis. He and his team have found that there are enzymes in the human lung mucosa that modify the bacteria prior to infecting host cells, thus, potentially redefining the M.tb pathway of infection and disease outcome.

Dr. Torrelles is originally from Catalonia, Spain. He received his Ph.D. in biochemistry/ microbiology in 2003 from the Autonomous University of Barcelona. During his graduate studies, he moved to Fort Collins, Colorado to serve as a visiting scientist at Colorado State University. He finished his Ph.D. and became a research associate and lab manager before moving to The Ohio State University for his postdoctoral fellowship, where over the years he became independent and obtained the appointment of tenured Associate Professor.

Giovanni Traverso, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and in the Division of Gastroenterology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers)

Drug Delivery, physiological sensing, Chemical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Traverso is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and in the Division of Gastroenterology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), Harvard Medical School. Dr. Traverso grew up in Peru, Canada and the United Kingdom. He received his BA from Trinity College, University of Cambridge, UK, and his Ph.D. from the lab of Prof. Bert Vogelstein at Johns Hopkins University. He subsequently completed medical school at the University of Cambridge, internal medicine residency at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and his gastroenterology fellowship training at Massachusetts General Hospital, both at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Traverso’s previous work focused on the development of novel molecular tests for the early detection of colon cancer. For his post-doctoral research, he transitioned to the fields of chemical and biomedical engineering in the laboratory of Professor Robert Langer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he developed a series of novel technologies for drug delivery as well as physiological sensing via the gastrointestinal tract.

Dr. Traverso’s work has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, the Journal of the American Medical Association, Nature, Science, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Materials, Nature Communications, Science Translational Medicine and Cancer Research. He has been the recipient of the Grand Prize of the Collegiate Inventors Competition, a Research Fellowship from Trinity College, and was named one of the most promising innovators under 35 by the MIT Tech Review’s TR 35.

His current research program is focused on developing the next generation of drug delivery systems to enable efficient delivery of therapeutics through the gastrointestinal tract as well developing novel ingestible electronic devices for sensing a broad array of physiologic and pathophysiologic parameters.

Additionally, Dr. Traverso continues his efforts towards the development of novel diagnostic tests that enable the early detection of cancer.

Dr. Traverso is a featured speaker in ASME's VisualizeMED virtual conference, April 14-15.

Joanne Turner, PhD

VP of Research, Texas Biomedical Research Institut

Texas Biomedical Research Institute

Tuberculosis, Aging and Disease, Immunology

Joanne Turner, Ph.D., is the Vice President for Research at Texas Biomedical Research Institute. In addition to her administrative role, where she oversees the research functions of Texas Biomed, she also manages a research program. Her research focuses on immunology of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection and immunology of aging. More specifically, she studies the changes that take place in the immune system during the natural aging process and how those changes can influence both innate and adaptive immune function when infected with M. tuberculosis. She also studies immune responses that correlate with an individual’s susceptibility to reactivate a previously latent infection with M. tuberculosis. Dr. Turner received her Ph.D. in Immunology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She started with Texas Biomed this past summer, having previously served as a Professor and Biosafety Level 3 Program Director at The Ohio State University. 

Mental Health, Immigrant and refugee Mental Health, Depression and Anxiety, Depression and COVID

Dr. Vaishnav is a first-generation Indian immigrant who migrated from Mumbai, India 11 years ago. As an immigrant and a woman of color, she is familiar with struggles related to moving to a new country, experiencing cross-cultural and identity related concerns, and navigating experiences of discrimination in interpersonal relationships and work environments.
She has worked with teenagers, young adults, adults, and older adults experiencing a wide variety of concerns including relationship issues, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, terminal illness & more. 

Roman space telescope, Galaxies, Black Holes

As the head of the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope mission office, Dr. Roeland P. van der Marel leads the institute’s Roman Space Telescope science operations, which include the mission’s planning and scheduling system, the data processing system for the Wide Field Instrument, and the data archive. He joined the institute in 1997 as a Giacconi Fellow, and has been an astronomer with tenure since 2008. He also holds a position as an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University’s Department of Physics and Astronomy. He has extensive astronomical observing experience on space- and ground-based telescopes, with a focus on using Hubble for studies of the dynamics of galaxies and the presence of black holes at their centers. He leads the Hubble Space Telescope Proper Motion (HSTPROMO) collaboration, which aims to improve understanding of stars, clusters, and galaxies in the nearby universe through measurement of their proper motions.

Kevin Varner, MD

Orthopedic surgeon

Houston Methodist


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, PhD

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.

Jacob Victor, JD

Assistant Professor of Law

Albany Law School

Property, Intellectual Property, Copyright, Antitrust

Jacob Victor teaches property and intellectual property and researches how law impacts innovation, culture, and the deployment of new technologies. 

His most recent articles, "Reconceptualizing Compulsory Copyright Licenses," 72 Stanford Law Review 915 (2020) and "Utility-Expanding Fair Use," 105 Minnesota Law Review (forthcoming 2021), provide a new account of how the law regulates copyright licensing markets in order to serve the public's interest in accessing creative works. 

He is currently pursuing research projects related to how copyright, trade secret, and antitrust law can best adapt to the policy challenges of the digital age.

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.

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.

William E. Wallace, PhD

Director of Undergraduate Studies in Art History and Archaeology

Washington University in St. Louis

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, PhD

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. 

Eric Wang, PhD

Senior Director of Machine Intelligence at Turnitin

Pando Public Relations

AI, Machine Learning, Data Analytics

Eric Wang is the Senior Director of Machine Intelligence at Turnitin, focusing on leveraging AI to improve learning experiences and promote academic integrity around the world. Eric is a leader in developing applications of AI for academia, government laboratories and industry, and he specializes in developing and deploying AI that emphasizes fairness, accessibility and transparency. He holds a BS and a PhD in Electrical and Computer engineering from The Ohio State University and Duke University, respectively. 

Rebecca Wanzo, PhD

Chair and Professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Affiliate Professor of American Culture Studies

Washington University in St. Louis

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.

Arlen Ward, PhD

Modeling and Simulation Principal System Insight Engineering, LLC

ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers)

Modeling And Simulation, Medical Devices, Computational Modeling, Mechanical Engineering

Arlen Ward, PhD, PE is the Modeling and Simulation Engineer and Principal of System Insight Engineering, a company that accelerates medical device development by months (up to 50%) by leveraging computational modeling and simulation at all stages of product development. Arlen has BS and MS Mechanical Engineering degrees from the University of Colorado, and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Colorado State University where Arlen’s research focused on using computational modeling and simulation to improve the performance of energy-based tools in urological surgery. Arlen has 14 years of experience in modeling and simulations for medical applications with Valleylab, Covidien, and Medtronic.
Arlen has more than 16 issued patents and 20+ pending patent applications and has published multiple papers and conference proceedings on the use of modeling in medical devices and the interaction with biological materials. Arlen has served on the COMSOL conference program committee and served as a reviewer for two research conferences and several journals.

Dr. Ward is a featured speaker in ASME's VisualizeMED virtual conference, April 14-15.